Celebrating Black History with Four Weeks of Live Virtual Programming, Free and Open to All

Sing for Hope presents live daily virtual concerts all month long featuring leading Black stars including J’Nai Bridges, Vanisha Gould, Gili Yalo, Danyel Fulton, and more

Open to all via Sing for Hope’s Open Arts platform, an innovative program created to relieve isolation among the elderly, youth, and healthcare audiences

New York, NY, February 1, 2022 – Sing for Hope announced today that, in honor of Black History Month, it will present a month-long celebration of Black artists and culture on its Open Arts virtual platform. Interactive, live, and free of charge, Open Arts is a virtual extension of Sing for Hope’s mission of “art for all,” presenting the brightest stars of Broadway, opera, jazz, classical, pop, and the world’s leading stages. Launched one year ago today, Open Arts addresses the parallel pandemic of isolation that has accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for the elderly, the immunocompromised, and youth in need. Over the past year, Sing for Hope’s Open Arts has also helped to put hundreds of artists back to work during a time of unprecedented unemployment and underemployment in the creative sector. 

Sing for Hope’s Open Arts Black History Month celebration kicks off on February 1st with Ella! A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, presented in collaboration with MusicTalks, led by Founder and Artistic Director Elad Kabilio. The concert marks Ella Fitzgerald’s centennial, with special selections performed by MusicTalks Jazz Quartet and award-winning jazz vocalist and composer Vanisha Gould, tracing Fitzgerald’s journey from her debut performance at the Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night to her role as the most celebrated jazz vocalist of the 20th century. On February 3rd, Gould returns with a special concert entitled The Life and Music of Nina Simone, celebrating the life, activism, and unforgettable musical contributions of the legendary singer-songwriter-activist. 

On February 10th, Ethiopian born-Israeli singer Gili Yalo and his four-piece ensemble explore Ethiopian music’s special rhythms, soul, and spirit.

On February 17th, Marian Anderson Award-winning Mezzo-Soprano J’Nai Bridges illuminates themes of equity and courage in the work of great Broadway duo Rodgers and Hammerstein, with selections from The Sound of Music, The King and I, South Pacific, Show Boat, and more. Other acclaimed artists and ensembles to be featured include Drama League-nominated Broadway star Danyel Fulton, playwright and lyricist Amara Brady, filmmaker and poet Kearah Armonie, dancer Indigo Sparks, New World Suite centering the first integrated symphony orchestra in America, and more.

J’Nai Bridges, internationally acclaimed for her performances at the world’s leading opera houses, says, “We’re all familiar with the many powerful ways in which Sing for Hope brings the arts to communities in need. Now more than ever, it means a great deal for me to be able to share my art as part of Sing for Hope’s Open Arts Black History Month celebration, reaching so many of our most vulnerable neighbors in our partnering hospitals, elder care facilities, or even just isolated at home. I’m excited to share some of my favorite Rodgers and Hammerstein classics in a concert that highlights themes of diversity and equality, along with the unique message that love is the solution to humanity’s most complicated problems.” 

Says Sing for Hope Co-Founder Monica Yunus, “We are beyond honored to present these stellar artists to our broader community via Open Arts. They are dazzling! And being able to celebrate Black History Month with them means the world to us and to the communities we serve.” Continues Co-Founder Camille Zamora, “Our healthcare partner audiences may not be able to go to concert halls and theaters right now, but they can connect with these great artists in meaningful ways through Open Arts. Access to creative inspiration is something we all need, and it’s an honor to make it possible in this way.”

For several of the concerts on Sing for Hope’s Open Arts Black History Month calendar, Sing for Hope has collaborated with MusicTalks Founder and Artistic Director Elad Kabilio. “Elad and I speak the same language,” states Open Arts Director Sharyn Pirtle. “When Elad is producing, performing, or speaking about music, his eyes light up as he makes connections between music, history, and culture, from the quotidian to the outrageous! Plain and simple, this makes for a fascinating, accessible way to enjoy the arts and share our human story.”

Sing for Hope’s Open Arts programs premiere live Monday through Friday at 4PM Eastern/1PM Pacific at singforhope.org/openarts/, where programs are also available on-demand for the month thereafter. With partners including NYC Department for the Aging, Maimonides Hospital, and more, Sing for Hope’s Open Arts programs are enjoyed every day in schools, community centers, healthcare facilities, and homes across the country. Programming is always free and open to all.

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About Sing for Hope

Sing for Hope harnesses the power of the arts to create a better world. Our creative programs bring hope, healing, and connection to millions of people in hospitals, care facilities, schools, refugee camps, transit hubs, and community spaces worldwide. Founded in New York City in 2006, Sing for Hope partners with hundreds of community-based organizations, mobilizes thousands of artists in creative service, and produces artist-created Sing for Hope Pianos across the U.S. and around the world. The official Cultural Partner of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, Sing for Hope champions art for all because we believe the arts have an unmatched capacity to uplift, unite, and heal. 

Sing for Hope’s work is made possible by the Sing for Hope Founders’ Circle: The International Foundation for Arts and Culture (Dr. Haruhisa Handa, Chairman, Sing for Hope Global Patron), The Arnhold Foundation in loving memory of Sissy and Henry Arnhold, The Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, The Anna-Maria & Stephen Kellen Foundation, an anonymous supporter, and Ann Ziff; The National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; The Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; Fosun International; and the generosity of donors like you. Learn more and join the movement at singforhope.org.

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