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CAAM’S Annual Gala Honors Legendary Entertainers

Geoffrey Holder and Carmen de Lavallade

Geoffrey Holder and Carmen de Lavallade

LOS ANGELES, CA- The California African American Museum (CAAM) will be hosting its 8th gala, “An Artful Evening at CAAM” on Saturday, October 12. The gala will include reception entertainment, a silent auction, bar, post dinner dancing, music and complimentary valet parking. This year CAAM will be honoring legendary entertainers Geoffrey Holder and Carmen de Lavallade with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Business, Real Estate and Philanthropy; and visual artist Phoebe Beasley with the Lifetime Achieve Award for Visual Art.
Husband and wife Geoffrey Holder and Carmen de Lavallade are two very successful dancers and actors. Holder, a Trinidad native is also a painter and has had his art showcased in several major international exhibitions. Holder won two Tony Awards for his direction and costume design for the hit Broadway musical The Wiz. In addition, he has designed and choreographed ballets for the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Pennsylvania Ballet. Holder was featured in several films including the James Bond film “Live and Let Die” and in a major 7UP commercial campaign as the “UnCola Man.”  Holder is also known for his radio voiceovers, bearing his deep baritone voice.
As a dancer, choreographer, stage and film actress, de Lavallade studied other art forms including painting, set design, music and more. De Lavallade received her inspiration from her cousin, dancer Janet Collins, who was among the few of Blacks of her time that were classically trained dancers.  It was with Holder that de Lavallade choreographed her signature solo, Come Sunday.  A documentary entitled Carmen & Geoffrey chronicles their careers, life and marriage.
The gala is an elegant, black-tie affair and is CAAM’s largest fundraiser of the year benefiting CAAM’s Mentoring Generations program, an umbrella program that provides innovative cross-cultural programming servicing K-12 students and families with children. Major components of the Mentoring Generations program are: Young Docent internship program, Young Docent After-Hours, Buses and Docents, and Young Voices at CAAM.
Visual artist Phoebe Beasley is the only artist to receive the presidential seal twice for her artwork under two different presidents. Beasley’s work is collected extensively and is included in CAAM’s permanent collection. In addition, Beasley was the first African American female president on the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. Beasley received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Ohio University and has worked with Victoria Rowell and Rowell Foster Children Positive Plan to help students achieve self-esteem through their artwork.
For more information, call 213-744-2060, email gala2013@caamuseum.org or visit www.caamuseum.org/gala.

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