Denyce Graves
Denyce Graves (Courtesy of The Washington Performing Arts)

The Washington Performing Arts (WPA) celebrates its 50th season this year, bearing the distinction of being one of the country’s top presenters of music and dance.

Courtesy of The Washington Performing Arts

The nonprofit organization was among the first to provide musical performances in the DC Public Schools and led the way in recognizing the art of gospel music on the region’s main stages.

On Sunday, Jan. 22 during an afternoon brunch, they honored mezzo-soprano and native Washingtonian Denyce Graves with the Ambassador of the Arts Award for her exceptional talent and dedicated work as a citizen-artist.

Courtesy of The Washington Performing Arts

Several dozen ambassadors to the U.S. from countries around the world were special guests. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a recipient of the award in 2015, also attended the event.

Special musical tributes were provided by Soloman Howard, a D.C. native and a former student with WPA, and WPA’s Children of the Gospel Choir.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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