The WACO Theater Center (Where Art Can Occur) is tapping some of the biggest names in entertainment to help them support families affected by COVID-19. 

The organization is hosting a virtual celebration to celebrate and highlight different artistic mediums, encourage entrepreneurship, and reinvest into local programs. It will be streamed live on WACO’s Facebook and YouTube pages on Saturday, September 19th, at 5:00 pm (PDT).

It will feature exclusive footage from their celebrated Wearable Art Galas, spoken word, stage readings, plus a virtual art gallery and a special celebrity edition of Knowles Lawson’s signature “corny joke time.” 

Tina Knowles and Richard Lawson
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – OCTOBER 05: Tina Knowles and Richard Lawson attend Tyler Perry Studios grand opening gala at Tyler Perry Studios on October 05, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios)

Samuel L. Jackson, Octavia Spencer, Tiffany Haddish, Angela Bassett, Lynn Whitfield, Issa Rae, Yara Shahidi, Megan Thee Stallion, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Lena Waithe, Cynthia Erivo and Lil Rel Howery are confirmed to participate during the event.

It will also be a true family affair with Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Jay-Z, Solange Knowles, Bianca Lawson, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams are contributing their time in a show of support.

Business leaders and entertainment industry veterans Kawanna Brown, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Cheryl Creuzot, Babe Evans, Melba Farquhar, Lela Rochon Fuqua, Mai Lassiter, Holly Robinson-Peete, Robi Reed, Eula Smith and Jo-An Turman are serving as the event’s host committee.

Work from Kehinde Wiley, Lauren Halsey, Barnette, Bethany Collins, Genevieve Gagnaird, Eduardo Sarbia, and Radcliffe Bailey will be on display. 

A silent auction will allow participants to bid on prices from high profile artists and jewelers including Robert Pruitt, ‘The Pretty Artist’ Tiffanie Anderson, Chaz Guest, Ron Bass, Samuel Levi Jones, Harry Adams,Tyler Clark, Quiana Parks, Toni Scott, Gherdai Hassell, Charis Kelley, A. Nichel, Erica Puckett and designer Lorraine Schwartz among others. 

DJ Millie will keep the party going by providing music in between segments.

Richard Lawson and Tina Knowles Lawson1

Founded by Tina Knowles Lawson And Richard Lawson the Los Angeles based WACO Theater Center and performance complex offers unique cultural programming, mentorship, arts education and performance opportunities to various LA communities. 

“WACO was created to stand at the intersection of Black culture and art. For the past three years, we have worked to create a safe space for students to be nourished, grow, and learn,” said Tina Knowles Lawson.

The event will be offered to the public free of charge thanks to the support of Sheamoisture. 

The personal care brand has regularly assisted WACO with serving the community through their foster art and education initiative programs since 2016. 

“This year, our gathering will feel and look different, but the mission unequivocally remains the same,” said Co-Artistic Director Richard Lawson. “We are looking forward to continuing the tradition of celebrating art and Black culture to create meaningful change for our children.”

Access a preview and registration for the auction by texting WACO2020 to 243-725 and visit the Virtual art gallery until Sunday, September 27th.

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