Solange Knowles is being acknowledged for bridging the gap between activism and artistry. The Houston native will be awarded the first-ever Lena Horne Prize For Artists Creating Social Impact, named after the singer/actress who was heavily involved in the civil rights movement. this award is the first award to be named after a woman of color.
Knowles said it’s a honor to be the first recipient of an award named after one of her childhood heroes.
“I will never forget being a young girl and the impact of hearing the great Lena Horne so radiantly and powerfully singing the words ‘believe in yourself’ from that remarkable moment in The Wiz,” Knowles said in a statement. “I have carried it with me closely my entire life. At the age of 12, I played this very role at the Ensemble Theatre in Houston, Texas and it was then I learned about Lena’s dedicated activism and fearless integrity as a woman and groundbreaking artist. I am honored to be receiving an award that bears her name and continue her legacy of using the arts to inspire reflection and evoke change.”
The “Almeda” singer will also receive a $100,000 prize that will be donated to Project Row Houses, a Houston nonprofit organization that focuses on bringing arts programming and community enrichment to the Third Ward.
The Lena Horne Prize Advisory Board includes stars like Harry Belafonte, who released the Porgy and Bess joint album with Horne in 1959, and Pose star Billy Porter.
“We are thrilled for Solange as the inaugural recipient of the Lena Horne Prize, and are grateful for her continuous support of Project Row Houses and the Historic Third Ward community,” Project Row Houses executive director Eureka Gilkey said in a statement.
Knowles will receive this honor on February 28th, 2020 at The Town Hall in New York City.