Where do I begin? I can’t even begin to explain to you the feeling that came over me when I opened up my email and saw an invitation to the Harlem School of Arts Masquerade Gala! Where was this Gala to take place you ask?….Oh, nowhere fancy at all, just THE PLAZA HOTEL!! Let me just tell you a little story before I get to the good stuff. A few years back, I was working at Rent The Runway as a Stylist with one of my now super close friends Whitney, and I can vividly remember us saying “one day we are just going to rent one of these fancy dresses and go to The Plaza Hotel just to have some tea.” That one day came on Monday, when I not only wore a fancy dress to go to The Plaza Hotel, but I also went for way more than tea! The decor in that hotel makes you feel like you’re in a 1950’s movie…literally where I belong!
Now let’s talk about my incredible evening at the Harlem School of Arts Masquerade Gala. I was able to get Red Carpet access when the guests arrived which was so much fun because I got to see all of the beautiful gowns and masks first! The guest list included the likes of Renee Elise Goldsberry, Angie Martinez, MC Lyte, Alfre Woodard, Vashtie and of course the Guest of Honor, Mary J. Blige.
This event especially hit close to home because when I first moved to New York, four years ago, Harlem was my first home. So you can count me in for anything that has to do with bringing awareness to better a kids life and a place I once used to call home. Proceeds from the Gala enable Harlem School of the Arts to provide over 2,000 students access to exceptional arts instruction and professional development, including financial aid to families from disadvantaged communities and merit scholarships to students pursuing careers in the arts.
The Harlem School of Arts kids put on such an amazing performance when they performed Hamilton’s “My Shot” (video below). It sent chills down my spine and reminded me that the children are our future, and their hopes and dreams mean everything. If we can do one small thing to help them achieve their goals than we’re already on our way to a better tomorrow.
I hope you all enjoy the beautiful photos and videos from this event. It was truly such a magical night and I feel forever grateful to have been able to experience it! Xo
For more information on how you can donate or help the community in harlem, visit https://hsanyc.org.