Ben Vereen, legendary entertainer, attended the All Stars talent show in Harlem on Saturday, May 14 at Bread and Roses High School where 100 inner-city youth from throughout New York City produced and performed in a vibrant hip-hop talent show featuring songs, dance and rap.
“The All Stars is taking the arts into the community and developing a bridge that allows us to see a better way to a future for all of us. When All Stars comes into the poor community, opportunity is built,” said Ben Vereen.
The youth performers paid tribute to the memory of two All Stars youth leaders from Harlem. Jamaal Lewis, who died recently from kidney failure at age 34, first joined the All Stars at the age of 12 performing as a dancer, and went on to recruit hundreds of youth from Harlem into the All Stars; and Cheyenne Baez, who was tragically killed last October by a stray bullet in her neighborhood at the age of 17, was a dancer and joined the All Stars in 2003. The young people dedicated the show and their performances throughout the afternoon to these two young leaders whose energy, passion and spirit touched so many.
Additionally, 20 All Stars donors and supporters came to see the program in action and presented the All Stars Project’s Award for Community Service to 15 young persons from Harlem for their efforts to give back and build their community.
“The All Stars Project is a partnership between young people from the poorest communities and successful professionals in business and the arts, and we’re so pleased that Ben Vereen came to support the young people,” stated Pamela A. Lewis, ASP vice president, Youth Programs.
The All Stars Talent Show Network (ASTSN) involves thousands of young people ages five to 25 in creating developmental culture through producing and performing in auditions, workshops and talent shows in neighborhood school auditoriums coast to coast – from Harlem to the South Side of Chicago, to Newark, NJ to San Francisco, CA.
ASTSN is a flagship program of the All Stars Project, Inc. (ASP), a national non-profit organization that sponsors after-school programs for inner-city youth, employing an innovative performance-based approach.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the All Stars Project is 100 percent privately-funded. Year-round performance based activities are free to all young people and are supported by a new kind of philanthropic partnership between philanthropists, artists, business leaders and the youth.
The ASP is headquartered in New York on West 42nd Street and it reaches 10,000 young people nationwide in New York City, Newark, NJ, Chicago, IL, and the San Francisco Bay Area. The All Stars can be found on the web at www.allstars.org.