A star-studded night of music, dance, and performances by students, alumni, and Honorees at BAA Honors 2021 helped raise vital funds for Boston Arts Academy, the city’s only public high school for the visual and performing arts, during a live broadcast event on May 4. The event helped Boston Arts Academy Foundation (BAA Foundation) raise nearly $1.7 million through BAA Honors during the past year.
More than 350 generous donors to BAA Honors 2020, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as BAA Honors 2021, secured nearly $1.7 million to support Boston Arts Academy’s students. All 2020 Honorees and sponsors actively participated in BAA Honors 2021.
BAA Honors celebrates BAA’s diverse, talented, and successful students. The night featured student and alumni performances and recognized prominent Honorees for their meaningful contributions to the community. A socially distanced event hosted by BAA Honors in Music recipient Ernie Boch Jr. was broadcast live on NECN and NBC10 Boston with NBC10 Boston co-hosts Latoyia Edwards and JC Monahan, and streamed live on the NECN and NBC10 Boston websites, making it accessible to supporters of the school across the world.
The program featured Honorees David Ortiz and Steve Samuels playing live with the BAA Honors All-Star Alumni Band along with speeches from distinguished guests, including Boston Mayor Kim Janey, BAA President Denella Clark and BAA Head of School Anne Clark.
BAA Honors supports wide-ranging resources at BAA, from special lighting in performance spaces, to state-of-the-art technology for recording studios, additional student health and wellness services, and increased STEAM (STEM+Art) education opportunities.
The 2021 BAA Honorees include: Ernie Boch Jr., president and CEO, Subaru of New England (Honors in Music); Ruth E. Carter, Academy Award-winning film and television costume designer (Honors in Fashion); David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox legend, Fox Sports Major League Baseball analyst (Honors in TV & Film); Eve S. Rounds, passionate dance advocate and champion of the arts (Honors in Dance); Scott Wilson and Scott Butler, founding directors, Wilson Butler Architects (Honors in Visual Art); and Steve Samuels, chairman and principal, Samuels & Associates, a real estate development firm (Honors in Civic Responsibility). Sandra Gordon, founding president of Boston Arts Academy Foundation (1999) and Trustee Emerita of Boston Arts Academy and BAA Foundation, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The event co-chairs were Lee Michael Kennedy, president and CEO, Lee Kennedy Co., a construction management firm, and Sue Brady Hartigan, philanthropist and Boston’s veteran on-air radio personality. Pamela D.A. Reeve and Donna M. Harris-Lewis were announced as BAA Honors 2022 co-chairs.
“BAA Honors is a celebration of the absolute best of what Boston Arts Academy has to offer,” said Boston Arts Academy Foundation President Denella Clark. “From our incredible students to our alumni who always give back to the next generation, to the Honorees who inspire our students to reach for greatness, it was an evening to recognize all of their accomplishments and to share in the passion that connects our remarkable community.”
“I’m very honored to receive this award,” said TV & Film Honoree David Ortiz Saturday night during the live broadcast. “I was born in the Dominican Republic, where music just runs through our blood and art is everywhere. When I think about music, I think about happiness. We’ve got to support [BAA] and we’ve got to help. We understand how massive this can be for the kids who come [to BAA] and learn and become independent because of it.”
NBC10 Boston, NECN, NBC Sports Boston and Telemundo Boston served as the official 2021 multimedia and broadcast partners for BAA Honors. The Boston Globe also supported BAA Honors.