Broadway Inspirational Voices, the Tony Award-winning not-for-profit choir, will gather together to perform two nights of special events of gospel and Broadway music at New York City’s newest public park, Little Island, on Saturday, June 19 and Sunday, June 20 at 8 PM ET. The performances, presented by Little Island, will bring together choir members for the first time since the beginning of COVID-19 and will celebrate BIV Founder and outgoing Artistic Director Michael McElroy as he prepares to pass the baton to Allen René Louis.
The celebratory evenings will include special guest appearances by Tony Award nominee Daniel J. Watts, Ayodele Casel (Artist-in-Residence at Little Island), Tony Award-winner Phylicia Rashad, Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, Tony Award nominee Norm Lewis, Broadway dancer Garen Scribner and the Broadway Inspirational Voices, and welcome audiences back into community, take them on a journey of remembrance, and invite them to boldly step into a new tomorrow.
Directed by Schele Williams (also the Broadway Inspirational Voices Board Co-Chair), these special, live versions of their renowned virtual videos, ‘Broadway Our Way,’ will bring back some of BIV’s greatest hits, and premiere new arrangements by McElroy, BIV’s new incoming Artistic Director Allen René Louis, and other talented members of the BIV music team. Not coincidentally, the first concert falls on Juneteenth, which commemorates the formal ending of slavery on the United States on June 19, 1865.
“I am overjoyed to finish my tenure with Broadway Inspirational Voices at Little Island,” said McElroy, who is also an Artist-in-Residence at Little Island. “I started BIV with a diverse group of Broadway performers to heal our community through the power of music during the height of the AIDS epidemic. And here we are, 27 years later, coming out of another pandemic still deeply committed to music and its power to heal communities. The choir comes together live, for the first time since March 2020, to celebrate community at Little Island which was created for the community. To have the honor of being one of the first performers as one of the Artists-in-Residence, to introduce our new Artistic Director, Allen René Louis and all on Juneteeth, is an immense honor and one I look forward to highlighting.”
Tickets for the outdoor events are available here.
In accordance with New York State and CDC guidelines Little Island can host ticketed events at full capacity and without social distancing with fully vaccinated audiences. Masks are optional. For entrance to ticketed performances all audience members will be required to show proof of full vaccination. Vaccination can be proven through the Excelsior Pass along with an ID or by showing their vaccination card and along with an ID. Forms of ID must show full name and date of birth. Acceptable forms of ID include driver or non-driver ID, passport, government ID card, military ID card, student ID card, library Card, public housing ID card, and IDNYC. Audience members will also be asked to answer a Covid-19 health questionnaire when presenting proof of vaccination. The CDC defines “fully vaccinated” as two weeks after receiving a second jab of a two-dose vaccine, or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Children under the age of 16 who have not yet been vaccinated may attend but must be accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult and wear a mask. Children under the age of 2 are not required to wear a mask. No exceptions will be made. Little Island will also use the information collected during the ticket buying process for contact tracing purposes.
It was announced last month that Founder and Artistic Director Michael McElroy will step down from leading the organization after 27 years, effective June 30, 2021. McElroy will pass the baton to composer/lyricist, producer Allen René Louis, currently the Associate Artistic Director and a talented member of the BIV music team and choir.
Working with McElroy, the BIV Board of Directors has prepared a transition plan that includes a dynamic triad leadership team consisting of Board co-chairs Schele Williams and Robert Acton and newly appointed Executive Director and long-time choir member, Cynthia Vance, a former SAG National Board Member, industry and nonprofit advocate. BIV Chair Emeritus and Tony Award-winner Phylicia Rashad will continue to provide her valuable support and guidance to the organization. In recognition of his 27 years of service to BIV, the Board has named McElroy a Director Emeritus.
For more information about Broadway Inspirational Voices or to donate to The Founder’s Circle Campaign, visit http://www.broadwayinspirationalvoices.org/.