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 Saturday night. 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.”
2021 BAA Honorees:
- Music – Ernie Boch Jr.: renowned business leader, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. A musician himself, he founded the charitable foundation Music Drives Us, a nonprofit organization that funds musical opportunities for the underserved throughout New England.
- TV/Film – David Ortiz: Fox Sports MLB analyst and commentator, offering uniquely engaging content as a television producer and documentarian, and continuing to make an impact through humanitarian work in children’s health care.
- Fashion – Ruth E. Carter: the first Black woman to win an Oscar for best costume design and a trailblazer who has paved the way in the arts for young artists, impacting the world of fashion and costume design.
- Dance – Eve S. Rounds: honored for her impactful leadership on the Boston Arts Academy Foundation Board of Directors and BAA Board of Trustees, her commitment to dance, training and performance, and her passion in keeping arts and arts education vibrant and relevant in Boston.
- Visual Arts – Scott Wilson, AIA and Scott Butler, AIA: noted for award-winning architectural work for arts and entertainment that balances the art and science of their craft to push the boundaries of technology and shape the spirit and soul of the new BAA facility in The Fenway students need and deserve.
- Civic Responsibility – Steve Samuels: a positive leader in the Boston community whose ambitious work reimagined The Fenway neighborhood, demonstrating his desire to create an inviting live/work/play atmosphere that not only enhances the streetscape and skyline, but also celebrates art, education, and culture. As a leading producer of independent films, television, theater, and audio, he has been a driving force in the creative industry.
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.
About Boston Arts Academy Foundation
Founded in 1998 as the city’s only public high school for the visual and performing arts, Boston Arts Academy (BAA) has distinguished itself among urban public high schools as a leader in innovative and effective student-centered education. Consistently recognized locally and nationally for its achievements, BAA exemplifies the power of an arts-rich education and many BAA graduates have found success in college through the arts.
Through the six-year, comprehensive Building Our Future campaign, the BAA Foundation is raising $32 million to augment BAA’s school budget and ensure long-term sustainability. The campaign includes raising $10 million to bring the BAA Foundation endowment to $13.5 million and securing $15.5 million in operating reserves. The endowment and reserves support what makes BAA unique, including expanded programming, the Health and Wellness Program, STEAM, and funding for the arts. The endowment will support college scholarships for graduating seniors. The campaign supports BAA Foundation’s Annual Fund, which raises $5,000 per student each year. Building Our Future ensures that as BAA’s student body grows, students can become successful artists, scholars, and citizens.
About Boston Arts Academy
Founded in 1998 as the city’s only public high school for the visual and performing arts, Boston Arts Academy (BAA) has distinguished itself among urban public high schools as a leader in innovative and effective student-centered education. Consistently recognized locally and nationally for its achievements, BAA exemplifies the power of an arts-rich education and many BAA graduates have found success in college through the arts. In fact, for six straight years, 97% of BAA graduates have been accepted to college, with many becoming first-generation college graduates.
BAA’s dynamic program prepares graduates to be critical thinkers, effective communicators, collaborators, and creators. Students come from all 23 Boston neighborhoods to receive the formal arts training and academic instruction that will make them Boston’s next generation of artists and cultural leaders.
In fall 2022, Boston Arts Academy will welcome students to its first purpose-built, state-of-the-art school building directly across from Fenway Park. Among many highlights, the building will include new and much-needed enhanced theatres, career center, academic classrooms, dance studios, music practice rooms and fashion technology studios and workspace. When Boston Arts Academy opens its new school building, the number of students enrolled will increase to 500, and eventually grow over the years.