Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

International Opera Star, Angela Brown Returns to Buffalo for Performance that Opened Students' Eyes

May 12, 2016 | Posted in News

Buffalo, NY – Internationally Acclaimed Opera Soprano, Angela Brown returned to Western New York as featured presenter and partner for a Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative (CGLI) Success Looks Like Me® Role Model event with Buffalo Public School students on Thursday, May 12, 2016.

The CGLI, a fund of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, was created to increase philanthropy within and for Western New York communities of color. As a premier program of the CGLI, Success Looks Like Me provides youth of color living in low-income communities with opportunities to interact with successful adults who reflect the multi-cultural richness of Western New York and nation.

Acting on the CGLI’s goal of creating access to new experiences for youth of color in Western New York, Brown performed and spoke to an audience of Buffalo middle school students at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts. In partnership with the Buffalo Public Schools, more than 400 middle school students attended the program, including students from School #6 (Buffalo Elementary School of Technology), School #67 (Discovery School), and School #94 (West Hertel Academy).

During the program, Brown performed her popular one-woman-show entitled, “Opera from a Sistah’s Point of View,” along with traditional opera from the English, European and Russian schools that inspired the imaginations of the children through Brown’s beautiful voice and lyrics.

“Angela Brown truly embodies the spirit of the CGLI’s mission by providing students access to the experience of classical music and opera,” said Jennifer J. Parker, J.D., Chair of the Success Looks Like Me Role Model Committee.

“We are thankful to have Angela Brown return to Buffalo to talk with our students and serve as a role model to inspire them to believe that they, too, can achieve greatness and recognize that ‘Success Looks Like Me.’ This valuable program provides our students with access to experiences that can be a game-changer, in which hearing such simple words as “you can do it” from positive role models can motivate youth to aspire to achieve their own successes.”

Inspired by the CGLI, Brown established her own nonprofit organization (Morning Brown LLC) in 2015 which connects youth with access to arts and cultural offerings. During the performance, Morning Brown LLC received their first charitable gift from the CGLI in the amount of $3,000.

Officially launched in 2010, the CGLI was introduced to the public with support from Brown which included a concert for 2,000 Buffalo middle school students and an evening reception for CGLI donors at Kleinhans Music Hall. Since the CGLI’s launch, the initiative has grown its capacity-building efforts to foster philanthropy across diverse communities and work to improve the lives of youth of color living in low-income communities. Through the CGLI’s opportunity programs, such as Success Looks Like Me, the initiative has managed to reach more than 6,000 youth in Western New York through various efforts that provides access to people, places and experiences that help youth achieve positive life goals.

Brown appeared for Success Looks Like Me through a program partnership with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO). Brown will also perform Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in concert with the BPO and Kevin Deas on Friday, May 13, 2016 and Saturday, May 14, 2016.

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