(NEWARK, NJ) -- On Thursday, December 8th, Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District (LPCCD) celebrated its official 20th Anniversary of the non-profit organization at the nearly 100-year-old Newark Symphony Hall, New Jersey’s largest and oldest Black-led arts and entertainment venue. It was a night of culture, edge and elegance for all that attended.
Guests arrived on the Black Carpet for photo opps and then wandered through “The Lagniappe Experience” illuminated catwalk through the mysterious drapery arriving to a first-time ever gala experience on the main stage at Newark Symphony Hall that has played host to Gladys Knight, The O’Jays, Richard Pryor, Queen Latifah, Dick Gregory, Marilia Mendonca, Vice Ganda, Beverly Sills, Patti LaBelle, Robert Merrill and Leontyne Price.
LPCCD’s The Lagniappe Experience: Dîner en Noir et Blanc (in Black & White) was inspired by the Black & White Ball of 1966 dubbed “The Party of The Century” and sprinkled with Black creole culture of New Orleans and a little “Brick City” edge. Guests were requested to wear combinations of Black and White with pops of The Lagniappe Experience’s signature purple. Upon arrival, guests enjoyed cocktails by Uncle Nearest American Whiskey, which recently announced that sales exceeded $100 million through October 2022, with an on-track forecast to more than double that total by the end of 2023, becoming the best-selling Black American-founded, owned, and led spirit brand in U.S. history. Attendees dined on cuisine by Newark born and mission aligned Chef Ameer Natson, who recently launched “Scratch Kitchen”, a culinary arts job training program.
The silent auction included exclusive excursions such as Alma Explores’ “A Taste of Mexican Wine Country”, A Jazzy Soul VIP Backstage Pass Weekend at the Biggest Jazz Festival in Newport, RI (also known as the Newport Jazz Festival), and the Nearest Green Distillery Guided Tour and Nashville experience. Bidders competed in the silent auction for items that ranged in value from $650 to $4,000 and included one-of-a-kind or limited-edition pieces from actor and visual artist Tyson Hall (“Raising Kanan”, “Godfather of Harlem”), High Street Original by Lynette LaShawn, artisan Denise Toney, visual artist & muralist Gregg Banks, self-taught new voice Armstrong MP and galleries Cement Gallery and Artfront Galleries.
Artist Gregg Banks signs artwork for auction at LPCCD’s The Lagniappe Experience at Newark Symphony Hall
Event sponsors and partners included Prudential Financial, PSEG, Hanini Group, Fairstead, New Jersey Economic Development Authority, Greater Newark LISC, Chase Bank, Audible, Inglesino, Webster, Wyciskala & Taylor, LLC, Uncle Nearest American Whiskey, and Fedway. Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District’s The Lagniappe Experience: Dîner en Noir et Blanc (in Black & White) was produced by its official lead agency BRND Marketing Group LLC.
Lagniappe Awards Honorees 2022 included: Aisha Glover, Vice President of Urban Innovation at the Global Center for Urban Development, Audible; Tai Cooper, Chief Community Development Officer, New Jersey Economic Development Authority; Theresa Marshall, Founding Member Board of Trustees, LPCCD and President, Adventus II, Inc.; Robin Shorter, Senior Director of. Community Engagement, Integrity House; Jorge Cruz, Executive Director, Newark LISC; fayemi shakur, Director of Cultural Affairs, City of Newark; Kai Campbell, Envisionary, Walla Food & Beverage Group; Elnardo J. Webster II., Attorney at Law, Partner, Inglesino, Webster, Wyciskala & Taylor, LLC; and Melissa Prashad, Community Manager, Chase Bank.
The Lagniappe Experience, which translates to “a little something special”, was the 20th Anniversary of LPCCD and kickoff to an 18-month fundraising campaign that will benefit the non-profit’s capacity and work in Arts & Culture, Green Jobs Training, Community Engagement and serve to support the 2023-2024 Capital Campaign and help operationalize the Lincoln Park Façade facility once completed.
To bid in the virtual auction or make donations of any amount, go to The Lagniappe Experience donation site here through January 30th, 2023. For more information about LPCCD, check them out on Facebook and bookmark the nonprofit’s website which will relaunch in early 2023 to coincide with the 18-month campaign.
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