Grand Rapids Symphony to honor community leaders with online gala, concert

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Debra Perry and Majestic Praise will perform during the Grand Rapids Symphony's Celebration of Soul: Soul of the City. Courtesy Grand Rapids Symphony

The Grand Rapids Symphony is combining an annual concert and gala into one online event this year.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, the symphony will host Celebration of Soul: Soul of the City.

Marvin Sapp Courtesy Grand Rapids Symphony

The combined event will include honoring recipients of the Dr. MaLinda P. Sapp Legacy Award and musical performances by the Grand Rapids Symphony, Debra Perry and Majestic Praise, and Marvin Sapp.

The Dr. MaLinda P. Sapp Legacy Award is given to individuals and organizations in the community who have emphasized and celebrated the importance of cultural awareness and inclusion in West Michigan.

The recipients will be the Grand Rapids Black Nurses Association; Dr. Keli Christopher, Ph.D., founder and executive director of STEM Greenhouse; and Jermale and Anissa Eddie, owners of Malamiah Juice Bar.

The Grand Rapids Black Nurses Association provides a platform for nurses to advocate for African Americans to have access to the highest quality of care. It partners with local organizations and providers to offer health and wellness seminars, resources, workshops, scholarships, mentors and many other educational services to address health care disparity in communities of color.

STEM Greenhouse is an organization that Christopher founded in 2014 to prepare children in kindergarten to 12th grade for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The Eddies launched Malamiah Juice Bar in 2013 to make juices and smoothies more accessible in the community and to provide jobs for area youth. They have partnered with Our Community’s Children, Jubilee Jobs, the Urban League of West Michigan, amongst other organizations.

The Celebration of Soul event will support the Mosaic Scholarship Program, which allows African American and Latinx teenage students to receive one-on-one lessons from a Grand Rapids Symphony musician, including the use of a musical instrument, music, supplies and free tickets to the Grand Rapids Symphony concerts.

Tickets for Celebration of Soul: Soul of the City are $75 and are available for purchase on the Grand Rapids Symphony’s website.

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