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2023 Boston Arts Academy Honors

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Dates:Saturday, October 14, 2023 - Sunday, October 15, 2023
Hours:6:00 pm - 12:00 am
Cost:$$$$ see below
Category:Arts & Culture
Boston Arts Academy Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization that raises essential funds to augment the Boston Arts Academy budget, will host its annual BAA Honors event on Saturday, October 14th at the Intercontinental Hotel.

This year’s event will be the capstone to Boston Arts Academy’s (BAA) 25th Anniversary year.

BAA Honors 2023 will feature a weekend of celebration: Boston Arts Academy Foundation’s major event of the year will be hosted on Saturday, October 14, 2023 from 6:00 p.m. to midnight, and feature honoree awards, special guest appearances, student and alumni performances, dinner, dancing and an exciting live auction!

The next day,on Sunday, October 15, 2023 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., guests will enjoy a lively brunch featuring a series of special guest musical performances and a fashion show.

This year the event will be hosted by two-time Academy Award winner and Springfield native Ruth Carter.

In March, 2023 Ruth Carter became the first black female to win two Oscars, winning for costume design for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Carter is a member of the Boston Arts Academy Foundation’s Board of Directors.

The event honors community leaders and world-renowned artists, while celebrating BAA’s talented and deserving students.

It will feature live performances from students and alumni, dinner and dancing, and a live auction.

Over three decades in film, television, and theater, Carter has earned seventy credits and collaborated with prolific directors, including Spike Lee, Steven Spielberg, Ava DuVernay, and Ryan Coogler.

Carter’s costumes based on real and imaginative characters provide an arc to the narratives of African Americans from Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X, What’s Love Got To Do With It, Amistad, The Butler, Marshall, Selma, Dolemite Is My Name, Coming 2 America to Black Panther:Wakanda Forever.

Her devotion to retraining the eye to see beauty through costume design and telling stories that enrich the humanity of the Black experience cements her legacy as a preeminent voice and expert on period genres and Afro aesthetics.

Each year the Boston Arts Academy Foundation recognizes several honorees for their artistic and philanthropic achievements at BAA Honors.

This year’s honorees have been announced for the October 14 event:

Lifetime Achievement Award - Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, Massachusetts State Treasurer and Receiver General.

Goldberg has been the Treasurer of Massachusetts since 2015, when she quickly became one of the most well-known politicians in the state.

After graduating from Boston University and serving on the Board of Selectmen for the town of Brookline for several years, Goldberg has found her true calling as State Treasurer.

Prior to her political career, she worked closely with charities such as Adoptions with Love and the Greater Boston Food Bank.

Dance Honoree - Keenan Cooks, choreographer to the stars.

Since getting his chance working on a BET commercial, Keenan has taken off, becoming one of the up-and-coming stars in the business.

He has since choreographed for Cardi B, Lizzo, Meek Mill, David Guetta, J Balvin and many others.

He is truly one of the superstars of choreography.

Fashion Honoree - Brazilian-American fashion designer, Sinesia Karol.

Growing up with art, music and a mother who handmade all of their family’s clothing, Karol’s interest in design was inevitable.

After becoming philanthropically involved in the art and fashion communities of both Boston and Brazil, she quickly learned of the market demand for a swimwear line that caters to these women.

She has been able to carve out a niche and her designs are only growing in popularity.

Visual Art Honoree - Bill Brett, award-winning photojournalist.

Brett is well known for his long career at The Boston Globe.

A Dorchester native, Brett was inducted into the Dorchester Hall of Fame on St. Patrick’s Day weekend 2017 at a fundraising event for the Mary Ann Brett Food Pantry, named for his mother.

His work can be seen regularly on the print pages and online platforms of The Globe as well as online at and through his own active social media.

Music Honoree - Panos Panay, President of the Recording Academy.

Panay is an esteemed entrepreneur, executive, and author who has profoundly impacted the music industry.

With prior experience as the Senior Vice President of Global Strategy & Innovation at Berklee College of Music, Panos founded Sonicbids, revolutionizing how independent artists connect with music promoters.

He also established the Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship, empowering aspiring musicians with the tools for success.

TV + Film Honoree - Award-winning writer, producer & director, Kasi Lemmons.

Lemmons is one of the most powerful voices of our time.

Her first feature, “Eve’s Bayou,” is considered one of the essential works of the 1990s and in 2017 was selected for preservation in the Library of Congress's National Film Registry.

Her first libretto, “Fire Shut Up In My Bones,” composed by Terence Blanchard, opened The Metropolitan Opera’s ’21-’22 season, the first opera by an African-American composer and librettist ever performed at The Met.

Her most recent film, “Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” opened Christmas ’22 and was #1 on Netflix during its debut weekend.

Civic Responsibility Honoree - Global biotechnical company, Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

Vertex invests heavily in scientific innovation to create transformative medicines for people with serious diseases.

The company has multiple approved medicines that treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF) — a rare, life-threatening genetic disease — and has several ongoing clinical and research programs in CF.

Through the nonprofit charitable foundation, The Vertex Foundation, the company seeks to improve the lives of people with serious diseases and in its communities through education, innovation, and health programs.

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