In 2006, the Grand Rapids Symphony created Celebration of Soul, an event to honor the accomplishments of individuals and organizations that celebrate the importance of diversity, inclusion and bridge building in West Michigan. The Grand Rapids Symphony’s commitment to establishing a diverse community reverberates in all the orchestra’s programs and services. This is reflected in the selection of diverse guest artists and conductors who embrace diversity, Symphony musicians who donate their time, as well as Symphony music education programs that serve schools in which arts education is a fraction of the curriculum.
As part of Celebration of Soul, the Dr. MaLinda P. Sapp Legacy Award was established to honor individuals and organizations for their on-going diversity efforts and accomplishments. The award celebrates an organization or person's distinguished leadership and on-going commitment to advancing engagement, inclusion and diversity. A recipient's is a leader that successfully models diversity and inclusion in their profession or industry. They are inspirational, consistent and innovative and encourage others to be culturally competent. The Dr. MaLinda P. Sapp Legacy Award gives the community the opportunity to recognize honorees for their commitment to diversity, education, and bridging cultural differences.
The 2012 Legacy Award Honorees:
Mary K. Hoodhood
Debra L. Perry
Peter M. Wege
On Saturday, March 3, 2012, the Grammy-nominated Grand Rapids Symphony continued its unique community collaboration by presenting the 11th annual “Symphony with Soul” Concert. For the 7th year, the concert was preceded by the Celebration of Soul dinner, including the Dr. MaLinda P. Sapp Legacy Awards presentation.