Music icon Dionne Warwick graced a private function at Café Milano in Georgetown to benefit Bowie State University as a prelude to the unveiling of the newly named Dionne Warwick Theater in the Fine and Performing Arts Center at BSU.
The fundraising dinner, hosted by Franco Nuschese, owner of Café Milano and president of the Georgetown Entertainment Group LLC., and Donald Hoffman, president and CEO of EXCEL Services Corporation, allowed Ms. Warwick to introduce some of her friends to BSU and the efforts of our performing arts program to cultivate future artists.
Among the special guests were Doug E. Fresh and gospel singer BeBe Winans, along with CNN’s Abby Phillip, host of Inside Politics Sunday, as the program emcee. Ms. Warwick sang a few of her classic hits and BeBe Winans also performed. President Aminta Breaux and other key persons from BSU were also in attendance.
The fundraiser set the stage for the hundreds of Dionne Warwick fans and supporters who gathered at the Fine and Performing Arts Center the following day for the unveiling of the Dionne Warwick Theater. It is the only performing arts venue in the world that bears her name. The program featured BSU fine arts students honoring Ms. Warwick by performing several of her hit songs. BeBe Winans also sang Amazing Grace to mark the occasion.
A host of other celebrities, which included Phylicia Rashad, Debbie Allen and Tom Selleck among others, also honored Warwick through video messages.
The connection between Warwick and Bowie State, the first HBCU in Maryland, has been cemented. The Dionne Warwick Theater is now poised to host concerts, plays and other performances with her name elevating the venue to another level.