William E. Pajaud
William "Mickey" Stevenson
This year's event will be hosted by 94.7 FM The Wave's Pat Prescott and be marked with special recognition to three esteemed honorees: brilliant watercolorist William E. Pajaud will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, former Motown A&R legend and songwriterWilliam "Mickey" Stevenson will be saluted with the Tom Bradley Unsung Hero Award and CAAM's neighbor the California Science Center will be honored with the Community Partner Award. The evening will also see the unveiling of CAAM's first commemorative collector's coin. Dinner will be served at 8:00 p.m. with entertainment under the direction ofCornelius Grant with special tribute performances during dinner by a cappella vocal sensations, Sizzle followed by a rockin' party in the Club CAAM Lounge to music by dance and jazz musicians the Timezone Ensemble. At the last gala homage was paid to Muhammad Ali, Howard Bingham and KJLH Radio.
"An Artful Evening at CAAM, expresses the sentiment for this annual night of festive art and renewed commitment to saluting the vibrant achievers and friendly supporters that make our community special," remarked executive director, Charmaine Jefferson. "From our educational Gallery of Discovery' depicting the unimaginable impact of an involuntary migration, to the MacArthur Fellowship endowed artistry on display in Our Love of John T. Scott to an exploration in How We Roll of the cultural influences in surfing, rollerskating and skateboarding, CAAM is vigorously committed to representing all the various nuances that make up the art, history and culture of African Americans. Times may be tough, but our art and culture is strong and nurturing....CAAM has seen an incredible 2010 that has certainly been art full."
Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, William Pajaud's engaging watercolor, pastel and acrylic paintings and prints quietly chronicle black America's quotidian triumphs and trials. Pajaud, who celebrated his 85th birthday earlier this year, is one of the preeminent living African American artists. But he has said that he is just as proud of the 30 years he spent at the behest of the black-owned business Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company, collecting the work and promoting the careers of many of America's greatest black artists. His vision catalyzed an awareness of theretofore unnoticed African-American cultural contributions and produced a new generation of black scholars, journalists and art professionals, providing a body of work to analyze appreciate and promote -- and all while continuing to refine and define his own colorful artistic style and contibution to the imagery of life.
Tom Bradley Unsung Hero Award honoree, William "Mickey" Stevenson was a songwriter and record producer for the Motown Records group of labels from the early days of Berry Gordy's company until 1967. Stevenson was head of the A&R department at Motown during the company's "glory" years of the mid-1960s when artists such as The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Four Tops, and Martha & the Vandellas came to the fore. He was also responsible for establishing the company's in-house studio band, which came to be known as The Funk Brothers. He wrote and produced many hit records for Motown, some with co-writer and producer Ivy Jo Hunter, including "Dancing in the Streets" Takes Two", "Ask the Lonely", and "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted.
Community Partner Awardee the California Science Center is located next door to CAAM in Los Angeles' Exposition Park. Named by Forbes.com as the most popular museum destination in Southern California, the California Science Center has received more than 17.5 million visitors since opening in February 1998. The Science Center offers permanent and changing exhibits and related educational programming through several galleries spanning more than 400,000 sq. feet from the "World of Life," exhibit that probes the commonalities of the living world, from the single-celled bacterium to the 100-trillion-celled human being; to "Creative World" which examines the ways people employ technology to meet their needs for transportation, communication and structures; to an array of items on view in the SKETCH Foundation Air and Space Gallery which introduces visitors to the aerospace industry and to the exploration of the stars and the planets. In Spring 2010, the Science Center opened Ecosystems featuring an unprecedented blend of live plants and animals, and hands-on science exhibits in 11 immersive environments - unique among science centers in the United States. For these accomplishments alone they are deserving of recognition for their contribution to science and education. But it is their committed leadership in the rejuvenation of Exposition Park from the landscaping to the parking lot, to their founding of the Dr. Theodore T. Alexander Science Center Charter School as a part of LAUSD in 2004, and their repeated willingness to partner with CAAM on everything from legislative considerations to recent collaborations to provide special tour docents for CSC's presentation of Tavis Smiley's America I AM, that CAAM salutes the California Science Center and their expression of being a true Community Partner.
The gala's major contributors include lead sponsor Wells Fargo Bank, supporting sponsor Bank of America, with additional support from Disney, Target, Sempra Energy, Broadway Federal Bank, Union Bank, Diageo, San Joaquin Wine Company and Coca Cola.
Chartered by the California State Legislature in 1977, the California African American Museum, located in Exposition Park, is a state supported institution. In addition to its permanent collection, CAAM hosts specially borrowed and self-curated exhibitions, free public and school-age education programs, and tours CAAM-owned exhibitions throughout California and the nation. Admission to CAAM is free and open to the public, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm. Parking located at 39th and Figueroa Streets is $8.