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10 Dec 2012

Art Sanctuary’s ‘Passes the Baton’ and launches new ‘READ with Me: The MLK Project’

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December 10, 2012 Category: Local Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO: Valerie V. Gay


By Kiarra Solomon


On Friday, November 30, at The Pavilion at the Community College of Philadelphia, Art Sanctuary founder Lorene Cary formally passed the baton of leadership to new Executive Director, Valerie V. Gay.


Hundreds came out for ‘Passing the Baton’ event, which was hosted by QVC’s Rachel Boesing. Guests were treated to awesome performances by Kùlú Mèlé African Dance & Drum Ensemble, in addition to the food and fun. “This evening represents for us the launch of the next wave of art sanctuary. It’s kind of like graduation,” said new Executive Director Valerie Gay.


In addition to the celebration, Valerie Gay launched Art Sanctuary’s ‘READ with Me: The MLK Project’, with a video of Philadelphians from all walks of life reading an excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s brilliant ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’.


Written in 1963, and often labeled the most important document of the civil rights era, the letter, which emphasizes the inter-connection of social ills and their healing, is also a rallying call to action in a time of violent racial tension and division, and remains timely. Art Sanctuary is inviting people from across the Philadelphia region to join them in reading and discussing the letter.



“At the end of the day it’s about bringing art to our community and bridging our communities, that’s what the Art Sanctuary strives to do. This next wave of that work is very exciting to me”, said Gay.


Proceeds from Friday’s event will support the Lorene Cary Legacy Fund, which will provide working capital for the organization. For more information about the ‘READ with Me Project’, or to support the Art Sanctuary in their other initiatives please visit

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