By John McDevitt
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This year’s Marian Anderson Award Gala honoring James Earl Jones will be held tonight in Philadelphia. The award honors artists whose leadership benefits humanity. Community investment programs and grants are also part of the program.
In the early 1900’s singer Marian Anderson of Philadelphia had financial challenges to foster her music education, a situation that is very much a reality today for many youth, like 18-year-old opera and musical theater singer Christian Eason of Germantown. He is one of 17 high school recipients of the Marian Anderson Young Artist Study-Grant.
Christian will use the $1,500 for things like music lessons.
“I plan on using the talent that I have to really move forward and be successful and use that success to give back to the community, because if it wasn’t for the community giving back to me I would be where I am today.”
And Eason has been selected to sing at the gala tonight honoring James Earl Jones.
Since its inception in 1998, the Award program has provided more than $500,000 in free public programs, residencies, commissions and grants to young artists.