ABOVE: Adraon and Traci Greene, Gena and Mathew Knowles
Gena and Mathew Knowles hosted a private party at that downtown hi-rise Saturday, September 28 th for Lab Performing Arts Initiative (LPAI), Inc. in support of the 2019 production of Houston’s Urban Nutcracker (HUN). The guest list included “Who’s Who in Black in Houston.”
The private event included entertainment by the leading cast of Houston’s Urban Nutcracker Mykiah Goree and Alycia Williams. The leading performers provided a snippet of what to expect from this year’s production of Houston’s Urban Nutcracker. DJ Supastar from Houston’s 93.7 The Beat was on hand to keep the crowd moving playing some of her favorite tunes. Event sponsors included Chevron, Hennessey, Dr. and Mrs. Basham, Darrell Armstrong, Telisa N.
Toliver and Cydonii V. Miles.
Gena Knowles gave a heartfelt speech as she discussed why she supports the Lab Performing Arts Initiative. Gena’s sister the late Tiffany Smith introduced Gena to the organization in 2018. The sisters committed to supporting the organizations and hosting an annual fundraiser. Tiffany Smith lost her battle with breast cancer earlier this year. In honor of her sister, Gena has committed to lending her time and talents to the Lab Performing Arts Initiative, in honor of her sister, Tiffany Smith.
Gena Knowles who spearheaded the fundraiser with the support of her husband, music mogul Mathew Knowles, believes that in order for art to remain a significant part of our society, we must pass it along. “My sister and I grew up watching and loving the San Francisco Nutcracker Ballet in the Oakland Bay Area. The idea of infusioning an old holiday Nutcracker classic with a version of cultural diversity, while exploring the proud diverse heritage of the city of Houston, is amazing…and Traci Greene has delivered!”
In 2018 HUN was so popular that, after selling-out two performances in 48 hours, Lab Performing Arts Initiative added an additional performance to meet demand. Houston’s Urban Nutcracker delivers a twist on the original holiday production by showcasing Houston’s diverse ethnic culture and theatrical talent. The mission of this production is to provide a cultural experience through artistic expression that builds confidence, inspires hope, transforms lives, and promotes camaraderie among the citizens of Houston.
The 2019 production is Friday, December 20 th @ 7:00pm and Sunday, December 20 th @ 2:00pm at the Stafford Centre. Tickets are on sale now at www.houstonurbannutcracker.org
The Lab Performing Arts Initiative (LPAI), Inc, a 501(c)3 organization was founded in 2013 by Traci Greene is designed to enrich the lives of under-represented young people in the world of dance. Many students have been accepted to some of the most prestigious dance programs in America including, the American Ballet Theater’s Summer Intensive, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center’s Summer Intensive, and the Debbie Allen Dance Academy’s Summer Intensive,
just to name a few. For more information visit www.labperformingarts.com.