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The 2012 Wright Gala Benefit: For The Love of Literacy - Museum Ups Ante with Second Annual Event, Audience and Literacy Outreach

Promising to surpass last year’s Dance Theatre of Harlem: 40 Years of Firsts gala in both style and fundraising substance, the 2012 Wright Benefit Gala, entitled “La Bibliothèque,” takes place Saturday, September 8 at 7:30 pm at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, located at 315 East Warren Avenue in Midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center.  This year’s theme, “For the Love of Literacy,” highlights the Museum’s summer programming and the exhibit, Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney, currently on display. 

The Gala caps several months of literacy programming centered on the exhibit, Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney, on loan from the Norman Rockwell Museum.  This included tours and workshops involving the Museum’s recently opened Children’s Discovery Room, a summer camp program with Detroit Public Schools that served 3,800 children, and the Jerry Pinkney Celebrity Children’s Book Fair that included over 2,000 book giveaways, courtesy of First Book.

“We’ve been thrilled with the response to the Witness exhibit, and the events around it,” says Juanita Moore, President & CEO of The Wright Museum.  “The Gala, and the fantastic sponsors who’ve stepped forward with their support, have made it possible for us to touch thousands of children this summer with the magic of words, imagery and storytelling, which we hope will lead to a lifelong love of reading and literary discovery.”

The gala fundraiser takes place Saturday, September 8, 2012, from 7:30 pm until 1 am.  Promising to be the ultimate club and literary lounge experience, the event includes entertainment, open bar, fine dining, Red Carpet commentary by Taryn Asher of Fox 2 News and Chuck Bennett of The Detroit News, and the Hip Patrons Party, which begins at 9 pm.

The Gala continues the audience outreach that made last year’s 40 Years of Firsts event a major success, raising over $400,000.  Yvette Bing, First Lady of the City of Detroit and member of the Board of Trustees for The Wright Museum, assembled a powerful host committee of influential women who are representative of the diversity and idealism of this outreach effort.  Committee co-chairs include Jo Coleman, Jennifer Fischer, Cynthia Ford, and Kim Reuss; committee members include Betty Brooks, Serena Cockrell, Retha Douglas, Linda Forte, Mary Anne Gargaro, Linda Gillum, Sharon James, Marion Jones, Florine Mark, Vivian Pickard, Glenda Price, Ph.D., Suzanne Shank, Judith Sims, Barbara K. Smith, Ph.D., Dr. Lorna Thomas, and Roberta Hughes Wright Ph.D., widow of Museum founder Dr. Charles H. Wright.

“I was excited that this group of women, who helped make last year’s gala a great success, returned to work with us again this year,” says Yvette Bing, who is again chairing the committee in 2012.  “Last year’s event became the talk of the town, and the 2012 literacy gala, which supports an issue dear to my heart, will be the one event you simply cannot miss.”

Tickets for the Gala start at $250, which includes the Gala and Hip Patrons Party, or $75 each for the Hip Patrons Party, only.  Additionally, a variety of sponsorship opportunities are available.  Complete information and online purchasing are available at  Proceeds from the Gala support the Museum’s ongoing educational programming.

Sponsors of the 2012 Wright Gala: For the Love of Literacy Benefit include Title Presenting Sponsor Ford Motor Company Fund; Presenting Exhibition Sponsor General Motors Foundation; Presenting Gala Sponsors Yvette and Dave Bing, Jo Coleman and The Culinary Studio, Jennifer and David Fischer and The Suburban Collection, Cynthia and Edsel Ford, and Kim and Mark Reuss and General Motors; and Literacy and Education Sponsor Bank of America.

About the exhibition, Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney

Organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney features over 140 works by Mr. Pinkney, who was recently presented with the prestigious Caldecott Medal, awarded to the illustrator of the most distinguished American picture book for children.  The recipient of five Caldecott Honor Medals, five Coretta Scott King Awards, four Coretta Scott King Honor Awards, and a lifetime achievement award from the Society of Illustrators in New York, the artist has also served on the Board of the National Endowment for the Arts, and on the National Postal Service’s Citizen Stamp Advisory Council.

Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney, sponsored locally by the General Motors Foundation, is on display through September 9, 2012, and is free with museum admission, which is $8 for adults (ages 13-61), and $5 for seniors (62+) and youth (3-12).  Admission is free for Museum members and children under 3. The Wright Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 am until 5 pm, and on Sundays from 1 until 5 pm.

About The Wright Museum

Founded in 1965 and located at 315 East Warren Avenue in Midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American experience.  For more information, please visit

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Founded in 1965 and located in the heart of Midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American experience. The Museum provides learning opportunities, exhibitions, programs and events based on collections and research that explore the diverse history and culture of African Americans and their African origins.