Thanks to a financial donation from Chicago native and NBC actor Harry Lennix, more than a dozen students from the James R. Doolittle School in Bronzeville enjoyed an Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre performance at the Auditorium Theatre over the weekend.
"I heard about Alvin Ailey," sixth-grader Tyveon Falkner said, :but I've never actually seen them."
The school, which recently added dance classes to the curriculum, had established an online fundraiser to buy the tickets for dance students, but when Lennix heard about the story, he offered to pay and urged the school to use that money for something else.
"It just seemed like a no-brainer," explained Lennix. "If some children, some students from Doolittle East School wanted to go to Alvin Ailey, that we would send them."
Doolittle Elementary School in Bronzeville is just a few blocks away from Harry Lennix’s planned theatre complex, the Lillian Marcie Center. The groundbreaking is planned for September.
"We have the commitment of the state, of the city, of private philanthropy," Lennix said. "We are working with a team of fundraisers and with the good intentions of the entire community."
Ald. Sophia King of Chicago’s 4th Ward, says, “We are so happy to have Harry Lennix, not only to come home and put resources into our community, but do it in the heart of Bronzeville, which is spectacular."