New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne

Singer-actress Lena Horne, 76, is shown in New York City, April 7, 1994. (AP Photo/Garth Vaughan)

The venerated Times Square concert venue The Town Hall has created a new award to honor arts and activism, a prize to be named after Lena Horne.

The Lena Horne Prize for Artists Creating Social Impact will recognize those who “promote awareness and create social change.” The inaugural winner will be honored in February.

The prize’s advisory board includes Horne’s daughter, Gail Lumet Buckley, as well as Harry Belafonte, Billy Porter, Judy Collins, Deesha Dyer, Roxane Gay, Bob Santelli, Bruce Cohen, Jose Antonio Vargas.

Lumet Buckley says her Tony- and Grammy-winning mother didn’t chase fame. “It was about advocating for equality and justice and I am so proud that her legacy will continue through the Lena Horne Prize.”

Prize was created by Michael Matuza, Jeb Gutelius and The Town Hall.

— By Mark Kennedy, AP Entertainment Writer