New Village Arts Center Stage To Be Named In Honor Of Music Legend Ray Charles

New Village Arts (NVA), North County’s cultural hub, is proud to announce that with the support of Dr. Valerie Ervin and The Ray Charles Foundation, as of December 2, 2023, the stage at NVA will be named the Ray Charles Stage.

Ray Charles was one of the most important and influential musicians in the world, and his legacy continues through the work of the foundation in his name. The vision of The Ray Charles Foundation is to instill in the youth of America that “there is no challenge too great one cannot overcome.”

The programs of New Village Arts, including the Dea Hurston Fellowship and The Mainstage Players, which work to make adventurous artistic experiences available to all members of our community, align with the vision of The Ray Charles Foundation.

New Village Arts’ Founder and Executive Artistic Director Kristianne Kurner was thrilled with the news and said, “All of us at New Village Arts are absolutely honored and so very proud to feature the Ray Charles Stage. We literally held a dance party with the staff when we received the news.”

She went on to say, “The business of non-profit arts is so challenging right now, and this gift from The Ray Charles Foundation has been a shining light for NVA. We promise the work we do on the Ray Charles Stage will be worthy of this great honor, and we are delighted to start that work with our original holiday musical by Dea Hurston, 1222 OCEANFRONT: A BLACK FAMILY CHRISTMAS.”

From NVA’s new Managing Director, Dave Eassa: “The immense support from the Ray Charles Foundation affirms the necessity of our work and the current moment here at New Village Arts. Over the last 22 years, NVA has built platforms for artistic excellence and exploration, spurring connection, building community, and fostering individual and collective growth in Southern California.

We are privileged to now house the Ray Charles Stage, honoring the legacy of Ray Charles while supporting future generations of performers to grace the Ray Charles Stage for decades to come.”

The official naming event will be held from 6PM-7:30PM on Saturday, December 2nd, immediately followed by the opening night of NVA’s original holiday musical 1222 OCEANFRONT: A BLACK FAMILY CHRISTMAS, written by Dea Hurston.

Going forward, all the professional theatrical productions at New Village Arts will take place in the RAY CHARLES STAGE in the CONRAD PREBYS THEATER at the DEA HURSTON NEW VILLAGE ARTS CENTER. NVA still actively fundraising and other naming opportunities are available.

For more information on New Village Arts, visit the website here and follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

See you there, San Diego!

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