Category Archive: Sidney Poitier

Helen Cash Jackson: Arts Advocate & Visionary

Helen Cash Jackson, a pioneer advocate for multi-cultural NY arts funding and recognition. Mrs. Jackson joined the ancestors on Wednesday May 27th, after a long battle with cancer. Her home going ceremony in Harlem was attended by her colleagues and friends including Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick and Valerie Simpson of Ashford and Simpson.

Rainbows of monuments to Helen Cash Jackson’s impact, speckle the New York arts landscape and continue to influence what grows possible on global stages. With the stalwart elegance of a seasoned diplomat, Helen Cash Jackson carved out a revolution for arts of color and unique vision. Helen Cash Jackson’s powerful presence and nurturing precision could overwhelm the novice. Yet, as Woodie King Jr., theater director and producer of The New Federal Theatre, said of Jackson, “She understood and cared for us.” (NY Amsterdam News June 6. 2013)

Chuck Jackson and Smokie Robinson at Helen Cash Jackson’s Home-Going Ceremony June 5th, 2013 Benta’s Funeral Home, Harlem NYC

Rising through the ranks during the US Civil Rights Era, when the number of Black luminaries in the arts, politics or education was small yet mighty, her vision for a new future formed.

Backstage at NEC: Marie McKinney 28 Years Since Theatre 4 NYC

Negro Ensemble Company was exciting in those days at Theatre 4! Marie McKinney was NEC’s wardrobe supervisor and her costume shop was above the big flag, up the stairs on the second floor… Continue reading