Ralph Ellison Foundation Gala set for Feb. 24

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Ralph Ellison Foundation has announced that 2018’s “A Night With Ralph Ellison” gala will take place Saturday, February 24 at the Oklahoma History Center’s Devon Great Hall, 800 Nazih Zudhi Drive, in Oklahoma City.
From 6 – 9 p.m., the annual gala celebration will feature a three-course wine dinner along with an evening of music, literary readings, and dancing.

Speakers and presentations will highlight the Foundation’s development of projects and outreach efforts designed to honor Ralph Ellison and enhance the diversity of Oklahoma City in the areas of education, community development, artistic programming, and the pursuit of positive social change.
Born in Oklahoma City, Ralph Waldo Ellison was a Twentieth Century African American novelist, literary critic, and scholar. He is best known for his novel “Invisible Man,” which won the National Book Award in 1953.

The Foundation’s mission is to make a positive impact on the Oklahoma City community through Ellison’s legacy in the areas of literacy, music, and the arts. 
During the program the Foundation’s Shadow and Act Award will be presented to two leaders in the Oklahoma community whose work reflects the values of Ralph Ellison’s legacy.

“It will be an evening of movement,” said Michael Owens, the Foundation’s executive director and founder. “Ellison cultivated himself as a Renaissance man, so we wanted to put forward a program that harmonizes the many different aspects of Ellison’s life and work together—as a writer, musician, sculptor, cultural critic, and as a teacher. We want to honor Ellison in all of his complexity.”
The Ralph Ellison Foundation’s work includes projects such as conducting a reading clinic for area children, the launch of a new curriculum for teaching Ellison’s work in high schools, the presenting a series of creative writing workshops for adults, and continually fostering public conversations on race relations in America.
“Founded in 2014, our organization has enjoyed sustained growth, but we need your help to further our work,” said Owens. “If you can’t attend our gala, we hope you’ll take a moment to learn more about us and perhaps make a contribution. 
“Many thanks for all your support as we pursue our mission of enriching Oklahoma’s cultural landscape in the name of our state’s most significant literary pioneer,”

The Foundation’s long-term goals include plans for a multicultural center, along with a birthplace marker and statue that will honor Ellison in Oklahoma City.
Gala tickets are $75 and are available online through the Foundation’s website. http://ralphellisonfoundation.org/