It’s the first performing arts venue named in her honor!
Dionne Warwick is a multi-Grammy award winning artist whose musical career spans more than 60 years. Her influence on music and popular culture is undeniable and while she has many accolades, she’ll soon receive one that is a first for her. This week, Bowie State University unveiled its plans to rename its Fine and Performing Arts Center in Warwick’s honor, something that even caught the 82-year-old pop star by surprise.
"I really don't have the proper words, I really don't. It is quite overwhelming to be worthy enough of something of this nature to happen," Warwick told WJLA news.
According to WTOP news, this is the first performing arts venue ever named in Warwick’s honor, something the legend doesn’t take lightly. She will be focused on helping Bowie State bolster their music department and bring shows to the University. Warwick said she was elated that they chose her, feeling that such a prestigious honor has now cemented her legacy in history.
“I said you have got to be kidding me, why would they want to do that. The explanation was you deserve it, so here I am…I certainly hope that after we cut that ribbon, I am able to live up to the expectations that are put on me now…Not only is it keeping my name alive, but it is keeping my music alive--- which is very important," she explained.
A ceremony is scheduled to take place with corporate leaders, politicians, local leaders and celebrity guests including BeBe Winans and Doug E. Fresh set to attend. Tewodross Williams, chair of Bowie State’s Fine Arts Department, spoke of the importance of the renaming and why it will inspire generations of artists.
“Warwick represents so much not only in music but her philanthropy, in terms of what she has done for AIDS awareness. She is an activist, performer and it will inspire our students in music, production and entertainment” said Williams.
Warwick hopes it will, sending a message to those students looking to chase big dreams the way she did.
“Don’t quit. You have to stay in people’s faces. There will be a lot of ‘no’s.’ That goes with the territory. But what follows no is a yes. Stay on the path,” said Warwick.
The naming ceremony for the Dionne Warwick Theater at Bowie State University's Fine and Performing Arts Center is set to take place this Saturday, April 1st at 11am.
Congratulations Ms. Warwick! Because of you, we can!
Cover photo: Bowie State University set to rename theater in honor of legendary singer Dionne Warwick/Photo Courtesy of David Vance/Dionne Warwick/NPR/Bowie State University