Boston Arts Academy Honorees include Michael Bivins and Maura Tierney.

Boston Arts Academy Celebrates 20th Anniversary with a 3-day Extravaganza Hosted by Malik Yoba.

Boston is the self-proclaimed sports capital of the world, but did you know it's also the home of one of the best performing arts schools in the country?  The Boston Arts Academy is the only public funded high school for visual and performing arts in the city. This weekend Boston Arts Academy celebrate its 20th anniversary with a three-day celebration. 

Boston Arts Academy

According to a statement released by BAA, “the school’s mission is to prepare a diverse community of aspiring artists to be successful in college, professional careers, and as engaged members of their communities.”  

The school celebrates the diversity of Boston residents while leveling the playing field for many students who may not otherwise explore and cultivate their artistic dreams in a formal setting. BAA is one of the premier magnet schools in the country. It's ranked second in the state among performing arts high-schools, and 17th in the country. During the celebration students, faculty, alumni, and community leaders will gather to celebrate this momentous occasion.

Weekend Kickoff Reception

Students and faculty from the Boston Arts Academy (BAA) will celebrate the school’s 20th Anniversary with a weekend of events. The fun-filled extravaganza kicks off with dinner, dancing, and a cocktail reception at District Hall Friday night.  Two-time Screen Actors Guild Award winner, and Boston Arts Academy alum Diane Guerrero will attend the event. 

Boston Arts Academy 20th Anniversary Honors

The celebration will honor leaders from entertainment, art, and politics. Events for Saturday and Sunday will be held at the Seaport Hotel in Boston. 

On Saturday Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and First Lady Lauren Baker will serve as honorary co-chairs, while Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh will be on hand to accept the BAA’s Civic Responsibility Award. Boston native Michael Bivins, star of Bell Biv DeVoe and New Edition, will accept the award as Vocal Music Honoree. Golden Globe Winner Maura Tierney will accept the  award as Television and Film Honoree.  3-time NACCP Award winner  Malik Yoba will host the celebrity gala Saturday night. 

Silent Auction

BAA will conduct a silent auction during the First Annual Creative Black-Tie Dinner Saturday night. Attendees can bid on various experiences and prizes that range from lunch with Governor Baker, or Mayor Walsh to shopping experiences in exclusive boutiques, art, travel excursions, and sporting events. Check out the full list of auction items here.

BAA Foundation Executive Director Denella Clark recently spoke about the importance of combining fundraising activities with the 20th anniversary celebration. “For 20 years, BAA has provided the high-quality arts education to our student body, 70% of whom live below the poverty line. The anniversary serves as a perfect opportunity for us to celebrate our students’ achievements and express our deepest gratitude to our funders and supporters for BAA’s innovative arts and academic education.” 

Boston Arts Academy (BAA) is supported by Boston Arts Academy Foundation (BAAF), an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and raises between 35% and 40% of the school’s budget from private philanthropic sources. 

Jazz and Spiritual Brunch

The Jazz and Spirituals Brunch will take place from 10 am – 2pm  in the Plaza Ballroom of the Seaport Hotel.  The brunch hosted by BAA’s Advisory Council will feature the sound stylings of the school’s choirs. 

Music Mogul, SportyRich CEO, and Entertainer Michael Bivins

Michael Bivins Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images

Vocal Music Honoree Michael Bivins, has spent most of his life entertaining fans around the world. The living legend has won many awards and showered with countless accolades throughout his career with New Edition and Bell Biv DeVoe (BBD). In 2017 New Edition was honored with a BET Lifetime Achievement Award, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and served as co-producer on the New Edition biopic. 

In addition to his role with New Edition and BBD, the native Bostonian is credited with launching the careers of Boyz II MenAnother Bad Creation, MC Brains, 702, and the Beano Boyz Crew.

Recently the CEO of SportyRich Enterprises has been busy. He’s preparing to take his SportyRich Apparel clothing line into retail stores and getting his next collection ready for launch. Fans can also look forward to the addition of SportyRich Audio launching in full late this summer. 

It’s a good thing Bivins has mastered the art of the power-nap. The busy mogul will need to take a few extra power naps this summer with all he has on his plate. Besides his entrepreneurship endeavors with SportyRich, he and his wife Teasha recently welcomed their fourth child to the family, and he's planning tours with  BBD and RBRM (Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, and Mike). Both groups are offshoots of the supergroup New Edition. The New Edition performing tree also includes the solo careers of Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant, Johnny Gill, and the group Heads of State (Brown, Tresvant, and Gill). If that wasn't enough to keep him busy, plans are reportedly underway to celebrate two other milestones in the entertainer's life. Mike will celebrate his 50th birthday on August 10, he's also overseeing plans for the reopening of the basketball court named in his honor. The court is scheduled to open sometime this summer. 

Bivins’ career began when he and his friends Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant, Ricky Bell, and Ronnie DeVoe sang in talent shows around Boston. The audience liked New Edition so much that the talent show promoters gave offered them a recording contract despite coming in second place in the talent show. That break has kept Bivins on stages for over 30 years. His humble beginnings in the Roxbury area of Boston make him relatable to many of the students attending BAA. 

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Golden Globe WInner Maura Tierney

Maura Tierney is also a Boston native. The actress grew up in the Hyde Park District. The actress achieved critical acclaim early in a career as Abby Lockhart on the hit NBC series ER.

Her work on ER earned the actress her first Emmy nomination.  Tierney won a Golden Globe Award in 2016 for her work in the Showtime series The Affair. 

Tierney will accept the award as Television and Film Honoree. She’s won many awards and critical acclaim for her work in television and film over the course of her long and distinguished career. 

3-Time NAACP Winner Malik Yoba

3-time NAACP Award Winner Malik Yoba will oversee the celebration as Master of Ceremonies. Yorba is currently appearing in The Last O.G. with Cedric the Entertainer, Tracy Morgan,  Tiffany Haddish and Dante Hoagland. 

Other Honorees

The rest of the esteemed class of honorees include MacArthur FellowArt Activist Rick Lowe, Fashion Week founderJay Calderin, Visual Artist, Poet, and Psychotherapist Liz Kelner Pozen, and GE Foundation President Ann Klee. In addition, distinguished BAA alumni will be on hand, including Diane Guerrero, star of the award-winning Netflix show Orange is the New Black, and Belén Pereyra-Alem, dancer at the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater.

Kelner Pozen will accept the award for Visual Art Honoree. Calderin will accept the award as Fashion Design Honoree. Two Boston arts Academy alumni will also accept awards. Accepting the awards for Instrumental Music Honoree will be David Davidson, while Belén Pereyra-Alem will accept the award as Dance Honoree.