ROCHESTER, N.Y. — May 01, 2023 — The Swillburg Neighborhood Association is proud to announce the dedication of a sculpture in honor of jazz musician Blanche Calloway. The dedication will take place on Saturday, June 17, 2023, at Otto Henderberg Park, near the site of former 14 Sycamore St, where Blanche Calloway lived. The event will run from 12-3 p.m., with the dedication ceremony taking place at 1 p.m.
The dedication ceremony will include several speakers, including Mayor Malik Evans, Simeon Banister from the Rochester Area Community Foundation, Sara Scott from City Parks and Recreation, Eric Van Dussen from ESL, and daughter of Cab Calloway, Cecelia Calloway.
Blanche Calloway, the sister of legendary jazz musician Cab Calloway, was an accomplished performer, bandleader, and composer in her own right. Blanche was a trailblazer for women in the music industry, and as a Black woman, her achievements were even more remarkable. Despite the odds, she made a name for herself as a jazz performer, and her career spanned several decades.
Blanche’s contributions to the world of music have often been overlooked due to the historical underrepresentation of women and Black musicians. The dedication of the sculpture is a way to honor her legacy and ensure that her accomplishments are recognized and celebrated.
The sculpture was created by Rochester artist Stacey Mrva and depicts Blanche in performance, capturing her dynamic energy and her love for music. The plaza where the sculpture will be located was created by stone mason Mike Santini, who used local stone to create a beautiful space that complements the park’s natural surroundings.
This project was made possible by the Swillburg Neighborhood Association’s major financial contributors, the Rochester Area Community Foundation and ESL. Their support has made it possible to bring this project to fruition and honor Blanche’s legacy.
“We are thrilled to honor Blanche Calloway with this sculpture and celebration,” said Joshua F. Jacobs spokesperson for Swillburg Neighborhood Association. “Blanche was a true pioneer in the world of music, and we are proud to bring attention to her legacy and to the vibrant history of Swillburg. We wish to thank the City of Rochester for working with us to make this a reality, and we look forward to celebrating Blanche’s life and career with the community.”
The event will feature live music from Uptown Groove, food from Bubby’s BBQ, and special event merchandise. The event is free and open to the public, and we encourage everyone to attend and help us celebrate the life and career of this remarkable woman. Parking available at Pinnacle School No. 35 on Field Street.
For more information about the dedication ceremony or to learn more about the Swillburg Neighborhood Association, please contact us at or http://www.swillburg.com.
Swillburg Neighborhood Association
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