BOARD MEMBERS p2

Sir Voza Rivers.jpg
Sir Voza Rivers
 
Award Winning Producer of Theater, Film, Music & Live Events
Local, National and International Impresario for the Advancement of Arts and Culture

Sir Voza Rivers is a leading theater, music, and events producer and documentary filmmaker, born in Harlem, New York. Sir Voza Rivers is the executive producer and founding member of the New Heritage Theatre Group (established in 1964) and executive producer and co-founder of IMPACT Repertory Theatre, the Oscar-nominated youth division of New Heritage Theatre Group led by U.S. director, activist, and educator Jamal Joseph. He has produced and co-produced theater, music, and television projects, film festivals, and music tributes in the United States, Japan, South Africa, and the UK.

In the music and live genre arenas, Rivers has produced music events and concerts featuring world-renowned artists. A partial listing includes Nancy Wilson, Nina Simone, Ruby Dee, Luther Vandross, James Brown, The Count Basie Orchestra, Ray Charles, Ashford and Simpson, Boy George, George Benson, Tito Puente, Lionel Hampton, Isaac Hayes, Little Jimmy Scott, Celia Cruz, Miriam Makeba, Kool, and the Gang, Hugh Masekela, Boyz II Men, Tony Bennett, Anita Baker, Chuck Jackson, Max Roach, Gloria Lynne, Yolanda Adams, Mary J. Blige, Dionne Warwick, Manhattan Transfer, Toni Braxton, Jonathan Butler, Phyllis Hyman, Grover Washington, Jr., and Chaka Khan.

A partial listing of Sir Voza's productions includes: Mbongeni Ngema’s, the TONY, and Grammy-nominated hit Broadway musical “Sarafina,” “Township Fever,” and the OBIE award-winning “Woza Albert!; “The Tragedy of Macbeth” and Romeo and Juliet” (featuring leading Black actors from the Royal Court Theatre Company and Royal National Theatre in England); the Tony-nominated “Asinamali!,” the Obie Award-winning play the “Huey P. Newton Story” at the Schomburg Center For Research In Black Culture in Harlem; AVANTI blending opera jazz & symphonic orchestra featuring Kenn Hicks with Marcus Miller and Herbie Hancock at Jazz at Lincoln Center; 2006 Jazz for Peace, East Meets West featuring the High Society Orchestra with music students from Waseda University in Tokyo, and award-winning jazz composer, arranger and instrumentalist, Harlemite Craig Harris, at the Schomburg Center for Research and Black Culture; 2005 Jazz for Peace, East Meets West and Tocho Swing Beats and Frank Foster and his minority loud band; God’s Trombones featuring Craig Harris with special guest artist Avery Brooks at the Apollo Theatre; and several PBS, BBC, NBC and Starz Encore cable presentations; television and video shorts; specials and documentaries.

In 2015 Sir Voza Rivers and New Heritage Theatre Group partnered with MIST Harlem to present the staged reading series Bold New Voices, Past, Present, and Future. The Bold New Voices series presents and creates stories about people of color. Programs will encompass African American, Asian, Hispanic, and the African Diaspora cultural communities featuring music, film, drama, talk-backs, symposiums, playwriting, poetry, fiction workshops, and more.

Awards & Recognitions

1984 Black Personality of the Month Voza Rivers, Anheuser-Busch/ Black American
1988 United Nations Medal for Peace for "Sarafina!" 
1988 FEDAPT Award for GRAMMY and TONY nominated SARAFINA!, League of American Theatres and Producers
1988 St.George Associations Art and Culture Award for SARAFINA!, St. George Association
1989 1989 Grammy Nomination for the "Sarafina!" Cast Album
1991 N Y 1 Television "New Yorker of the Week" , NY 1 Television
1996 Ruth Whitehead Whaley Award, Assoc of Black Women Attorneys for Community Svc
1998 Harlem Jazz & Music Festival Tiffany Award, Harlem Jazz and Music Festival
1999 WHO'S WHO of Professionals Honoree
2000 AUDELCO Outstanding Pioneer Award in Theater, Audience Development Committee,
2000 New York Foundation for the Arts Union Square Award, New York Foundation of the Arts
2001 Culture Fest Theatre Award, Your Culture Counts Voza Rivers, Culture Fest
2001 William Jefferson Clinton Salute to IMPACT Repertory Theatre
2001 Forces of Nature NIA Award
2001 John Hunter Memorial Humanitarian Award
2002 Harlem Health Community Service Award, Harlem Hospital Center
2002 Omega Psi Phi, Xi Phi Chapter "Citizen of the Year" Award
2002 Kwanzaa Foundation Nguzo Saba Award for Creativity
2002 National Conference of Artists NCA NY Chapter Leadership Award
2003 Outstanding Achievement and Stalwart Commitment to the Arts, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc
2003 Distinguished Humanitarian Award from the Samaritan Foundation
2003 HARLEM WEEK Kick Off Special Award, presented by Mayor Mike Bloomberg
2005 Arts Organizing Award, National Conference of Artists
2005 I AM Award, Oliver Black Production in Assoc. with IAM and the Harlem Arts Alliance
2005 Black History Makers Arts Organizing Award, The National Conference of Artists NY
2006 Ellie Charles Award, African Voices Magazine
2006 Community Service Award, Harlem Business Alliance
2006 Vanguard Award, Black To Broadway
2006 Star Achiever Award, United Negro College Fund
2006 “The VIV” to IMPACT Repertory Theatre at the 35th Annual Vivian Robinson / AUDELCO Recognition Awards
2007 Peace Award, Kobe International Harmony Eyes Festival
2007 Larry Leon Hamlin Producers Award, National Black Theatre Festival
2008 Distinguished Community Service Award, E.Louise Richardson
2008 Mind Builders Creative Arts Center Cultural Legacy Award, Mind Builders Creative Arts
2009 One of the Most Influential New Yorkers in Arts and Culture, New York Daily News
2009 Cover Story, Black Masks Magazine
2009 45th Anniversary of NHTG Salute Voza Rivers, Community Works, and the DWYER Cultural Center
2012 The New York Coalition of Black Women Honor the Life and Accomplishments of Voza Rivers, The New York Coalition of Black Women
2012 Talladega College Alumni Association of Greater New York Honors Voza Rivers, College Alumni Association of Greater New York
2012 Leadership Award, The Children's Storefront Independent School in Harlem
2012 Mother Dovetta Wilson Leadership Award, The City of New York Office of the President Borough of Manhattan Scott M. Springer
2013 Roy Wilkins Lifetime Achievement Award, NAACP Mid-Manhattan Branch
2013 Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition presented by Honorable Charles B. Rangel, Member of Congress
2014 Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce on 40th Anniversary of HARLEM WEEK Award, Jazzmobile
2014 Winona Lee Fletcher Award, Black Theatre Network
2014 Honorable Charles B. Rangel of New York Congress Recognizes New Federal Theatre's 44th Anniversary Gala Honoring Legendary Producer Voza Rivers and New Heritage Theatre Group, Honorable Charles B. Rangel
2014 Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust Award, Honoring the Harlem Shakespeare Festival
2015 Trailblazer Award Presented to New Heritage Theatre Group, Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement