CAC to host Recognize Richard fundraiser starring Richard Pryor Jr.

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With an official downtown location secured, the Richard Pryor Sculpture Committee will hold its first Recognize Richard fundraiser on May 24 at the Contemporary Art Center, starring Richard Pryor Jr.

The goal of the fundraiser is to begin raising the $100,000 needed to cast the bronze statue of Richard Pryor created by Peoria artist Preston Jackson. All proceeds from the event will go towards the statue, which will be located at the corner of State and Washington Streets in Peoria’s burgeoning Warehouse District.

The fundraiser will be hosted by comedian Ed Parker and feature:
• New York City-based, professional actor/singer, Richard Pryor Jr.;
• Co-author of “Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World that Made Him,” David Henry, who will be signing copies of his book with all proceeds going towards the sculpture;
• Musical performances by Pryor Jr., Speakeasy featuring Judy Page, and Dexter O’Neil;
• A public showing of the 7-1/2 foot clay model created by Preston Jackson;
• The premiere of Jackson’s latest painting, “The Comedian,” and
• The return of Jackson’s Bronzeville to Harlem installation, a large-scale sculpture inspired by the cultural life of the Bronzeville area of Chicago and the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. This will be the first time the sculpture has been displayed in Peoria since 2002.

The ticket price for the event is $50, which will also have a cash bar and light hors d’oeuvres.

Before the fundraiser, a VIP Reception/Press Event will be held at ROOM on the fourth floor of the CAC from 6-7 p.m. and will feature:
• A roundtable discussion (with press Q&A) on Pryor’s life and legacy with Richard Pryor Jr., David Henry and yours truly;
• An opportunity to meet Richard Pryor Jr. and David Henry;
• A private tour of the Bronzeville to Harlem installation with Preston Jackson; and
•  An open bar with complimentary catering.

Cost for the VIP Reception is $100, which includes a reserved seat at the fundraiser that follows. Tickets can be purchased by credit card at the Contemporary Art Center by calling (309) 674-6822. You can also reserve tickets now and pay at the door by calling Howard Johnson at (309) 264-4570. There are a limited number of seats, so reserve yours today!

The Website Where You Can Support the Cause
A website has been created – – where tax-deductible donations can be made to the project. Check or money orders can also be sent to the Community Foundation of Central Illinois in care of the Richard Pryor Sculpture Project, 331 Fulton St., Suite 310, Peoria, IL, 61602. 


About the Author
A Juilliard-trained writer, Kevin Kizer has fought against numerous world-champion writers during his career, besting the reigning middle weight writing champion in an exhibition bout in Helsinki in 1976. He also played a crucial role on the U.S. gold-medal winning writing team during the 1984 Pan-Am games, where he came off the bench in dramatic fashion to write the winning prepositional phrase just as time expired.