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TONIGHT! Live from the Rialto: The Gala featuring Tom Scott and many more!


Atlanta’s historic arts venue in the downtown Fairlie-Poplar District, the Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University, presents its first-ever virtual gala fundraiser TONIGHT beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Longtime supporters or anyone can enjoy this free virtual gala celebration and fundraiser featuring a virtual red carpet, pre-show, a nostalgic celebration of Rialto’s 105th Anniversary, the Best of the 2020 performances, interviews and tributes from artists, fans and friends, both silent and live auctions, and a fund-a-need.

The evening crescendos with a special performance ($35 concert ticket) by three-time Grammy winner Tom Scott, the renowned saxophonist, composer, arranger, producer, and music director. An original member of The Blues Brothers, Scott, performed on more than 2,000 recordings including the soundtracks from “Taxi Driver” to the recent “A Star Is Born” as well as Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” Blondie’s “Rapture” and Whitney Houston’s “Saving All My Love For You.”  


“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Rialto’s doors have been and remain closed, but that did not stop our team from producing nearly 60 online events on a shoestring budget,” said Lee Foster, executive director of the Rialto Center for the Arts. “We have a lot to celebrate in terms of resiliency during our ‘pandemic season,’ but we need the public’s support and financial contributions to sustain the Rialto as we plan for our ‘re-opening’ season currently set for the 2021-22 GSU academic year.”

In response to mandatory COVID-19 closures starting in March 2020, the Rialto quickly pivoted to create several online offerings, including the launch of their popular Feed Your Senses, Live at the Rialto and the

Rialto Homegrown Artists series, empowering Georgia-based artists to keep performing publicly while connecting with audiences in new ways. The Rialto also forged partnerships in the community and on Georgia State University’s campus to produce five “Crucial Conversations” episodes so far, encouraging important conversations on race and diversity.

According to Foster, “This this collection of events reached more than 60,000 audience members, exceeding previous ‘regular season’ (non-pandemic) attendance. But these successes and related costs depleted financial resources as the venue works to program a ‘re-opening’ season during the 2021-22 academic calendar.

For those unable to attend the gala, anyone may donate online. Organizations who wish to contribute to the silent auction may do so by contacting Lee Foster via email to Rialto@gsu.edu or by calling 404-413-9825. For more information visit www.Rialto.GSU.edu.

Ray Cornelius is one of Atlanta’s newest entertainment writers and media personalities. His arts and entertainment website, www.raycornelius.com spotlights the latest in “positive” African-American celebrity news and was established in 2012. Since that time Cornelius has covered a myriad of red carpet premieres, award shows and Atlanta-based films including Tyler Perry’s Temptation, The BronzeLens Film Festival, The Trumpet Awards, and The Steve Harvey’s Neighborhood Awards just to name a few. He has also interviewed a who’s who list of today’s top singers, actors and reality stars. With nearly 20 years of media experience, Cornelius has also worked as an associate producer for the Emmy-winning public affairs program, ATL Insider and with such award shows as The Soul Train Awards, The Trumpet Awards and BET Hip-Hop Awards.