Harvard Foundation has named Grammy Award-winning recording artist, songwriter, and visual artist Solange Knowles as its artist of the year is recognized at the annual award ceremony in Sanders Theatre.

Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

Arts & Culture

Solange visits as Harvard Foundation’s artist of year

2 min read

Grammy winner shares stage with tributes to Counter

Hundreds of members of the Harvard community — students, faculty, staff, and others — packed Sanders Theatre on Saturday to see Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Solange Knowles accept the Harvard Foundation’s 2018 Artist of the Year award as part of Cultural Rhythms.

The annual show was the first since the death of S. Allen Counter, founding director of the foundation, and there were several tributes to him throughout the day, including a video showing highlights from his Harvard tenure.

Rakesh Khurana, Danoff Dean of Harvard College presents the award to Knowles as Layla Siddig ’19 (right) and Mahnoor Ali ’19 (left) look on.

Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

“Today we celebrate Cultural Rhythms while at the same time we miss our dear colleague, friend and mentor to so many, Dr. Allen S. Counter,” Danoff Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana said.

Among the festival’s highlights were performances by numerous student groups, including the Society of Arab Students, the Harvard Philippine Forum, and the Harvard College Irish Dancers.

Image 1: Harvard’s Indian classical dance team, Deepam, perform a tribute dance to Shiva. Image 2: The Kuumba Singers of Harvard College sing their hearts out before the award ceremony.

Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

Harvard College step team Passus perform during Cultural Rhythms.

Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

Accepting the award from Khurana, Solange said, “I’m so extremely humbled and honored. … I know that this is easy for me to say, with the safety net of my life, but I also do know my ancestors’ hands have built these spaces, and so I know that we belong.

“I want to share this moment, especially with black women, who may feel shut out of these spaces, or feel like the doors are not open to them because of one reason or another, and let them know that I see you.”