Press release: Gala Shines Spotlight on Living Legend Elizabeth Ann Bridgwaters in Celebration of Black History Month

The following was sent to the Bloomingtonian by the City of Bloomington:



Bloomington, Ind. – The Bloomington community is cordially invited to attend the annual Black History Month Gala on Saturday, February 24 at 6 p.m., as we honor Elizabeth Ann Bridgwaters, affectionately known as “Betty,” as the 2024 Living Legend. Betty’s remarkable contributions to our community will be celebrated alongside the Outstanding Black Leaders of Tomorrow award recipients.

Join us in commemorating Betty’s legacy, a testament to her unwavering dedication and service, at an event filled with fine dining, live music, and dancing. The Gala promises to be a vibrant celebration of Black history and culture, bringing together individuals from all walks of life to honor the achievements and resilience of our community.

Event tickets are available in-person or online at the Buskirk-Chumley Box Office. Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of a memorable evening as we pay tribute to Betty and the Outstanding Black Leaders of Tomorrow.

Upcoming Black History Month highlights include these additional events: 

Black Market – February 17, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This event will feature a coalition of organizations, black-owned businesses, and black creators and artists, creating a space that affirms persons of color in the community. It will also provide a medium for local talent, business owners, and groups to share information and sell goods. The Black History Month “Black Market” at City Hall pays homage to the original Black Market that was firebombed on December 26, 1968. 

Black History Month Essay Contest Awards Program – February 20, 6 p.m.

Young scholars and historians in grades 4-12 will be honored at the 2024 Black History Month Essay Contest Awards Program at City Hall. Winning essays will be read aloud and available on the Black History Month webpage. 

The Bright Path Film Showing – February 22, 6 p.m.

Community members are invited to the film showing of The Bright Path: The Johnny Bright Story. The film chronicles the life of Johnny Bright, a record-breaking trailblazer who changed college football forever. This free event will be held at the Waldron Rose Firebay, John Waldron Arts Center (122 S Walnut St).

Black History Month Gala – February 24, 6 p.m.

The culminating event for the month, the annual Black History Month Gala, will be held at One World at Woolery Mill (2250 W Sunstone Dr). The event will feature music, highlights from the month, and recognition of the 2024 Living Legend, Betty Bridgewaters and Outstanding Black Leaders of Tomorrow award recipients. Purchase tickets in-person or online at the Buskirk-Chumley Box Office

Kick it – February 28, 7 p.m.

Join us at The Kick It, a curated space to chill, featuring good food, clips from your favorite films, and activities inspired by the Indiana University Black Film Center & Archive’s zine, with the newest issue themed “Black Love”. RSVP at the City’s Black History Month website. The event will be held at Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E 7th St.

For a full listing of Black History Month events in the community and virtual program Zoom links, visit the City’s Black History Month website

Let’s come together as a community to honor, celebrate, and embrace the richness of Black history and culture during this special month.

For questions or additional information about the City of Bloomington Black History Month celebration contact City of Bloomington Safe and Civil City Director Shatoyia Moss at [email protected] or 812-349-3559.


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