Star Power

Empire creator Lee Daniels captivates audience at Houston Arts Alliance dinner

Empire creator Lee Daniels captivates audience at arts dinner

News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015, Gena Knowles, Lee Daniels, Mathew Knowles
Gena Knowles, from left, Lee Daniels and Matthew Knowles. Photo by Kim Coffman
News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015, Tony Zummo, Beverly Zummo, Regina Garcia, Lee Daniels, Lilly Braniff, Lisa Garcia, and Ray Garcia
Tony and Beverly Zummo, from left, Regina Garcia, Lee Daniels, Lilly Braniff, Lisa Garcia and Ray Garcia. Photo by Kim Coffman
News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015, Charlene Sadberry Tombar and Shannon Buggs
Charlene Sadberry Tombar, left, and Shannon Buggs. Photo by Kim Coffman
News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015, Sandra Porter and George Lancaster
Sandra Porter and George Lancaster. Photo by Kim Coffman
News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015, Rick and Claire Cormier Thielke
Rick Thielke and Claire Cormier Thielke. Photo by Kim Coffman
News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015, Minnette Boesel, Fabené Welch, and Karen Hartnett
Minnette Boesel, from left, Fabené Welch and Karen Hartnett. Photo by Kim Coffman
News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015, Philamena Baird
Lee Daniels and dinner chair Philamena Baird. Photo by Kim Coffman
News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015,Jonathon Glus and Alton LaDay
Jonathon Glus, left, and Alton LaDay. Photo by Kim Coffman
News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015, Tony Zummo, Beverly Zummo, Regina Garcia, Lee Daniels, Lilly Braniff, Lisa Garcia, and Ray Garcia
Tatiana Massey, from left, Gabriela Gerhart and Duyen Nguyen. Photo by Kim Coffman
News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015, Rey Ocañas and Orlando Manzo-Ocañas
Rey Ocañas and Orlando Manzo-Ocañas. Photo by Kim Coffman
News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015, Lou Gregory, Linda Lorelle
Lou Gregory and Linda Lorelle. Photo by Kim Coffman
News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015, Paula Sutton and Bill Gross
Paula Sutton and Bill Gross. Photo by Kim Coffman
News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015, Gena Knowles, Lee Daniels, Mathew Knowles
News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015, Tony Zummo, Beverly Zummo, Regina Garcia, Lee Daniels, Lilly Braniff, Lisa Garcia, and Ray Garcia
News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015, Charlene Sadberry Tombar and Shannon Buggs
News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015, Sandra Porter and George Lancaster
News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015, Rick and Claire Cormier Thielke
News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015, Minnette Boesel, Fabené Welch, and Karen Hartnett
News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015, Philamena Baird
News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015,Jonathon Glus and Alton LaDay
News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015, Tony Zummo, Beverly Zummo, Regina Garcia, Lee Daniels, Lilly Braniff, Lisa Garcia, and Ray Garcia
News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015, Rey Ocañas and Orlando Manzo-Ocañas
News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015, Lou Gregory, Linda Lorelle
News, Shelby, Houston Arts Alliance, Lee Daniels event, May 2015, Paula Sutton and Bill Gross

Houston Arts Alliance supporters were captivated by the energy and magnetism of film and television director, producer and writer Lee Daniels, as he entertained a gathering of 300 at Hotel ZaZa during "An Intimate Evening With Lee Daniels."

From growing up in the projects of Philadelphia to reaching a Hollywood pinnacle as the first sole African-American producer of an Academy Award-winning film, Monster's Ball, his story was compelling, humorous and poignant. The entertainment mogul shared the personal experiences that have influenced his directorial work on the hit television series Empire and films Precious and The Butler.

While Philamena Baird chaired the evening and Marie Bosarge served as honorary chair, there was an impressive contingent of honorary hosts. They included Kenneth Gayle, Evin Thayer, Reggie and Leigh Smith, Alton LaDay and HAA president and CEO Jonathon Glus.

The heavy-hitter guest list included Mathew Knowles and his wife Gena, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, former ambassador Arthur Schechter, and a host of city council members —Jerry Davis, Mike Laster, Steve Costello, Larry Green and Michael Kubosh.

HAA board chair Marc Melcher and Cullen Geiselman were among those transfixed by Daniels' story as were Angela and D'Artagnan Bebel, Bill Goldberg, Victoria and Randall Jamail, Gene Locke, Poppi Massey, Yvonne and Rufus Cormier, Emily Church, Lester MarksCheryl and Percy Creuzot and Leslie and Brad Bucher.