Comedian Jay Pharoah to Receive Coastal Virginia Renaissance Award

Award part of "Broadway Under the Stars" gala presented by the Hampton Arts Foundation

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Jay Pharoah, a Hampton Roads native and Indian River High School graduate, is one of the recipients of Coastal Virginia Renaissance Award to be given out at the Hampton Arts Gala on October 5. (Photo courtesy of Hampton Arts)

Broadway Under the Stars, one of Coastal Virginia’s most anticipated cultural events of the year, returns on October 5, 2019, with a phenomenal evening of entertainment, award presentations, dining, and more. Presented by the Hampton Arts Foundation, the star-studded evening shines a spotlight on the region’s cultural legacy.

This year’s Coastal Virginia Renaissance Award, which recognizes the long-term commitment to the performing and visual arts in Hampton, Coastal Virginia, and beyond, will be presented to two recipients: actor and comedian Jay Pharoah, and community philanthropist Beverly Diamonstein. 

Pharoah, a Hampton Roads native and Indian River High School graduate, appeared for six seasons on the hit, late-night sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live, creating original characters and spot-on impersonations of Barack Obama, Will Smith, Dr. Ben Carson, and more. Most recently, he’s voiced Kanye West (and all the Kanye Canes) for the hit animated series Family Guy and appeared in the web television series Champaign ILL.

Beverly Diamonstein has been integral in the proliferation of support for the region’s fine and visual artists. She served on the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for many years and has been an advocate of the Hampton Arts Foundation, the Newport News Public Arts Foundation, and Christopher Newport University. The campus’s Diamonstein Concert Hall was named in honor of Beverly and her husband’s dedicated community engagement.

The evening will also include a performance by Nova Y. Payton. The vocal powerhouse most recently appeared in the world premiere musicalBlackbeard at Washington, DC’s Signature Theatre. Other theater credits include Jelly’s Last Jam (Signature Theatre), Freedom’s Song (Ford’s Theatre), Smokey Joe’s Café (Arena Stage), Dreamgirls (Signature Theatre), and more.

As a celebration of the Hampton Arts Foundation’s commitment to visual arts, a local artist will create a one-of-a kind painting throughout the night that will then be presented as a silent auction. Post-performance, the evening will continue with a delectable dinner catered by The Point at Phoebus, accompanied by signature cocktails featuring Belle Isle Moonshine.


The NorVA