Tina Lawson and her husband Richard Lawson opened a theatre centre in Los Angeles over the weekend.
The fashion designer and entrepreneur, who is the mother of singers Beyonce and Solange Knowles, officially unveiled the WACO (Where Art Can Occur) Theater Center over the weekend.
In an effort to keep arts education accessible to all, Tina and her husband Richard, an actor and teacher, hope the facility will benefit students, artists, philanthropic initiatives and the wider community.
“We are thrilled to open the doors on a creative centre in Los Angeles where art can occur,” she said in a statement. “Our ultimate mission at WACO is to create a place where we can celebrate an individual’s artistic creation and self-expression through theatre, reflecting fine art, innovation, craftsmanship and inspire imagination.”
The grand opening commenced with an art exhibit featuring the work of the late teacher Milton Katselas, with organisers also paying tribute to playwright Richard Wesley and director Woodie King, Jr.
Longtime family friend Kelly Rowland, actress Vanessa Bell Calloway and the cast of Detroit were among the supporters of the opening.
Kelly is on the advisory board of WACO along with Beyonce, Solange, and Richard’s daughter Bianca Lawson, and hopes the project will encourage young people to explore performing arts.
“It’s been a vision of hers for years, so to see it flourish today I’m so excited for her,” she told The Hollywood Reporter of Tina’s latest venture, adding that aspiring artists shouldn’t be afraid to take the stage. “They have to find what they are passionate about. What wakes you up in the morning. What is the thing that gives you joy every day and completes you as a person?”
As well as holding events and mentorship programmes, Tina and Richard are also looking to establish the Mobile Theater, which will take theatre, music and visual arts to communities around the greater Los Angeles region.