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ESSENCE & The PALEY CENTER Team Up For PALEY FEST 2017

Essence, the preeminent brand for African-American women, and the Paley Center for Media are excited to announce “The Power of Our Presence – An Exhibition Celebrating the 10 Year Anniversary of the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards.” The exhibit will commemorate the 10th anniversary of Essence’s esteemed Black Women in Hollywood Awards—the annual Oscar-week luncheon at the forefront of spotlighting Hollywood’s most creative and accomplished visionaries. A private opening reception for the exhibit will take place on Tuesday, February 7, 2017.

The exhibit, a highlight of this year’s Black History Month celebration at the Paley Center, is set to feature costumes from the lead female characters from each of their hit television series, including one of the iconic white coats worn by Kerry Washington in Scandal, Tracee Ellis Ross’s scrubs from Black-ish and a costume from Taraji P. Henson’s “Cookie Lion” of Empire.

Archived memorabilia, photos and footage from the luncheon’s nine-year history will be on display, including re-creations of the event’s extraordinary tablescapes, images from past honorees, special video messages from Angela Bassett and Lynn Whitfield, a compilation footage of some the event’s most touching acceptance speeches and much more.

“We are beyond thrilled to partner with the Paley Center to present the Power of Our Presence exhibit—as Essence prepares to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Black Women in Hollywood Awards," said Essence President Michelle Ebanks. “Experience the magic of the red carpet as it comes to life and shines a spotlight on the most influential and pioneering women in Hollywood."

“We are so honored to partner with Essence in presenting this powerful exhibit in support of its special milestone anniversary,” said Maureen J. Reidy, the Paley Center’s President and CEO. “The Paley Center is proud of its ongoing commitment to preserving and celebrating African American achievements in television. This Essence exhibit is a signature part of our Black History Month celebration, which also includes screenings, educational activities and an onsite showcase of our own recent tribute.”

For the past decade, Essence’s Black Women in Hollywood Awards have paid homage to modern image-makers—both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Since its inception in 2008, the awards have honored some of the most cherished figures in the industry, including Oprah Winfrey, Lupita Nyong'o, Ava DuVernay, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and many more. This year’s event will shift from a daytime luncheon to an evening gala for the first time and will be held at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, CA, on Thursday, February 23, 2017.

The Power of Our Presence exhibit will be open at the Paley Center’s Beverly Hills location (465 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210) from Wednesday, February 8 to Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

For more information about this exhibit, please visit Essence.com or paley.me/bwih, and follow Essence on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @essence, as well as the Paley Center on Facebook and Twitter @PaleyCenter for more updates.

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