On Saturday, June 17th, 2023, the Swillburg Neighborhood Association threw a ribbon cutting celebration of their new statue honoring the life and memory of Blanche Calloway. The statue has been placed where Blanche’s childhood home was located in Otto Henderberg Park. The statue was created by talented artist, Stacy Mrva. Stacy is also responsible for all the beautiful metal benches along South Clinton Ave.
Taken from Wikipedia:
Blanche Dorothea Jones Calloway (February 9, 1902 – December 16, 1978) was an American jazz singer, composer, and bandleader. She was the older sister of Cab Calloway and was a successful singer before her brother. With a music career that spanned over fifty years, Calloway was the first woman to lead an all-male orchestra and performed alongside musicians such as Cozy Cole, Chick Webb, and her brother. Her performing style was described as flamboyant and a major influence on her brother’s performance style.
SEAC is thrilled to have been part of this project, carrying the insurance needed for the statue to be erected, acting as fiduciary for the grant funds received from ESL and the Rochester Area Community Foundation, and have contributed $500 in funds to the Swillburg Neighborhood Association for the statue.
Thanks to Judy Hay (of NBN6 and the Swillburg NA) and Mayor Evans for recognizing SEAC and the work we do during your speeches! We truly appreciate being part of the community.