Vy Higginsen

Vy Higginsen has dedicated her life to fostering communication, inspiration, and understanding among all people. The artistic and marketing mind behind Mama, I Want to Sing, Higginsen has helped create a whole new generation of theatergoers and provided an opportunity for singers, musicians, administrators, and technicians to develop and practice their craft in New York City, Chicago, Japan, Switzerland, and England, to name a few.

Born and raised in Harlem, Higginsen is a pioneer in the woman’s movement toward creative, cultural, and economic emancipation. She was one of the first black women in advertising at Ebony magazine, the first black female radio personality in the New York prime time FM radio market, and the first black woman to produce a drama on Broadway (August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone). In the 1970s Higginsen published the entertainment and lifestyles magazine Unique NY.

In August 1998 Higginsen incorporated The Mama Foundation for the Arts Inc. as a cultural and educational vehicle that would ensure that future generations receive artistic training, core skills development, and related employment opportunities in gospel, jazz, and R&B musical and theatrical productions. The Gospel for Teens and Jazz for Teens programs are an extension of this commitment; MFA not only empowers teens with quality arts instruction, but also transferable life skills such as discipline, confidence, and self-esteem. MFA received its not-for-profit status in 2003.

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Jessye Norman