Charter School Honors Arts Champions, Including Actor Chris Kelly


Actor/director Chris Kelly will take a special bow on Saturday, April 14 when he is honored by the Global Concepts Charter School in Lackawanna at its annual fundraising gala.

The black tie event will be held in WNED’s downtown Buffalo studio, beginning at 5pm.

Kelly will be in superb company. Emmy Award winning actor Keith David (Oprah Winfrey Network’s GREENLEAF), and Tony Award-nominated actor Stephen McKinley Henderson will also accept accolades that night.

The gala is hosted by Lackawanna native Ruben Santiago Hudson, an award winning actor and director. Global Concept’s Fine Arts Center bears his name.

He has worked in numerous films and is a decorated actor, writer, and director, including for his award-winning play and HBO film ”Lackawanna Blues.” 

Also that evening, the school’s Community Service Awards will be given to Aileen Gonzalez-Marti a Buffalo-based artist who has helped beautify Buffalo’s lower West Side.  Previous honorees include Phylicia Rashad, Brenda McDuffie, Tonnalee Batchelor, Anthony Conte and Joan and Peter Andrews, all champions of the arts in the region.

Proceeds from the Gala ticket sales and auction items will fund the school’s year around school based and community arts programs.  Tickets $65 and may be purchased by contacting Charles Clark at 716-939-2554 or via email to

Global Concepts Charter School opened its state of the art Ruben Santiago-Hudson Fine Arts Center in June of 2014.   Mr. Santiago-Hudson is actively involved in promoting and raising funds for the Fine Arts Center that carries his name. Global Concepts Charter School was recently recognized by U.S. News as “one of the best High Schools in the United States.”