Dr. Maya Angelou’s Garden Party
Honoring Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy
Charlotte event designer, Clarke Allen, was hired to produce the event of his dreams last month. Clarke found a dear friend in Dr. Maya Angelou when he produced her birthday party two years ago at her home in Winston Salem. Since then, he has been a regular attendee to the famed poet’s many parties that she hosts at her home. When Dr. Angelou wanted to have an event to honor Oprah Winfrey and the recent graduates of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in Africa, Clarke was the first person she called.
The Clarke Allen Group team pulled together several other Charlotte talents to put the magical garden party together including, Todd Crawford – Crawford and Company, Brenda Ische – Amelie’s, CreatrixDesign, Classic Party Rentals, and Jeremie Barlow – Jeremie Barlow Photography.
The team created a sculpture and poetry garden under a clear tent in the backyard using enlarged, framed poems and custom wielded arbor wrapped in burlap, greenery, vines, and fresh flowers. A handmade ten-foot glass fountain featured water cascading over two of Dr. Angelou’s favorite poems, while a twelve-foot wind chime tree and glass chandelier were created to celebrate Ms. Winfrey’s school and its recent graduates.
“What a remarkable honor it was to create this wonderful environment and tribute in Dr. Angelou’s backyard that celebrated the school, its graduates and distinguished guests through the humility and humanness that is Dr. Angelou,” said Clarke.
- Photos by Jeremie Barlow