Annual Benefit

Every year, Passage throws a party, and some of the nicest people we know have a great time!  We also make some money.

Our 2017 benefit was held at South Rio on Saturday, February 25 at 5:30 PM. At the event, we honored the Princeton Area Community Foundation (PACF), Larry Hilton, and David Lee White, for their long-standing commitment to supporting arts and culture in Trenton.

pacf_vertThe Princeton Area Community Foundation is a public charitable foundation with $130 million in assets, designed to improve the lives of all who live, work and play in Central Jersey. In 2016, they made grants of $17 million. PACF helps generous people give wisely and nonprofits work effectively.

PACF believes
· our community flourishes as philanthropy thrives;
· all of our children deserve opportunities; and
· working together with people who care, businesses, and nonprofits, we can address our region’s most difficult challenges.


larry-hilton-pictureBorn and raised in Trenton, Larry Hilton has devoted his life to becoming one of Trenton’s most vocal advocates for arts and culture.

An accomplished photographer, art collector and Jazz impresario, Mr. Hilton curates a weekly Jazz series for Trenton’s Candlelight Lounge, where world-class musicians perform for Trentonians and area Jazz lovers. His commitment to the arts extends nationally to countless area museums, civic groups, and arts organizations including Passage’s advisory board, and the board of the Trenton Community Artist Team (TCAT), also known as the ATEAM. Mr. Hilton helped found such organizations as the Urban League of Metropolitan Trenton, the Henry Austin Health Center, Serendipity Workshop (of which he is also president), and Dogtown Records, where he produced avant garde Jazz records and published books on the art form. He also serves on the boards of national museums, including Vernacular Art Institute (Atlanta, GA), James E. Lewis Museum at Morgan State University (Baltimore, MD), and Cleveland Afro-American Museum (Cleveland, OH), to name a few. Along with such luminaries as former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former South African President Nelson Mandela, Larry is the recipient of Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell Award, given for his outstanding contribution to arts and one’s fellow man.



David Lee White is a New Jersey based writer/performer/ educator. For 14 seasons, he was the Associate Artistic Director of Passage Theatre, where he spearheaded the education and new play development programs. His plays, familiar to audiences throughout New Jersey, include Blood: A Comedy, Slippery As Sin, White Baby, Backfire, and Dream Tim; Passage has premiered several of his works. David also worked with Passage’s Artistic Director June Ballinger to create Trenton Lights and Profiles, which made use of interviews with Trenton residents on the topics of race, identity and history in Trenton, NJ. Since 2005, he has been creating oral-history-based plays with Trenton area teens based on social and cultural issues. Some of these plays include If I Could, in My Hood, I Would…, Fire Girls, Urban Central, Get Off the Bus, and Bobashela. He created This Trenton Life with the Trenton High drama club, which was the subject of an Emmy-Award-nominated broadcast on PCK Media’s State of the Arts.

For the past two years, White has been performing in his one-person show Panther Hollow, a comedy about the years he spent battling chronic depression in his youth. So far, the play has been seen at the Arcade Comedy Theatre in Pittsburgh, Point Park College, Passage Theatre, The New Jersey Fringe Festival, and the United Solo Festival in NYC. He is currently working on the musical Live Stream with singer/songwriter Sarah Donner and director/co-creator Adam Immerwahr, and with Jeffrey Barg on his second musical, The Angry Grammarian, which will receive a reading at “The Pulley & Buttonhole Theatre” in June of 2017. His latest play, Fixed, was commissioned by the Stage Exchange Program at NJPAC and will premiere at Passage Theatre in May 2017.



Mayor Eric E. Jackson
Councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson

Kristin Gonzalez-Woolston (Benefit Co-Chair), Percy Mason (Benefit Co-Chair), Cecilee Abney, Richard Bilotti, Mary Brashier, Peter Jamar Bullock, Farrell Delman, Toni Isreal, Anne LaBate, Doc Long, Alison McGowan, Damion Parran, Sharyse Porter, Eileen Sinett, Judith Wooldridge, and Elizabeth Zuckerman


Thanks to our benefit sponsors:



Thanks to our benefit supporters:

Content Trenton logo

Financial Resources


Drinker Biddle


1911 Smokehouse


Interested in sponsoring our benefit and supporting some of New Jersey’s finest artists? View our sponsorship and ad packet here:
2017 Sponsorship Packet

Captivating, Cultivating, Celebrating Live Theater