Over the weekend, actress Jada Pinkett Smith stepped out in her first appearance since the Academy banned her husband Will Smith from the Oscars for the next 10 years stemming from this year’s infamous 2022 Oscars slap incident.
According to People, Pinkett Smith was there to support her friends Debbie Allen and Shonda Rhimes during the opening of the Rhimes Performing Arts Center, which now serves as the home for the new Debbie Allen Dance Academy. The 24,000 square foot space boasts a studio named after the Smiths, “the Wallis Performance Space honoring Wallis Annenberg,” as well as “Kobe Bryant ‘Wall of Light’ which shines a light on major sponsors, Berry Gordy Control Room and Recording Studio and the Chandra Wilson Education Center which is the central space for the Debbie Allen Middle School (DAMS),” per Broadway World.
“You are the legacy that so many other legacies will stand upon. Thank you for ALL that you do,” Pinkett Smith wrote in an Instagram post.
Added Shonda Rhimes in a statement to Broadway World: “I am beyond proud to support the Debbie Allen Dance Academy’s new home—the Rhimes Performing Arts Center. At DADA, the program is a haven of discipline and acceptance where—no matter their size, ability or economic background—young girls and boys grow into hard working, conscientious, determined and confident young women and men.”
Allen echoed similar sentiments, saying: “On April 9, DADA will take a giant step forward towards realizing the dreams of thousands of young aspiring artists, parents, up and coming as well as seasoned professionals along with our local and global community. RPAC is a state of the art facility that nurtures creativity, technical ability, vision and possibility.”