Pompano Beach, Fla. – Pompano Beach Arts is presenting an array of events to honor the life of Esther Rolle, the groundbreaking actress who was born in Pompano Beach 100 years ago on Nov. 8.

Rolle graduated from Blanche Ely High School and became best known for her role as Florida Evans, on the TV shows “Maude” and its spin-off “Good Times.”

The Emmy Award winner, who attended Yale University, was the first woman to receive the NAACP Chairman’s Civil Rights Leadership Award.

“We are delighted to honor the legacy of Esther Rolle through a variety of entertaining and inspiring programs,” said Phyllis Korab, cultural affairs director. “Through artwork, conversation, poetry, song and dance, we will be spotlighting the incredible legacy of this outstanding talent who is beloved in Pompano Beach and all over the world.”


Live on the Set virtual program honoring Rolle with BernNadette Stanis, Thursday Nov. 5, Facebook Premier, 7 p.m. @CityofPompanoBeach A special kickoff celebration of Rolle’s life and legacy, with her mentee and longtime friend BernNadette Stanis, “Thelma” from the hit show “Good Times.” The interview will discuss Rolle’s legacy, time on the set, and how she changed Stanis’ life.

Soulful Sundays virtual program, Sunday, Nov. 8, Facebook Premier 7 p.m. @CityofPompanoBeach Soulful Sundays features South Florida’s top performers and bands in various genres ranging from soul, R&B, neo soul, blues to jazz and funk. This month features a special celebration of Rolle’s 100th birthday through poetry, dance, and a concert by the Old Skool Gang.

The Old Skool Gang is the brainchild of entertainment executive and former KC and the Sunshine Band member Paul Lewis.

Lyrics Lab: The Garden of My Mind virtual Program, Nov. 18, Facebook Premier 7 p.m. @BaCAPompano This month’s Lyrics Lab – open mic event – is dedicated in commemoration of the acclaimed actress of stage and television’s album release, “The Garden of My Mind.” The album revealed a mind full of warmth and goodness. Growing up as the daughter of a Florida bean farmer, and the ninth of 18 children, she experienced love, sorry, defeats and triumphs. On this album she reflected and recreated those moments and common threads of human emotion. This month’s Lyrics Lab will feature singing, poetry, and three spoken-word poets as they recreate and pay homage to her incredible album.

Esther Rolle Centennial Exhibition virtual tour coming soon, Ali Cultural Arts Center 

This juried exhibition is the result of a national call for entries that encouraged artists to create original artwork inspired by the influence of and commemorating the life and legacy of celebrated actress, poet and activist Esther Rolle in their life. The exhibition features the artwork of Babette Thomas, Brittany Williams Mays, Cesar Ceballos, Chic Moore, Michael Hugue, Tola Mahoney, Tracy Wingate, Vanessa Withun and Vena Paylo. Virtual tour will be coming soon on the website as the venue is currently closed due to COVID19.

For more visit pompanobeacharts.org.