Cellist Yo-Yo Ma to receive Fred Rogers Legacy Award

Yo-Yo Ma
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By Michael A. Fuoco

Internationally acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who became a lifelong friend of the late Fred Rogers after appearing twice on the PBS show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” has been named the inaugural recipient of the Fred Rogers Legacy Award.

In conjunction with the award, Mr. Ma will give a recital May 23 at Saint Vincent College to benefit the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media, established at the school in 2005. The center houses the official archive of Rogers’ work, including scripts, videos and artifacts from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and offers national programs to advance the fields of early learning and children’s media.

Mr. Ma was invited to receive the honor by Rogers’ wife, Joanne Rogers, honorary chairwoman of the center’s advisory board. The award celebrates the center’s 10th anniversary.

The Fred Rogers Legacy Award recognizes individuals who have made exemplary professional contributions and personal commitments to service. Those commitments “pay forward elements of Fred Rogers’ legacy as a person embodying universal human values, a creative artist, a teacher and model of core principles for early learning and development, an innovator and an advocate for the dignity and potential of all children,” according to a news release announcing the award.

Additionally, recipients demonstrate the mission of the Fred Rogers center as catalysts for “communication, collaboration and creative change in their fields.”

The evening will include a 5 p.m. reception at the Rogers Center followed at 7 p.m. by the award ceremony and solo cello recital in the college’s basilica.

Seating is limited and advanced reservations are required. Ticket and sponsorship information are available by contacting the Rogers Center at 724-805-2750 or online at www.fredrogerscenter.org/support/legacy.

All proceeds will benefit scholarships and fellowships at the Rogers Center; the Rogers Early Career Fellows Program, which fosters the next generation of professionals dedicated to children’s media; and the Fred Rogers Scholars Program, designed for Saint Vincent College students interested in pursuing careers involving children, early learning and media for young children.