I received word that Bay Area PR/Event Planning extraordinaire, Ave Montague, expired on Saturday. Once more information is obtained, I will modify this post. Thanks.
Via SFGATE January 28, 2009
Ave Montague dies - Black Film Festival founder
Jesse Hamlin, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Ave Montague, an arts impresario and publicist who created the San Francisco Black Film Festival and was a vital force on the African American cultural scene, was found dead on Saturday in her
According to the
Smart, passionate and relentlessly hard working, Ms. Montague was known for the persistence with which she promoted the arts organizations and causes she believed in. In addition to running the annual San Francisco Black Film Festival - an eight-day bash with films from around the world and tributes to African American artists like Billy Dee Williams, Melvin Van Peebles and Taraji P. Henson - Ms. Montague publicized many nonprofit groups over the years. They included the Lorraine Hansberry and Oakland Ensemble theaters, the Bay Area Black Journalists Association, the Omega Boys Club and the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) .
"Until Ave came along, we had no black PR person who could get you coverage in major outlets," said veteran
Peter Fitzsimmons, director of the
"Ave was a mentor to many," said Fitzsimmons, who volunteered at the San Francisco Black Film Festival (whose board plans to continue Ms. Montague's work and put the festival on in June as planned). "She was a class act who was a major contributor to the cultural identity of the African American community."
After moving to
Ms. Montague received the Business Woman of the Year Award from the San Francisco Business and Professional Women's Club in 1994, and, with the late Faith Fancher, was a founding member of Friends of Faith, an organization that educates women about breast cancer.
She was always cooking up something, whether it was a charity fundraiser or the mail-order video business she started in 1989 to provide films by and about black people. Her last effort was the big Inaugural West celebration for President Obama that she co-produced at
Ms. Montague is survived by a son, Kali Ray, of
A memorial service is being planned.
E-mail Jesse Hamlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appeared on page B - 10 of the San Francisco Chronicle