NEW YORK (PIX11) — The rooftop at the Empire Hotel in Manhattan was the stage for celebrating Black women in theatre Monday.

On hand for the Inaugural Black Women on Broadway Awards Celebration were the founders of Black Women on Broadway, Danielle Brooke, Amber Iman, and Jocelyn Bioh, who hosted the event.

Actress and singer Audra McDonald has been behind the Black artist movement on Broadway for years. The six-time Tony award winner was a presenter at the first-ever Black Women on Broadway Awards.

“One way to bring awareness is Black women are here celebrating each other,” McDonald said.

Lynn Nottage, most recently known for MJ the Musical, and costume designer Qween Jean were both honorees.

“There are more plays written by Black people ..women in any other time in history,” Nottage said.

“It’s beyond profound … Black people receiving their roses is so overdue,” Jean added.

The women behind the inaugural awards ceremony have been planning it before the pandemic. These pioneering women in front and behind the stage say women of color should be celebrated even after the curtains close.

For them, Black women on Broadway is history in the making.

“I think more than anything creating a space for young generations coming in,” McDonald said.

Mentorship is the other half of Black women on Broadway’s mission. Organizers say it’s a community space to support Black women in the business.