Scholarship for Les Miz Actor Kyle Jean-Baptiste Surges Past $130,000 After Gift from Cameron Mackintosh

News   Scholarship for Les Miz Actor Kyle Jean-Baptiste Surges Past $130,000 After Gift from Cameron Mackintosh
Award-winning Les Misérables producer Cameron Mackintosh has donated an "extraordinary" gift to the scholarship created at Baldwin Wallace University to honor actor Kyle Jean-Baptiste, who died Aug. 29 at the age of 21.

Kyle Jean-Baptiste
Kyle Jean-Baptiste Laura Marie Duncan Photography

Jean-Baptiste, the youngest and first African American performer to play Jean Valjean on a Broadway stage, died tragically Aug. 29 after falling from a Brooklyn fire escape. Les Misérables marked his Broadway debut.

The Mackintosh Foundation, the philanthropic arm created by Cameron Mackintosh to promote and develop theatrical, musical and dramatic arts, has made a "susbtantial" gift to the school. The exact sum was not revealed; however, the scholarship fund at Baldwin Wallace has now surpassed $130,000 according to a release from the school.

The school characterized the Mackintosh Foundation as having made an "extraordinary gesture of honor and generosity."

Representatives for Les Misérables confirmed a donation from the Mackintosh Foundation had been made, but declined to specify the sum.

In the days following his death, fans and members of the Broadway community rallied to remember the ground-breaking young actor. A gathering was held in Central Park Aug. 31 at the Bethesda Fountain, while the lights of the Imperial Theatre (home to Broadway's Les Miz) were dimmed in Jean-Baptiste's honor Sept. 1.

Jean-Baptiste's graduating class also created a campaign to raise money for a scholarship at Baldwin Wallace University in his name. Over $26,000 was raised in the first day of the campaign's launch. 

It was also reported that many are making donations in the amount of $246.01, symbolizing the number branded on the chest of Les Misérables central character Jean Valjean.


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