Edgar G. Richards was born January 25, 1962, in Kingston, Jamaica, to Estelle Richards and Edgar Richards, Senior. When he was five years old, after the death of his father, his mother moved Edgar and his brother to Hartford, Connecticut. It was through the vision of his middle school gym teacher, Ms. Cherrelle Jiggits, that Edgar’s passion for the arts was ignited. She encouraged him to train professionally and introduced him to The Hartford Ballet.
Juggling three jobs and one goal, Edgar saved money and moved to New York City after a few years to become an apprentice at The Dance Theatre of Harlem. During this rigorous training period, he continued his academic studies at The Professional Children’s School. Edgar’s exceptional talent won him a scholarship to The School of the American Ballet under the artistic guidance of George Balanchine. His drive for perfection led to further training at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School. With a sparkle in his eye, Edgar performed as a soloist with the State Ballet of Missouri, now known as the Kansas City Ballet.
After several seasons with the Kansas City Ballet, he decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. While at Morehouse, Edgar continued to use his remarkable skill in dance to enliven the arts community as an instructor and choreographer to aspiring dancers. Edgar loved Morehouse and continued to make cameo appearances in productions on campus as well as the greater Atlanta community. After graduating with a degree in English, Edgar moved to Washington, DC, and studied at Howard University School of Law.
Armed with a concern for human harmony, Edgar took on the responsibility of making positive changes in people and communities. His experience in law school prompted him to return to his hometown of Hartford, where he could actively contribute to political missions, working alongside the mayor and the state treasurer. He was refreshing to the community, adding hope and broadening paths for future leaders and dreamers. He had been the eldest of his siblings, and the role of big brother was not exclusive to his family. Edgar was equally genuine to everyone he could possibly mentor. His inspiration made everyone feel like the most important person in the world.
Knowing that the flame of true passion never dies, Edgar and the arts went center stage once again. He decided to return to his beloved city, New York, and explore his ideas in arts management. He worked at Columbia Arts Management (CAMI), managing the tours of the world’s finest operas, orchestras, and dance companies.
Edgar loved life and lived every day to its fullest. He traveled the world, going past the boundaries of tourism into remote villages and exclusive destinations. He routinely took not one vacation … not two or three … but most often four vacations a year—traveling widely and frequently to Brazil, the South of France, the Caribbean, and the Greek Isles, and he spent many summers on Martha’s Vineyard.
He also fell in love with The Riverside Church and was a leader in the Maranatha ministry, bringing the concerns of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community to The Riverside Church in the form of education and action, while providing fellowship and spiritual community.
Edgar died on October 15, 2005, in Orlando, Florida. He was survived by his partner, Antonio Stevens.
- Bradford Jones
How to Apply:
Maranatha, one of the Missions and Social Justice ministries here at The Riverside Church has transitioned to an online application process. Applications can either be completed using this form, or printed out, completed, and then mailed. ALL required attachments, must be submitted at the same time your application is submitted. DO NOT send materials separately.
Your completed application, including all attachments, can be submitted electronically, or mailed. The deadline for filing is June 4, 2023. Letters of recommendation must be sent by mail and postmarked no later than June 4, 2023. Only complete applications can be considered. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.
Your application will be reviewed by members of the Scholarship Committee. Selection will be based on the Eligibility Criteria listed below.