ICYMI: Recap of Awards 2018 – Honoring Three Women Innovators in the Creative Economy + Philadelphia’s Creative Advantage, May 23, 2018

On Wednesday, May 23, 2018, the Arts + Business Council (ABC) hosted its 33rd Annual Awards Celebration at the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts, honoring the exceptional leaders, organizations, projects and partnerships who leverage arts, culture and creative to grow our region’s unique competitive advantage, or creative advantage. The event also served as the launch of ABC’s new brand, signaling a renewed focus to invest in and connect the creative economy to the business community through programs that foster an immersive exchange.

This year’s honorees and sponsors were introduced by Executive Director, Karin Copeland, who opened the night by reaffirming ABC’s mission to support the creative community in Philadelphia and reveal the new brand of ABC done by J2 Design. Chair, Marc Brownstein, followed reciting compelling remarks about the important relationship between the creative economy and business community set the tone for an extraordinary evening. Brian Bernhardt, CFP, of Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management took the podium next, echoing Copeland and Brownstein, and offering the support of his organization to the creative community and its supporters.

ABC presented the prestigious Anne d’Harnoncourt Award for Artistic Excellence to three women innovators, who are creating an enduring legacy for the region’s creative economy; Joan Myers Brown, Jane Golden and Meryl Levitz. Joan Myers Brown is the Founder of the Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco!), The Philadelphia School of Dance Arts, and The International Conference of Black Dance Companies. Brown is an artist and pioneer in fostering inclusion in the arts both here and around the world. Jane Golden is the Founder and Executive Director of Mural Arts, overseeing its growth from a small city agency to the nation’s largest mural program and a model for arts-based community development and social justice around the globe. Our final honoree, Meryl Levitz, has been the CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA since its inception in 1996, rebuilding and rebranding our region’s image, driving tourism, boosting the local economy and revolutionizing the way people around the world experience our cultural landscape.

Amidst electrifying performances from PHILADANCO! and the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, ABC honors Regina Canfield and PNC Arts Alive as the recipients for the G. Fred DiBona, Jr. Award, recognizing a decade of investments in inclusive audience engagement in the arts community. To-date, PNC Arts Alive has provided $9 million in grant funding to over 60 regional visual and performing arts organizations.

Click here for the full gallery of photos.

Click below for a full roundup of press on #ABCAwards2018.

Philadelphia Business Journal – Mural Arts, Visit Philadelphia leaders honored by Arts + Business Council

This year’s full list of honorees are as follows:

Anne D’Harnoncourt Award for Artistic Excellence presented by Jefferson
Meryl Levitz, President & CEO, VISIT PHILADELPHIA

Jane Golden, Founder & Executive Director, Mural Arts Philadelphia and

Joan Myers Brown, Founder & Executive Artistic Director, Philadanco!

Fred Dibona Jr Individual Leadership Award presented by Independence Blue Cross
Regina Canfield // PNC Arts Alive

The PNC Arts Alive Award for Innovation in Honor of Peggy Amsterdam presented by PNC
Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra

Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra Honoree Video 

Creative Economy Award for Distinction in a For-Profit Creative Field presented by J2

Printfresh Honoree Video

Designing Leadership Alumni Award presented by WebLinc
Ellen OwensDirector of Learning Programs, Penn Museum

Ellen Owens Honoree Video

Business + Arts Partnership Award: Large Business with an Arts Organization presented by SEI
Reed Smith LLP + The Village of Arts and Humanities

Reed Smith LLP + The Village of Arts and Humanities Honoree Video

Business on Board Volunteer Leader of the Year Award presented by Fisher Phillips
Jeffrey Holder, Owner, Jeffrey Holder Photography
For board service to InLiquid Art + Design

Volunteer Honorees Video

Technology Connectors Volunteer of the Year Award presented by Comcast NBCUniversal
Ashley Moran, Senior Director of User Experience & Product Management, Comcast NBCUniversal
For volunteer consulting work for The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Volunteer Honorees Video

Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Volunteer of the Year Award presented by Saul Ewing LLP
Robert Louis, Managing Member, Saul Ewing LLP
For volunteer legal work for The Whitemarsh Art Center

Volunteer Honorees Video

Business Volunteers for the Arts Volunteer of the Year Award presented by PECO
William H. Haines, IV, Senior Vice President, Director of Client Services, Pennsylvania Trust
For volunteer consulting work with ArtWell

Volunteer Honorees Video

Click here to learn more about our Awards Celebration 2018 Winners.

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Award Sponsors:

Comcast Logo         Fisher Phillips Logo


PECO Logo      PNC Arts Alive Logo



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EY Logo

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A Council of:

The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia Logo