For 35 years, the Arts + Business Council Awards Celebration has recognized artistic excellence, civic dedication to the arts, and cross-sector collaboration between creative and business communities. This year’s awards celebration will gather 12 awardees and more than 300 attendees for a summer social luncheon with performances.

Leadership Awards Winners

This award is bestowed upon individuals who demonstrate remarkable leadership, exceptional innovation, and a commitment to the community in Philadelphia. In 2020, ABC recognizes the following nine individuals, who were nominated by their peers and selected by the ABC Advisory Board.

David Bradley, Co-Founder and Producing Director of Arts & Learning, LiveConnections
For socially engaged music-making via commissions, artist residencies, music education, and concerts

Vashti Dubois, Founder & Executive Director, The Colored Girls Museum
For outstanding dedication to women and girls of color, and providing agency and visibility for the practices and histories of artists often excluded from the canon

Sara Jane “Sally” Elk, President & CEO, Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site
For spearheading efforts to revitalize Eastern State Penitentiary as a space of both contemporary social education and art

Anne Ewers, President & CEO, Kimmel Center
For continued excellence leading the Kimmel Center, and launching new programs such as the Jazz & Theater Residency, the Education Strategic Plan for Growth and other initiatives

James Fulton, President & Business Principal, Fury Design
For his role as the Chair of the Clay Studio Capital Campaign, helping to raise $6.1 million to build a new home for the Clay Studio

Lovett Hines, Artistic Director, Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts
For service educating over 30,000 students in the art of music for over 25 years

Scott Mirkin, Executive Producer, ESM Productions
For contributions to Philadelphia’s creative economy through large-scale entertainment events and mentorship of small-business leaders

Hal Real, Founder & CEO, World Cafe Live
For innovation in founding and sustaining World Cafe Live as an independent venue, and partnerships with WXPN and the University of Pennsylvania, among others

Lisa Collins Vidnovic, Founder & Director, Metropolitan Ballet Company
For cultivating a love of dance in young people, in particular through the Boys’ Scholarship Program and a partnership with the School District of Philadelphia

Fred DiBona, Jr. Individual Leadership Award

The G. Fred DiBona, Jr. Individual Leadership Award recognizes individuals in the Greater Philadelphia region who have distinguished themselves as leaders in the arts, culture, or creative sectors. The honorees demonstrate significant leadership and impact on one or more arts/cultural institutions or communities in the region and serve as exemplary models of dedication and vision to our region. We honor the legacy of G. Fred DiBona, Jr. (1951-2005), past President and CEO of Independence Blue Cross, with the Individual Leadership Award.

Constance Clayton, Educator and Civic Leader
For her historic legacy as superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, board work with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and support of PAFA through a donation of 78 works by diverse artists

Anne D’Harnoncourt Award for Artistic Excellence

The prestigious Anne d’Harnoncourt Award for Artistic Excellence is named for the late Anne d’Harnoncourt, former CEO of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This year, we award two individuals who have achieved worldwide acclaim, embody artistic achievement, and serve as an inspiration to the Greater Philadelphia region both as artists and leaders.

Lorene Cary, Playwright, Author, Educator and Social Activist
For her numerous literary contributions, including Ladysitting and Black Ice, among others; her recent theatrical debut, My General Tubman; her founding of the nonprofit organization, Art Sanctuary; and her tenure at the University of Pennsylvania in the English and Africana Studies departments.

Jennifer Weiner, Writer, Author and Journalist
For her contributions as a New York Times bestselling novelist, including the books Mrs. Everything and In Her Shoes, among others; and for her nonfiction commentary championing women.

The 35th Annual Arts + Business Council Awards

Join us as we celebrate these honorees along with 350 creative and business community leaders at a summer social luncheon.

Thursday, June 11
The Bellevue Hotel
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