Last week, the Arts + Business Council hosted its 35th Annual Awards program. For the first ever time, this event was held virtually, and that was just one way that the event was different than other years.

We recognize we are in the midst of unprecedented times. And we are also glad that the leaders we honored at the Awards have long been at the frontlines of important social justice discussions, whether it is the way that Vashti Dubois’s Colored Girls Museum provides a space for inquiry of race and gender, how Sally Elk’s Eastern State Penitentiary questions our criminal justice system, or Anne Ewer’s Kimmel Center opened its doors to thousands of protestors marching up Broad Street.

This moment of interrogating the racial and social status quo comes on top of a global pandemic that has had a crushing impact on the arts and culture community — our music venues, our performance spaces, our museums — these places are where people come together. And for three months, we have not been able to gather in-person to enjoy a play, an exhibition, or a concert. But COVID-19 hasn’t stopped people like Hal Real, whose World Café Live is hosting virtual live performances, or Scott Mirkin, whose ESM Productions has been a live-streaming pioneer with TIDAL. All of our awardees have pivoted to virtual programming, but they still need your support.

We hope you will get to watch the Awards and support our awardees through our digital Awards program book.

Speaking of support, we would like to thank all of our steadfast sponsors who have supported us taking the awards virtual and made this program possible. Thank you to our Visionary Sponsors: Independence Blue Cross, PECO, Comcast, and PNC Arts Alive. Thank you to our Leadership Sponsor HOK. And finally thank you to our celebration Co-Sponsors Meridian Bank and TD Bank. As you can see in the Awards recording, these supporters were presenters at the Awards and deeply involved in the arts community with many connections to our awardees.

If you missed the live-stream of the Awards, we hope you will get a chance to watch the program now. We hope that it will leave you with a feeling of community at a time when it feels so hard to connect, a sense of hope when many of us are grieving the toll from COVID-19, and a new perspective on our region at a time when it must be re-imagined.

Best,

Diana Lind
Executive Director
Arts + Business Council

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