The Arts + Business Council is proud to announce the 2021 Arts + Business Council Leadership Award honoree, Ruth Naomi Floyd, Emancipatory Artist: Vocalist, photographer, composer, educator, activist, and justice worker, Frederick Douglass Jazz Works, who is being awarded for a dedicated approach to educating students at the intersection of music and art with culture and community through the lens of justice.
Ruth Naomi Floyd has been at the forefront of creating sacred jazz vocal settings for over 25 years. As a vocalist and composer, Ruth has produced a discography with a distinctive progressive ensemble jazz sound. She leads her own multi-faceted ensemble and her recordings consist primarily of original compositions.
A committed music educator, Ruth is Director of Jazz Studies at Cairn University and an Adjunct and Artist in Residence at Temple University. Ruth is passionate about the intersection of music and art with culture and community through the lens of justice. She shares her knowledge of the arts, culture, justice, and theology, participates in cultural art exchanges, and performs and presents lectures in universities, seminaries, and performance centers around the world.
Ruth’s latest body of works, “The Frederick Douglass Jazz Works,” is comprised of her original compositions paired with the actual words from the speeches and writings of this great luminary, Frederick Douglass. The message found within this body of work is remarkably relevant to today’s socio-cultural context. The Frederick Douglass Jazz Works won the Best Vocal Recital Award at the San Francisco Classical Voice Audience Choice Awards for 2019-2020 at Biola University.
Equally gifted in photography as she is in music, Ruth is an award-winning fine art photographer specializing in black and white portrait images. She uses silver-based films with 35mm and 4×5 inch view cameras to capture her images and uses traditional wet darkroom technology as well as digital printing on archival papers to produce her final images. Ruth has exhibited her photographic images in the United States, Europe, and Latin America and her images have been published on the covers of magazines, in brochures, and music album covers.
Ruth was awarded the Kimmel Center’s Jazz Residency for the 2019-2020 season. In December 2019, Concordia College New York awarded Ruth an Honorary Doctorate for her unique and valuable contribution to the arts, her commitment to music education, and her justice work.
Ruth continues to make the city of Philadelphia her home, where for over twenty-five years she has been devoted and active in providing compassionate care and spiritual support to people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS in Philadelphia and Africa. Ruth also serves the transgendered community.
The impact of Ruth’s creative contributions to the City of Philadelphia are multifold, and she continues to work on new artistic projects and justice issues in Philadelphia, the United States, and around the world.
[Virtual] Arts + Business Council Awards
Wednesday, May 19, 2021 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Virtual Event
The Arts + Business Council’s annual awards program honors leaders in the Philadelphia region who embody and foster cross-sector collaboration between creative and business communities. Join us in celebration of this year’s honorees along with creative and business community leaders from throughout the Greater Philadelphia region.