Awards Celebration

Over the past 37 years, the Arts + Business Council Awards have taken different forms to best recognize our region’s greatest leaders who embody and foster cross-sector collaboration between creative and business communities. This year, we are excited to start a new tradition of honoring and celebrating impactful collaborations between arts organizations and businesses.

Join us in person for a festive awards celebration memorializing Philadelphia’s groundbreaking creativity. The evening will be filled with must-see live performances, cocktails, and networking with creative leaders and advocates from our region.



2022 Honorees


For their Love & Grit Storefronts Project, which aimed to reinvigorate and beautify the city’s empty storefronts by transforming them into art installations.

Launched in mid-2021, The Love + Grit Storefronts Project, an extension of VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s Love + Grit podcast, aimed to reinvigorate and beautify the city’s empty storefronts by transforming them into art installations.

Through diligent collaboration, the initiative spotlighted the stories of artists and entrepreneurs; encouraged Philadelphians to shop and support small, minority-owned businesses; and brought much-needed vibrancy to neighborhoods across the city. The project spotlighted 12 talented QBIPOC artists and 24 innovative Black- and Brown-owned businesses. Citywide, empty storefronts including restaurants, health/beauty, furniture, and more became an expression of pride, supporting a business adversely affected by the pandemic and showcasing the potential of storefronts available for lease. QR codes appeared on all storefronts, encouraging admirers to go online to learn more about the campaign, the artists’ inspirations, the business owners’ stories and where other creations could be viewed.

Love + Grit Storefronts Project saw amazing success locally and nationally, inspiring other businesses to conduct similar artistic collaborations. More than 60 local, regional and national stories, totaling more than 793,419,242 impressions. Examples include The New York Times, Yahoo!, Travel Noire, Al Dia, The Philadelphia Tribune, Philadelphia Gay News, KYW Newsradio, WHYY, 6ABC, FOX29, NBC10, CBS3, and more. The program also scored big on social media, with 137,100+ total impressions. In addition, the project’s promotional video brought in another 50,000+ views.

This project highlighted a tremendous amount of collaboration amongst the business, arts and non-profit communities. Numerous partners made this possible: The Knight Foundation, Philadelphia Department of Commerce, The Bowman Group, Chestnut Hill Business District, Chinatown Business Improvement District, Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Realty, Nightingale Properties, Northern Liberties Business Improvement District, Reading Terminal Market, Roxborough Development Corporation and South Street Headhouse District. Art Curation: Conrad Benner (of photo blog Streets Dept.) and Ginger Rudolph.


For the Everyday Places Artist Partnerships project, an initiative of Barnes West–a collaboration between the Barnes and People’s Emergency Center Community Development Corporation–that connected social impact artists with neighborhood businesses to engage residents in art-making activities, sparking creativity, hope, and healing.

In partnership with the People’s Emergency Center Community Development Corporation (PECCDC), Barnes West has been serving West Philadelphia with multifaceted arts programming since 2018. Barnes West is designed to enrich lives and communities through shared art experiences and access. The Barnes Foundation and the Peoples Emergency Center CDC jointly present multifaceted arts programming—building upon PECCDC’s LoLa 38 creative placemaking initiative and the Barnes’s community engagement work to connect art in service to communities where they are. This collaboration brings West Philadelphia residents, business owners, and artists together in celebrating culture, creativity, and community voice—highlighting lifelong appreciation of, and participation in, the arts and cultural life of our city.

In June 2021, Barnes West launched Everyday Places Artist Partnerships, offering opportunities for social-impact artists to engage community residents in art-making activities that would spark creativity, hope, and healing.

The five artists selected for 2021 were Keyonna Butler, Marshall James Kavanaugh, Jahwula Seapoe, Andrea Walls, and Karen Smith with Sistahs Laying Down Hands. The artists partnered with neighborhood businesses and sites—including a hair salon, a jewelry shop, restaurants, public parks, and community organizations—to build interactive projects that engaged and inspired West Philly residents and empowered them to share their own creative voices. The projects incorporated poetry, creative writing, drumming, photography, yoga, visual art, and upcycled fashion and helped more than 350 residents experience interpersonal connections through art.

Additional programmatic components of Barnes West include monthly Barnes Presents! programs, including performances, art presentations, and workshops, at two central public spaces in West Philadelphia neighborhoods. Barnes Presents! offers space and time for residents to celebrate culture, creativity, and community voice together. Barnes West also includes neighborhood-based art activities with community agencies, housing developments, and civic groups, such as virtual curator and artist talks, performances, and art-making workshops. Finally, early in the pandemic, Barnes West created and distributed more than 400 art kits to residents in West Philadelphia who were experiencing decreased overall engagement due to lack of internet access, at locations such as the PEC Food Pantry and Mantua Food Pantry, University Square Apartments and Stephen Smith Towers, and events such as the Juneteenth Lantern-in-Place Celebration.

Barnes West is committed to growing and deepening relationships within West Philadelphia neighborhoods through public programming that builds civic participation and strengthens community connections to art and culture. By introducing neighborhood pop-ups with a museum lens, integrating the Barnes’s curatorial and education teams in creative networking events for adults, and including more neighborhood sites to draw audiences to high-quality arts and cultural programming, Barnes West is creating a sustainable community presence and creative engagement within West Philadelphia.

Partners: People’s Emergency Center Community Development Corporation, One Art Community Center, Clara Muhammad Square, Imperial Caribbean & Seafood, Silk Tent, Kanvas Event Center, Center for Carceral Communities, La Pearl Beauty Emporium, and the New Africa Freedom Center.


For their EMERGING MARKETS project, a two-year series launched in May 2020, which presented informal musical events where Philadelphians shop, work, and play, and broke down barriers to access to classical music.

Launched in May 2020, EMERGING MARKETS is an ongoing series of informal musical events presented where Philadelphians shop, work, and play. Aimed at breaking down barriers to attendance, performances take place at markets and businesses in all corners of Philadelphia. These events, played by musicians in street clothes, are tailored to a wide range of neighborhoods. For example, two concerts at the 9th Street Market featured music by Italian, Mexican, Southeast Asian, and African-American composers, representative of that community, and Philadelphia premieres of Chinese composer Tan Dun’s Prayer and Blessings for the Victims of COVID-19.

For many Philadelphians, the formal nature of concert halls may be intimidating and unappealing, serving as a deterrent to attending concerts. For others, language barriers, ticket prices, and lack of childcare or transportation make performances inaccessible. EMERGING MARKETS offers free and “pay as you wish” admission to provide greater equity for ethnically and socio-economically diverse audiences. Presenting concerts at familiar neighborhood businesses eliminates one of the major barriers to attendance: motivation. By the conclusion of this two-year program, Orchestra 2001 will have played approximately 70 short performances reaching 5,000 Philadelphians outside of the Center City cultural district.

The series offers a fishbowl view into the entire process of music-making, including collaboration, composition, fundraising, community engagement, publicity, and performance, rather than just the final product typically heard at a concert hall. Rehearsals, held in public, employ artists at other Philadelphians’ workplaces. A few light-hearted concerts even incorporate markets literally into the music: at flea markets, percussionists play items purchased from vendors; at automotive shops, they perform on hub caps, brake drums, and mufflers struck with wiper blades. At farmer’s markets, some performances include edible (organic!) wind instruments made from drilled-out carrots, cucumbers, and eggplants, with pumpkin timpani.

EMERGING MARKETS was one of Orchestra 2001’s responses to the pandemic’s unprecedented loss of employment for local performing artists and reduced opportunities to present safe, live music due to venue closures. It turned the problem of inequitable access to live concerts, into a way of sharing meaningful, high-level performances that have the power to transform lives.

Partners: 9th Street Market; Art for the Cash Poor, Kensington; Automotive Shops in the Frankford and Wissinoming sections of Northeast Philadelphia; Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest Market; The Bourse Food Hall; Cherry Street Pier Markets; East Falls Farmers Market; Lower Moyamensing (LoMo) Flea Market; Philadelphia Flower Show marketplace, FDR Park; Reading Terminal Market; Step Up to the Plate, Kensington. Anticipated Spring 2022 partners: American Hats Factory; Asian and African markets in Chinatown, West and Northeast Philadelphia; Car Dealerships and Automotive Shops in Northeast and West Philadelphia; Clark Park Farmers Market; Dahlak Ethiopian/Eritrean Restaurant; Overbrook Farmers Market; Produce Junction; Quaker City Flea Market, Northeast Philadelphia; Reading Terminal Market; Roosevelt Mall Flea Market; Semi-vacant strip malls in Northeast Philadelphia.

Funders: William Penn Foundation; PNC Arts Alive

Past Celebrations

In its 37 years, the Arts + Business Council Awards have taken different forms to best recognize leaders who embody and foster cross-sector collaboration between creative and business communities. Along the way, some award categories have been added to highlight specific verticals within our communities while other categories have been retired to make room for new, innovative ideas.



Visionary Sponsors



PNC Arts Alive

Supporting Sponsors

TD Bank
University of the Arts

Sponsorship opportunities available. Contact Olivia Rettstatt at [email protected]


Contact Diana Lind at [email protected]