Welcome to the 35th Annual Virtual Awards Celebration

Today, though we gather gather virtually, we are here to honor the leaders who are doing groundbreaking work to support our region’s creative economy. Through their collaborative spirit and creative drive, our honorees bring a unique, competitive advantage to our region, inspiring a more innovative and impactful future for Greater Philadelphia.

Throughout the year, the Arts + Business Council strives to foster an exchange between the creative and business communities for the social and economic benefit of the Philadelphia region. Today, we celebrate people who have shown what leadership looks like at this intersection of art and business. Our nine Arts + Business Leadership Awardees exemplify impactful and innovative programming, strong business practices, and deep connection to community. Our D’Harnoncourt Award for Artistic Excellence and DiBona Award for Individual Leadership are bestowed to three amazing female leaders who have contributed their talent and treasure in ways that have improved Philadelphia and its cultural scene.

These awards reflect the work that the Arts + Business Council does yearlong. We host 150+ leaders in our leadership development programs, bring an inspiring roster of creative thought leaders to speak to 2,000+ professionals, and work with business volunteers to bring pro bono services to non-profit organizations.

As in past years, we’ve worked to advance inclusive and innovative leadership, offering diversity scholarships for nonprofit leaders to complete Business on Board, our board training program. We also graduated our largest-ever cohort of creative professionals from our leadership development program, Designing Leadership. And during the pandemic, we successfully shifted to a virtual Creative Exchange, where business professionals learn design-thinking approaches to problem-solving.

Through our Defining Innovation Speaker Series, we welcomed a variety of speakers, including Marc Randolph, Cliff Kuang and Pauline Brown to share ideas about everything from the importance of user experience design to the role of aesthetics in creating successful businesses.

The Arts + Business Council’s vision of uniting unlikely partners is more relevant in our society than ever. We thank you for joining us for this unique celebration to honor these incredible individuals and organizations, and that you come away from this event believing in the importance of mutual support and understanding across the creative and business sectors.

11:00 a.m.

Diana Lind, Executive Director, Arts + Business Council for Greater Philadelphia

Worldtown Soundsystem


David Bradley, Co-Founder and Producing Director of Arts & Learning, LiveConnections
Presented by: Diana Lind, Executive Director, Arts + Business Council for Greater Philadelphia

Lisa Collins Vidnovic, Founder & Director, Metropolitan Ballet Company
Presented by: Jennifer Pittenger, Associate, HOK

Vashti Dubois, Founder & Executive Director, The Colored Girls Museum
Presented by: Marc Helberg, Office Managing Vice President, Pariveda Solutions

Sara Jane “Sally” Elk, President & CEO, Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site
Presented by: Joseph Tammaro, Sector President, TD Bank

Anne Ewers, President & CEO, Kimmel Center
Presented by: Mark Samuels, Corporate Marketing & Communications, SEI

James Fulton, President & Business Principal, Fury Design
Presented by: Hugh McStravic, VP, Assistant Director, PNC Arts Alive

Lovett Hines, Artistic Director, Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts
Presented by: Stacey Richardson, Senior Manager, Captech Consulting

Scott Mirkin, Executive Producer, ESM Productions
Presented by: Ashley Moran, Executive Director of Experience Design, Comcast Business

Hal Real, Founder & CEO, World Cafe Live
Presented by: Joe Tankle, SVP Business Development, Meridian Bank

Metropolitan Ballet


Dr. Constance Clayton, Educator and Civic Leader
Presented by: Lorina Marshall-Blake, President, Independence Blue Cross Foundation


Jennifer Weiner, Writer, Author, & Journalist
Presented by: Alan Jacobson, Chair, Arts + Business Council for Greater Philadelphia; President, J2 Design + Exit Design

Lorene Cary, Playwright, Author, Educator, & Social Activist
Presented by: Alan Jacobson, Chair, Arts + Business Council for Greater Philadelphia; President, J2 Design + Exit Design

Diana Lind, Executive Director, Arts + Business Council for Greater Philadelphia


Metropolitan Ballet Academy and Company

Metropolitan Ballet Company’s mission is to provide performance training for pre-professional dancers, support emerging choreographers, and through performances, scholarships, and community outreach programs, promote a love and appreciation of dance. Serving a diverse community audience of more than 10,000 people annually, Metropolitan is committed to ensuring that dance continues to be relevant, exciting and accessible for people of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds.

Worldtown Soundsystem

Worldtown is an out of this world collective of global musicians and artists, raising the bar for what it means to be ‘Creative Change Makers’. Starting as a party in 2011, Worldtown has evolved to include live seven-piece house music touring band, label, apparel line, record pool, and community service network. Bringing together creators, musicians, and artists from across the globe, Worldtown is a community passionate about sharing energizing music and expansive art, unifying through connection and inspiring growth.
  • Comcast NBUniversal
  • Independence Blue Cross logo
  • HOK logo
  • Meridian Bank logo

Visionary Sponsors

Comcast NBCUniversal
Independence Blue Cross logo
PNC arts alive logo

Leadership Sponsor

HOK logo

Celebration Co-Sponsors

Meridian Bank logo
TD Bank logo

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 headshot

Playwright, Author, Educator, & 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.

Lorene Cary is a renowned author, nonprofit leader and social activist. Her play, My General Tubman, premiered at the Arden Theatre in January 2020 and imagines the iconic freedom fighter activating men in a contemporary Philadelphia prison to go back in time and fight with her. Cary’s care-taking memoir, Ladysitting: My Year with Nana at the End of Her Century, journeys through five generations to find the roots of family love and rupture.

Cary’s other non-fiction includes her best-selling memoir Black Ice and a collection of stories for young readers titled Free! Great Escapes from Slavery on the Underground Railroad. Her novels include The Price of a Child, chosen as the first One Book, One Philadelphia offering;  Pride; and If Sons, Then Heirs.

In 1998 Cary founded Art Sanctuary to use the power of black art to transform individuals, create and build community, and foster cultural understanding. Other leadership roles include serving as president of the Union Benevolent Association, and as a member of Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission.

For 20 years Cary has taught fiction and non-fiction at the University of Pennsylvania, in the Departments of English and Africana Studies. Cary began her career on staff at magazines including TIME, TV Guide, and Newsweek. This year she is overseeing the re-boot of #VoteThatJawn, a Philadelphia initiative to support youth voting.

Other honors include The Philadelphia Award, and six honorary doctorates.

Lorene Cary encourages attendees to join her efforts in fundraising for scholarships for St. James Schools. Learn more at stjamesphila.org.

Jennifer Weiner Headshot

Writer, Author, & 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.

Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of seventeen novels, including Mrs. EverythingGood in Bed and The Littlest Bigfoot, and an essay collection, Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing. A graduate of Princeton University and contributor to the New York Times Opinion section, Jennifer lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at JenniferWeiner.com.

Jennifer Weiner encourages attendees to support Planned Parenthood, Vida, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

G. 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 today’s presentation of the Individual Leadership Award.

Constance Clayton Headshot

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

The Arts + Business Council is proud to present the G. Fred DiBona Award for Individual Leadership to Dr. Constance Clayton. Constance has been a leader in Philadelphia arts and education communities for decades. She was the first woman and the first African American superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia. Later the University of Pennsylvania named a professorship after her in the graduate school of education.

After she retired from the school district, she served on the board of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and founded the museum’s African American Collections committee.

Constance’s love of art began at an early age when her mother would take her to museums. Over her lifetime, she amassed an impressive collection of artwork. In May 2019, she donated more than 70 works by African American artists to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. This year, PAFA displayed works from her collection in an exhibition entitled, Awakened in You. The exhibit, which includes pieces by Barkley L. Hendricks and Laura Wheeler Waring, among many others, is dedicated to Constance’s mother.

The Arts + Business Council Leadership Award

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 Bradleyy headshot

Co-Founder and Producing Director of Arts & Learning, LiveConnections

For socially engaged music-making via commissions, artist residencies, music education, and concerts

David Bradley’s work in the arts ranges across theater, music, civic engagement, education and accessibility. He co-founded and leads programming for LiveConnections, which specializes in music education and socially-engaged music and which has now merged with its partner World Cafe Live. He’s directed more than 30 productions at People’s Light, where he’s a long-time member of the artistic company. David is the director of A Fierce Kind of Love, commissioned by Temple University’s Institute on Disabilities. The play, which tells the story of the intellectual disabilities rights movement, has had multiple sold-out runs in Philadelphia. At the National Constitution Center he’s Artistic Director of Living News (since 2006) and directed Fighting for Democracy. His arts and civic engagement work also includes projects around the country with Theater of War and Animating Democracy and writing and directing Voices of Voting for the Committee of Seventy. He’s been a frequent director at Indiana Repertory Theatre, Act II Playhouse and Philadelphia Young Playwrights. David is a recipient of a Brighter Futures award from the City of Philadelphia’s Intellectual Disabilities Services for his work in accessibility and the arts. He teaches Arts Leadership at Arcadia University.

To support the free music education programs of World Cafe Live/LiveConnections, please go to www.liveconnections.org/support-us

Vashti Dubois headshot

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

Launched in 2015, The Colored Girls Museum (TCGM) “honors the stories, experiences, and history of Colored Girls of the african diaspora.” It is the first institution of its kind, offering visitors a multi-disciplinary experience of memoir, in all its variety, in a residential space. This museum initiates the “ordinary” object — submitted by the colored girl herself, as representative of an aspect of her story and personal history which she finds meaningful; her object embodies her experience and expression of being a Colored Girl. TCGM has been engineered to pop up in other cities and neighborhoods around the country — transforming ordinary spaces into Colored Girls Museum outposts, which collect, archive, and share the stories of indigenous colored girls. This start-up Museum enterprise has been written about in the Smithsonian Magazine, Essence, Associated Press, Philadelphia Inquirer, Metro U.K., and others.

DuBois has held leadership positions at a number of organizations over her 30-year career in non-profit and arts administration,working primarily on issues impacting girls and women of color  including: Free Library of Philadelphia, Tree House Books, the Historic Church of the Advocate, Children’s Art Carnival in New York City, Haymarket People’s Fund in Boston, Congreso Girls Center, and The Leeway Foundation. DuBois is a graduate of Wesleyan University, and a NAMAC Fellow. She is currently working on a book about the making of The Colored Girls Museum.

To support The Colored Girls Museum, visit www.thecoloredgirlsmuseum.com

Sally Elk headshot

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

Sally Elk, President & CEO was one of the organizing members of the Eastern State Penitentiary Task Force in 1988 while working for the Philadelphia Historical Commission, the City’s preservation agency.  She has contributed to the preservation and development of the penitentiary as a cultural site since the beginning of the project.  She joined Eastern State as its first Executive Director in 1999.

Today, Eastern State is a tourist destination, drawings over 450,000 visitors annually, to the daytime tour program and the fall fundraiser Terror Behind the Walls.  The 11-acre site remains a stabilized ruin.  She holds a M.S. in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in architectural conservation.  She also serves of the boards of the Parkway Council (Museum District) and Friends of the Rail Park.

To support the Eastern State Penitentiary Historical Site, visit easternstate.org/ABCDonate.

Anne Ewers headshot

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

In her inaugural year with the Center, Ms. Ewers led the Company to retire its $30 million construction debt, raise the endowment from $40 million to $72 million and garner $10 million to establish a biennial city-wide festival, The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts.  Launched in 2011 and repeated in 2013, 2016 and 2018 the Festival has drawn over 1.3 million attendees, driving $120 million into the region’s economy.  In tandem with Kieran Timberlake Architects, the Company has developed a Master Plan for which $14 million has been raised to improve Verizon Hall acoustics, renovate Hamilton Garden and Innovation Studio and open Volvér with famed iron chef Jose Garces. Ms. Ewers is currently leading a $175.5 million Comprehensive Campaign for the Center.In July, 2007 Anne Ewers assumed the role of President & CEO of Kimmel Center, Inc. The $60 million organization owns and operates the Kimmel Center and the Merriam Theatre and manages the Academy of Music, homes to eight Resident Companies. The Kimmel Center also presents a panoply of its own offerings including Broadway, jazz and popular mix.

Anne Ewers became President & CEO of Utah Symphony & Opera in July 2002 following the merger of the two performing arts organizations. During her tenure, she doubled the organization’s endowment from $18 million to $36 million, turned a structural deficit of $1.8 million into a $360,000 surplus, found the Deer Valley Music Festival which generates $1.9 million annually, launched the symphony on its first European tour in 19 years netting $850,000 and recorded the symphony’s first CD in 15 years.

To support the Kimmel Center, visit www.kimmelcenter.org/support-us

Jim Fulton headshot

Board Chair, The Clay Studio
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

Jim has been in the design field since graduating from University of the Arts (PCA) in 1972. He worked in retail doing product development for the home.  After, many of years traveling the world developing home product’s he returned to Philadelphia in 1992. Since then he served on the Collab Committee at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for almost a decade. He was Chair of that committee for two years. He is now President of his own Interior Design and Architecture firm with his husband Eric Rymshaw.  They have been working together for the last 20 years, promoting art and ceramics collections in the many homes and interiors that they have completed.

Jim joined the Board of The Clay Studio in 2009. His deep appreciation for ceramics brought him to The Clay Studio. Over the last ten years he has been an integral part of The Clay Studio’s success.  They are about to celebrate 48 years of supporting the Ceramic Arts in Philadelphia.  He has served as Board Chair for three years and has spent the last three years heading the Capital Campaign Committee. This has resulted in a capital campaign that has raised over 6.1 million. This past January The Clay studio broke ground on 13.5 million dollar building at 1425 North American Street in South Kensington to better serve our ceramic artists, school, and the community. I most enjoy being able to give back to the Philadelphia community that has been very supportive to me throughout my career.

To support the Clay Studio, visit www.theclaystudio.org/support

Lovett Hines headshot

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

Lovett Hines is the Artistic Director and founder of the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts Music Education Program.  Since 1985, students in the program have participated in a broad range of activities including private instruction, master classes, ensembles, summer jazz camp and live performance around the US.

He secured a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from the University of the Arts, music training at Combs College of Music, Grambling State University and the University of Maryland.  He is credited for launching the careers of many young accomplished musicians and artists.  Through two decades at the Philadelphia Clef Club and prior to that at Settlement Music School, he has mentored some of the most high-profile jazz artists to have emerged from Philadelphia during that time, most notably bassist Christian McBride, organist, Joey DeFrancesco, saxophonist Jaleel Shaw, and drummer Justin Faulkner.

Hines has served as program director at the Trane Stop Resource Institute, director for the “Change of the Century Orchestra” that performed at the Berlin Jazz Festival.  Music director for the Jerry McCleary Revue at Club Harlem in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

A highlight of his music career was his performance as Musical director of the Heavenly Horns, who performed with the Grammy Nominated Dixie Hummingbirds at the “Music in the Air” 70th Anniversary Celebration, which included Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and Isaac Hayes.

Scott Mirkin headshot

Executive Producer, ESM Productions

For contributions to Philadelphia’s creative economy through large-scale entertainment events and mentorship of small-business leaders

Over his 30+ year career, Scott Mirkin has produced some of the most high-profile events in the country featuring: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Pope Francis, Dalai Lama, Jay Z, Beyoncé and Coldplay.

ESM Productions is a Roc Nation company. Scott heads all production of live streaming events and concerts for TIDAL HiFi Music Streaming throughout the U.S and across the globe—producing more than 500 hours of live entertainment each year.

ESM’s most recent broadcast credits include: live streaming the Ev Bravado Paris Fashion Week show for TIDAL, facilitating the distribution of the Super Bowl LIV Half Time Show Visual Album, for the first time ever, to all streaming platforms & producing the celebration of Meek Mill’s Grammy nomination, which included a performance captured in Dolby Atmos sound. Scott has also produced The Philly Fourth of July Jam, starring The Roots; Made in America; and Jay Z Live from Brooklyn.

Scott and the team at ESM Productions served as executive producer and host broadcast entity for six of Pope Francis’ public appearances during his historic 2015 apostolic journey to the United States, including the two largest events of his North American tour for the World Meeting of Families.

Scott is a member of the Producers Guild of America and is on the Board of The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia where he chairs the member services committee.

Scott Mirkin requests those who would like to support ESM Production and fellow Philadelphia businesses to make a donation to the PHL COVID-19 Fund by visiting www.philafound.org/give-now

Hal Real headshot

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

Hal Real is the Founder and President of World Cafe Live, an independent live music, restaurant and events venue located in Philadelphia, PA. Open since 2004, WCL shares its building with public radio station WXPN from whom it licenses the World Cafe® radio show name. WCL’s 2-stage space has been a launchpad for many artists, including Adele, Trombone Shorty, Brandi Carlile and Billy Eilish, just to name a few. In 2008, Hal assembled a team of artists and educators to launch LiveConnections, a nonprofit organization dedicated to music education that has reached more than 50,000 participants, mostly from Philadelphia schools. In 2020, the two organizations became one unified nonprofit under the World Cafe Live name.

Currently Hal is a founding Board member of NIVA-the National Independent Venue Association, and Chairman of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and the Honorary Board of People’s Light (Malvern, PA). Hal also serves on the boards of Freire (Charter Schools) Foundation and the Philadelphia Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Board. In the past, he chaired the Boards of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and the Main Line Chamber of Commerce, and was a member of the People’s Light and Fringe Arts boards, as well as the Chairman’s Council of the Philadelphia Zoo. Hal is a graduate of Kenyon College and Temple University School of Law

To support the free music education programs of World Cafe Live/LiveConnections, please go to www.liveconnections.org/support-us

Lisa Collins Vidnovic headshot

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

Lisa Collins Vidnovic began her career in dance at the age of 14 when she was awarded a full scholarship to study at American Ballet Theater in New York. Since then, Vidnovic has devoted herself to performing, teaching, and cultivating a love of dance and music in young people. Vidnovic created a place where new voices and new perspectives are celebrated. Families are proud of their children on stage — boys and girls working together — and young people thrive by working with diverse and accomplished adult role models. Vidnovic strives to make classical dance training inviting and accessible in a multi-cultural community and is gratified to have built a community audience of 10,000 from scratch.

To support the Metropolitan Ballet Academy and Company, visit metballet.square.site