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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
DR. 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
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.
Co-Founder and Producing Director of Arts & Learning, LiveConnections
For socially engaged music-making via commissions, artist residencies, music education, and concerts
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
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
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
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
Executive Producer, ESM Productions
For contributions to Philadelphia’s creative economy through large-scale entertainment events and mentorship of small-business leaders
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