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These people and orgs went home with 2016 Arts + Biz Council awards

ABC executive director Karin Copeland. May 26, 2016 Category: FeaturedMediumPeople
Between celebrating the 20th anniversary of Business On Board, the 35th anniversary of Business Volunteers for the Arts and the launch of a free patent program, 2016 has already been a hell of a year for Arts + Business Council (ABC).

But ABC’s Awards Celebration is not about the nonprofit. It’s about recognizing its constituency — the folks and organizations at the intersection of local arts and business who excel in perpetuating the creative economy.

ABC volunteers from the private sector have committed more than $2 million worth of time and services to arts organizations this year, said Executive Director Karin Copeland.

“We want to be the global creative capital,” Copeland said. “And we can do that.”

These 10 awards were handed out in recognition of organizations, businesses and people who have done or are doing great work in the local arts sector (plus, each award was accompanied by a video profile produced by social enterprise Here’s My Chance and partners).

G. Fred DiBona, Jr. Individual Leadership Award

Winner: Former Pa. Gov. Ed Rendell & Judge Marjorie Rendell

The former governor and federal judge were awarded for their contributions to the arts in Philadelphia — namely, for the Avenue of the Arts.

Rendell said when he was first elected mayor, his understanding of the arts was “little more than nil.” Avenue of the Arts, he said, was designed to be a beacon of hope during a time when the city was laden with fiscal woes.

Judge Rendell was recognized for her work in civics, but was quick to remind attendees that this work is “not for us — it’s for our kids.”

PNC Arts Alive Award for Arts Innovation in Honor of Peggy Amsterdam

Winner: BlackStar Film Festival

The festival will be entering its fifth year this coming August. It’s not just a festival for black artists, staffers said, but it’s both a celebration and an avenue for filmmakers to get more black actors on screen and on set.

From our Partners

Business + Arts Partnership Award

Winner: Century 21 Department Store / Moore College of Art & Design

The partnership between the college and department store was sparked in 2014 to give students a place to showcase their work (and make a profit on it). Students accepted the award in dresses they designed.

Creative Economy Award for Distinction in a For-Profit Creative Field

Winner: History Making Productions

Founder and local politician Sam Katz accepted the award on behalf of the documentary production company.


Designing Leadership Award

David Gloss (Cofounder, Here’s My Chance)

Gloss, who announced he’s leaving Here’s My Chance earlier this month, made sure to shoutout his cofounder Kevin Colahan while accepting the inaugural award. No word on where Gloss will be heading next.

Anne d’Harnoncourt Award for Artistic Excellence

Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter of The Roots

The Philly native and front man of elite hip-hop band The Roots reminisced on growing up in South Philly: romping around Fairmount Park, frequenting community arts center Fleisher and being sentenced by a judge to scrub graffiti with the Anti-Graffiti Network.

Trotter said he “wouldn’t be the person he became” without the arts, and made sure to thank the “bullies and cornerboys” for toughening him up in his youth.

Business On Board Volunteer Leader of the Year Award

Frances Sperling Feldbaum (Principal, St. Clair CPA Solutions)

Business Volunteers for the Arts Volunteer of the Year Award

Edward P. Pazicky (Principal, E*P*P Consulting)

Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Volunteer of the Year Award

Dennis McCooe (Of Counsel, Blank Rome LLP)

Technology Connectors Volunteer of the Year Award

Chris Gibson (Consultant, SAP America)


BlackStar Film Festival

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