Philly Creative Guide

Event Spotlight

Juanita Berge | Philly Creative Guide Event Reporter

Arts & Business Council :: Annual Awards Luncheon
by , 1 Jun 2008

The Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia, an affiliate of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and a chapter of the national Arts & Business Council of Americans for the Arts, is the region''s only nonprofit organization that helps drive the cultural vitality and economic development of the Greater Philadelphia Region by strengthening the partnership between business and the arts and cultural community in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Northern Delaware.

For more information, visit or call 215.790.3620.

Greater Philadelphia''s arts and cultural landscape was under the spotlight on Friday, May 9 in the form of the Arts & Business Council''s Annual Awards Luncheon. Dignitaries, honorees and members of the arts and business community formed a capacity crowd in the PA Convention Center''s enormous Grand Ballroom. Dramatic lighting and festively adorned tabletops were the backdrop for this year''s awards ceremony themed "Taking it to the Streets."

Arts & Business Council :: Annual Awards Luncheon

An enormous mural was made especially for the event by Parris Stancell of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. The colorfully evocative mural served as the stage backdrop for the event and will have life after the ceremony by being installed in the Benjamin Rush Elementary School in Bensalem. The "Streets" theme was further in evidence with the selection of entertainment for this year''s show. Illstyle & Peace Productions hip-hop dance ensemble was the first performance of the event. Energetic, pulsating music accompanied the dancers'' popping, locking and breaking moves center stage. Later in the show The Voices of Africa, an all women''s a cappella and percussion ensemble gave a stirring performance that had the varied members of the audience all tapping their toes. The highlight of the event had to be the performance by Cirque du Soleil''s latest touring show, KOOZA. Anthony Gatto, an award-winning juggler, was accompanied to the stage by a contingent of acrobats, where he delivered a breath-taking act that featured all manner of juggling, including with fire. All of this was tied together by the emcee Johnnie Hobbs, a critically acclaimed actor and The University of the Arts theater professor, who played his saxophone, a la street performance, at each break during the show.

Arts & Business Council :: Annual Awards Luncheon

The Awards Luncheon, the Council''s only fundraising event, boasted over 1600 of the region''s business, arts, civic and legal leaders. They came together in tribute to the several honorees of the Council. Jeffrey D. Green, Edward M. Mayer, Esq., Glynis L. Joynes, Heather M. Newcomb and Michael E. Costa III, Esq. were each honored as Volunteers of the Year in their respective categories. Sneaker Villa with Art-Reach, and Dranoff Properties with the Philadelphia Theatre Company won Business/Arts Partnership Awards. The Honorable Governor Edward G. Rendell delivered what amounted to a keynote address and presented the G. Fred DiBona, Jr. Individual Leadership Award to Diane Dalto Woosnam. The prestigious Avatar Award for Artistic Excellence was awarded to Lisa Scottoline, bestselling author and columnist. Lisa''s books are legal thrillers from a female perspective that take place on the streets of Philadelphia. Called a booster for all things Philadelphia who''s dedicated to giving back to this region, she also writes a weekly Sunday column for the Philadelphia Inquirer called "Chick Wit."

The annual Arts & Business Council Awards Luncheon began in 1985 to recognize leaders in the arts and business as well as business/arts partnerships that have significantly contributed to the enrichment of Greater Philadelphia''s cultural landscape.

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