MARIAN ANDERSON AWARD TO HONOR BILL COSBY
Award Gala with The Philadelphia Orchestra will take place on April 6, 2010
Philadelphia, PA–December 22, 2009–Mayor Michael Nutter announced today that Bill Cosby, Ed.D.–comedian and educator–will be the next recipient of the Marian Anderson Award. Mr. Cosby will accept the Award at a Gala Concert produced in partnership with The Philadelphia Orchestra, which will take place on Tuesday, April 6, 2010, at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
In making the announcement, Mayor Nutter noted, "Since 1998 the Marian Anderson Award has honored individuals who have helped change society through their art and the courage of the convictions. While all of the previous honorees have had enormous impact on our culture, Bill Cosby is the first life-long Philadelphian to be honored. His connections to Philadelphia are deep and his range of achievement is unparalleled. We are enormously proud of his many achievements and are delighted that the Marian Anderson Award has chosen Bill Cosby to honor."
In commenting on his agreement to accept the Marian Anderson Award, Bill Cosby stated that, "I am humbled. The clarity of viewing racism from Marian Anderson's DAR rejection proves that racism is a waste of time, precious time."
Perhaps Mr. Cosby's greatest contribution to American entertainment and culture is The Cosby Show, a television series about a close-knit, upper class black family. Cosby said his intent was to portray an American family. Time Time magazine called the show "an encouraging sign of maturity in matters of race."The Cosby Show dominated the No. 1 spot for years, earning broad critical praise. Life magazine described the program as "a gentle, whimsical, warmhearted" show whose "delicious ordinariness of its pleasures and tribulations has given millions a fresh, laughter-splashed perspective on their own domestic lives."
For his philanthropic efforts and positive influence as a performer and author, Bill Cosby was honored with a 1998 Kennedy Center Honors Award. In 2002 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor, and in 2009 he was the recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
MARIAN ANDERSON AWARD
The Marian Anderson Award honors artists whose leadership on behalf of a humanitarian cause(s) or issue benefits society. Previous recipients include Maya Angelou and Norman Lear (2008), Richard Gere (2007), Sidney Poitier (2006), Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis (2005), Oprah Winfrey (2003), Danny Glover (2002), Quincy Jones (2001), Elizabeth Taylor (2000), Gregory Peck (1999), and Harry Belafonte, (1998). No Award was given in 2004 or 2009.
Created in 1998, the Award is named for the great Philadelphian and American singer Marian Anderson, and is produced and administered under the direction of J. Patrick Moran. Since its inception, the Award program has provided more than $500,000 in free public programs, residencies, commissions, and grants to young artists.
This year's Gala Performance, the details of which will be announced in January, will be preceded by the annual black-tie Gala Dinner, also at the Kimmel Center, which is a fundraiser for the Marian Anderson Award and its grant programs that support young artists. Those interested in attending the Gala Dinner, which includes a premium ticket to the Gala Performance, can call the Marian Anderson Award office at 215-893-1837 to receive an invitation. Single tickets for the Gala Performance are available now by calling Ticket Philadelphia at 215-893-1999 or by visiting The Philadelphia Orchestra's website at www.philorch.org. source