Liza and More at this Weekend’s Pell Awards

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


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She never goes out of style.

Stealing the show, some say, in Sex and The City 2 ("All the Single Ladies," anyone?), Liza Minnelli arrives in Providence this weekend to splash some diva glamour around town and accept one of the city's most prestigious arts awards.

It's the 14th annual Pell Awards, and Minnelli will be honored as the recipient of the 2010 Pell Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts. Jazz impresario George Wein will be awarded the Pell Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Arts. Artist Umberto “Bert” Crenca will receive the 2010 Rhode Island Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts.

The Gala will be held on Saturday evening, June 19, from 6 to 10pm at the historic Sharpe Building at the Foundry Complex in Providence. The annual fundraising event will be co-chaired by Mary and Ellicott Wright and Michael and Bonnye Young. Individual tickets are $500 and $1,000, and some tickets are still available. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit Trinity Rep’s artistic and educational programs. (For more information and reservations, contact Trinity Rep at 453-9237).

“We could not be more delighted to present the 2010 Pell Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts to Liza Minnelli, star of stage and screen," said Trinity artistic director Curt Columbus. "Her passion for the arts and brilliant career continue to inspire thousands of artists, and her philanthropic efforts dedicated to education and AIDS research are equally commendable. I find it exceptionally fitting in light of the fact that we kicked off this year's season with Cabaret, that we will close the season in celebration of the one actress whose iconic performance in Cabaret continues to thrill generation after generation.”

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Jazz Impresario Wein and Artist Activist Crenca

Columbus also spoke highly of this year's honoree for Outstanding Leadership in the Arts: “The incomparable George Wein has had a profound impact on local and national music landscape through his work as a musician, advocate, producer, and organizer. George has brought emerging artists to national attention, celebrated the diversity of American folk and jazz music and has set the standard of excellence for outdoor music festivals with his Newport Jazz and Newport Folk Festivals.”

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On the choice for this year’s local award recipient, Columbus states, "Bert Crenca is probably best known for his work as the co-founder and leader of AS220, which stands today as one most innovative and successful arts organizations in the nation. But we are pleased to shift the focus to the man himself and honor Crenca's exemplary achievements as a visual and performing artist. It is Crenca's artistic vision and often controversial body of work that has helped to create a passionate dialogue within our community today."

The Pell Awards were established to honor Senator Claiborne Pell and recognize artistic excellence in Rhode Island and on the national level. Pell, who passed away last year, worked throughout his career to support the arts and provide new opportunities for artists. He sponsored the landmark legislation that established the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities in 1965, and chaired the Senate Education and Arts subcommittee. He also served a four-year term on the board of Trinity Repertory Company.

For more information/tickets for Saturday's Pell Awards Gala, contact Trinity Rep at 453-9237.


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