Actress Mia Farrow was in town to receive the city's Marian Anderson Award May 10 at the Kimmel Center with an audience of 2,000. Before the award program began, Farrow attended the black-tie dinner for 500 guests, which was chaired by David L. Cohen of Comcast and held at the Kimmel. The gala concert, hosted by Alvin Ailey artistic director Judith Jamison, featured performances by the Philadelphia Orchestra, opera singer Angela Brown, singer-songwriter Carly Simon, the Keystone State Boychoir and Pennsylvania Girlchoir, and Esperanza Spalding, winner of this year's Grammy for best new artist. The gala raised more than $150,000 for the Marian Anderson Award and its Young Artist Study-Grant program.
Temple University head basketball coach Fran Dunphy, former Phillies manager Dallas Green, and former Eagle Mike Mamula were among the 350 guests who attended Magee Rehabilitation Hospital's 11th annual Night of Champions May 6 at the Sheet Metal Workers Union Hall in South Philadelphia. Stuart Greenberg, a program director of the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department, was presented with the hospital's Magee Champion in the Community Award. The benefit raised nearly $200,000 for wheelchair sports, art therapy, and other patient programs at Magee.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation held a celebration and awards ceremony May 9 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the 36 winners of the foundation's inaugural Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia. The challenge, which started last fall, is a three-year, $9 million initiative that seeks to fund the "best ideas for the arts in Philadelphia." The foundation awarded $2.7 million to fund the challenge's first 36 best ideas. Among the 250 civic and cultural leaders and members of the arts community who attended the event were Alberto Ibargüen, the foundation's president and chief executive officer, and Dennis Scholl, the foundation's vice president for the arts.
The Philadelphia Art Alliance's 71st annual Wetherill Ball, chaired by Ellen Lee and David Benton, was held May 6 for 170 guests. Following a cocktail reception at the Art Alliance, the evening continued with dinner and an awards presentation at the Rittenhouse Hotel. A highlight of the ball was a performance by three resident artists from the Academy of Vocal Arts, who serenaded event honorees Lynne and Harold Honickman and Jane Golden, executive director of the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. The benefit raised $160,000 for the nonprofit.