Founder's Award 2017

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Founder's Award 2017

The 2017 Founder's Award dinner will be held on May 3, 2017, at the National Constitution Center. This year, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) will honor National Book Award Winner James McBride with the Founder’s Award and HSP Board Member Dr. Alice L. George and Library Company of Philadelphia Director Emeritus Dr. John C. Van Horne with the Heritage Award. 

James McBride is an author, musician, and screenwriter. His landmark memoir, The Color of Water, remained on The New York Times Best Sellers list for two years. It is considered an American classic and is read in schools and universities across the United States. His debut novel, Miracle at St. Anna, was adapted into a major motion picture directed by American film icon Spike Lee. It was released by Disney/Touchstone in September 2008. McBride wrote the script for Miracle at St. Anna, and co-wrote Spike Lee's 2012 Red Hook Summer. His latest novel, The Good Lord Bird, about American revolutionary John Brown, is the winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction.

HSP, in partnership with the National Constitution Center, is unveiling "American Treasures: Documenting the Nation’s Founding", an exhibit illuminating the founding era through priceless drafts of the U.S. Constitution, including Pennsylvania delegate James Wilson’s own handwritten drafts. Founder's Award attendees will have the opportunity to tour the new exhibit during the evening's celebrations. The exhibit will not be open to the public until May 4.
A sneak peek of the exhibit will be available to all attendees of this year's Founder's Award! The funds raised at this event go directly toward supporting HSP’s mission of inspiring individuals and organizations to create a better future through historical understanding.
Exclusively for Founder’s Award 2017, honoree James McBride will perform his quintet mix of spirituals and jazz renditions of classic gospel songs as inspired by abolitionist John Brown, a key figure in McBride’s The Good Lord Bird.
Performance tickets are $75 per person and includes the seated musical performance at 9:00 p.m., wine service, and dessert. Guests will also receive a special gift bag including tickets to view the exhibit American Treasures: Documenting the Nation’s Founding, a special collaboration between HSP and the National Constitution Center featuring unique working drafts that became the U.S. Constitution.
The Event Chairs are J. Rudy Lewis and Dorothy Mather Ix. Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest are serving as Honorary Co-chairs. 

For more information, please contact Bethany Yost at 215-732-6200 ext. 243 or