Chris Gruits: Curating Innovative and Groundbreaking Programs at the Annenberg Center

Chris Gruits: Curating Innovative and Groundbreaking Programs at the Annenberg Center

Chris Gruits is the executive and artistic director of the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. His vision returns the Annenberg Center to its roots as Philadelphia’s premier curator of innovative and groundbreaking programs, and a wide range of collaborations in dance, music, theater and more. A signature of his leadership is the cultivation of partnerships across the community, reflecting the Annenberg Center’s commitment to serving the University of Pennsylvania, the surrounding West Philadelphia neighborhood and the Greater Philadelphia region.

Safia Minney and PeopleTree: When Aesthetics Meet Ethics in Fashion

Safia Minney and PeopleTree: When Aesthetics Meet Ethics in Fashion

Safia Minney, MBE, is an award-winning social entrepreneur and internationally recognized for the company she founded, People Tree, the pioneer of sustainable fashion. She led the business as global CEO for 20+ years in Japan and the UK. Safia has been recognized by the World Economic Forum as an Outstanding Social Entrepreneur and is a leading influencer in sustainability, anti-modern slavery and fair trade.

Kelly Lee: Increasing Access to Arts Education, Job Opportunities for Artists and Cultural Experiences in Philadelphia

Kelly Lee: Increasing Access to Arts Education, Job Opportunities for Artists and Cultural Experiences in Philadelphia

Kelly Lee is the chief cultural officer for the City of Philadelphia, appointed by Mayor Jim Kenney. She leads Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, which closes the gap in access to quality cultural experiences and creative expression through the support and promotion of arts, culture and the creative industries. The Office connects Philadelphians to enriching arts-infused experiences, links local artists and cultural organizations to resources and opportunities, and preserves Philadelphia's public art assets.

Andreas Heineke and Dialogue in the Dark: Mitigating Social Gaps and Fostering Empathy

Andreas Heineke and Dialogue in the Dark: Mitigating Social Gaps and Fostering Empathy

Globally, it is estimated that 1.3 billion people live with some form of distance or near vision impairment. Prejudice about blindness is widespread; blind people do not have equal access to education and the labor market. Social entrepreneur Andreas Heinecke was determined to do something about it. He founded Dialogue in the Dark—in which blind people lead the audience in small groups through a set of real-life scenarios in total darkness to share this experience.

Matías Tarnopolsky and The Philadelphia Orchestra: Excellence, Innovation and Creativity Onstage & Offstage

Matías Tarnopolsky and The Philadelphia Orchestra: Excellence, Innovation and Creativity Onstage & Offstage

The Philadelphia Orchestra creates and shares music of the highest caliber for people of all ages and backgrounds, and is actively involved in community outreach activities. Matías Tarnopolsky was appointed president and chief executive officer of the Orchestra in 2018.

Thom Collins and the Barnes Foundation: Advancing Education and Appreciation of the Fine Arts

Thom Collins and the Barnes Foundation: Advancing Education and Appreciation of the Fine Arts

Dr. Albert C. Barnes believed that art had the power to improve minds and transform lives. The Barnes Foundation's diverse educational programs are based on his teachings and one-of-a-kind collections—both his art holdings in Philadelphia and the rare trees, flowers and other plants at the Barnes Arboretum.

Heather Templeton Dill and the John Templeton Foundation: Advancing Our Understanding of Life’s Big Questions

Heather Templeton Dill and the John Templeton Foundation: Advancing Our Understanding of Life’s Big Questions

Do we inhabit a multiverse? Do we have free will? Does evolution have an address? Are we are immortal? Was the universe created? What is love?
The Templeton Foundation is optimistic about the power of science and other discovery-oriented disciplines to advance our understanding of life's greatest questions.

Barbara Silzle and the Philadelphia Cultural Fund: Enhancing the City’s Cultural Life

Barbara Silzle and the Philadelphia Cultural Fund: Enhancing the City’s Cultural Life

Barbara J. Silzle is a mission-driven leader in Philadelphia’s arts and philanthropic communities. Since 2015, she has served as executive director of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, a nonprofit corporation whose mission is to provide grant funds to enhance arts and cultural organizations throughout Philadelphia.