Trinity Rep Announces 2019 Rhode Island Pell Award Winners

Trinity Rep Announces 2019 Rhode Island Pell Award Winners

Trinity Repertory Company announced today that three area residents will be honored at its 2019 Pell Awards Gala on Monday, June 3, 2019 in Providence. Storyteller Valerie Tutson will receive the Rhode Island Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts. Central Falls High School teacher Deloris Davis Grant will receive the Charles Sullivan Award for Distinguished Service in the Arts. The Pell Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Arts will go to Rosanne Somerson, President of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Additional honorees will be announced at a later date.

Trinity Rep's 2019 Pell Awards Gala will be held the evening of Monday, June 3, 2019 at the WaterFire Arts Center in Providence. The annual fundraising event is co-chaired by Sally Lapides and Art Solomon and Alison and Larry Eichler.

The creative black-tie event will begin at 6:00 pm with a VIP cocktail reception. The awards ceremony and seated gourmet dinner will begin at 7:00 pm. Guests will enjoy mixing and mingling with artists, business, political, and social leaders; catering by Russell Morin Fine Catering; and unforgettable moments as the theater honors individuals who are committed to bettering the world through art, education, and activism.

Tickets for Trinity Rep's Pell Awards Gala are $500 (VIP) and $250. Tables, sponsorships and event program ads are also available. All proceeds benefit Trinity Rep's artistic programs. For more information or to purchase tickets, sponsorships or ads, visit or call (401) 453-9237.

"I am thrilled to be honoring Val, Deloris, and Rosanne at this year's Pell Awards," said Curt Columbus, artistic director of Trinity Rep. Not only are each deserving for their years of work and dedication to the arts and community efforts alone; even more importantly, they exemplify what it means to be a woman in leadership. Their impact is worldwide, but we are so lucky to count them among our neighbors. It is with great pleasure that we honor these three extraordinary women for their voices, visions, and service to Rhode Island.

Trinity Rep's Pell Awards were established in 1997 to honor the legacy of Senator Claiborne Pell (D-RI) and recognize artistic excellence in Rhode Island and the New England region as well as on the national level. Between 1961 and 1997, Senator Pell held influential Senate posts in the fields of human resources, education, arms control, health, human rights, foreign relations, the environment, and the arts and humanities. Throughout his life, Senator Pell worked to support the arts and provide new opportunities for artists. He was the principal sponsor of landmark legislation that established the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities in 1965, and chaired the Senate Education and Arts subcommittee. He also took a lead role in eliminating barriers to higher education with his legislation creating the Basic Educational Opportunity Grants, which Congress named Pell Grants in 1980.

Past Rhode Island Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts honorees include 2018's winner Morris Nathanson, as well as John Benson, Howard BenTr , Dan Butterworth, Len Cabral, Charlene Carpenzano, John Chan, Bob Colonna, Robert Coover, Umberto Bert Crenca, Richard Cumming, Ruth Frisch Dealy, Tony Estrella, Richard Fleischner, Peter Geisser, Malcolm Grear, Michael Harper, Bunny Harvey, Dorothy Jungels & the Everett Dance Theatre, George Kent, Eugene Lee, David Macaulay, Salvatore Mancini, Dave McKenna, Barbara Meek, Denny Moers, Timothy Philbrick, Ricardo Pitts-Wiley, Duke Robillard, Thomas Sgouros, Sr., Consuelo Sherba, Gretchen Dow Simpson, Maria Spacagna, Judith Lynn Stillman, Chris Van Allsburg, Paula Vogel, Keith and Rosmarie Waldrop, William Warner, Rose Weaver, Steven Weinberg, and Toots Zynsky.

Pell Award/Charles Sullivan Award for Distinguished Service in/to the Arts honorees include: 2018's winner Jane S. Nelson, as well as Elizabeth Z. Chace, Mayor Vincent A. Cianci, Jr., Martha Douglas-Osmundson, Sally and Joe Dowling, Adrian Hall, Mary Paula Hunter, P. William Hutchinson, Virginia Lynch, Lowry Marshall, Elaine Foster Perry and Julie Adams Strandberg.

Past Pell Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Arts honorees include: 2018's winner Jeannine Chartier, as well as Joseph A. Chazan M.D., Mihailo Misha Djuric, Michael Gennaro, Roger Mandle, Senator Claiborne Pell, J.L. Lynn Singleton, and George Wein.

Photo: Courtesy of Deloris Davis Grant

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