Kevin Hart receives Arts + Business Council Artistic Excellence Award

May 25, 2017

The Arts + Business Council of Greater Philadelphia (ABC) 32nd Annual Awards drew a diverse community of over 600 attendees to the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) to honor philanthropic leaders Keith L. and Katherine Sachs and award-winning comedian, actor and producer Kevin Hart.

As a recipient the Anne d’Harnoncourt Award of Artistic Excellence, Hart joined a list of local notables awardees including The Roots’ Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Patti LaBelle and Lee Daniels.

“I don’t take stuff like this for granted. I never have. I never will. If you know me or follow me, you know I am a Philadelphia man at heart,” said Hart. “I try to do the best that I can to bring attention to the city of Philadelphia because this is the city that made me into the man I am today, and I am forever grateful.”

Hart, a self-proclaimed “Philly kid with a dream,” was raised in North Philadelphia and got his start performing at open mics around the city. Today, Hart is considered the most successful stand-up comedians of all time. His stand-up comedy tours, including “Kevin Hart: What Now?,” have sold-out arenas and football stadiums, leading “Forbes” to name him the “king of comedy.” His films, including “Central Intelligence” and “The Secret Life of Pets” have earned over $3.5 billion at the box office. He is also the first comedian with a Nike sneaker line; a television producer, creating the BET show “Real Husbands of Hollywood” and the Laugh Out Loud Network; and CEO of Hartbeat Productions. Hart currently lives in Los Angeles with his family.

Hart, the only awardee to speak, continued: “When these opportunities come and these phone calls are made asking, ‘Do you have time?’ I say, ‘I will make the time,’ because it is always important for me to give this and show. To those people out there with a dream or goal, I think I am a great example of what determination can get you. I am a guy that stays true to my beliefs and am constantly trying to evolve and become the best version of myself. I know that there’s people out there that is always going to tell you the word ‘no’. That word is an amazing word to hear, because it is a word that will eventually change into ‘yeses’ and that ‘yes’ can last for a long time depending on how you want it to. For me, it’s a lifetime thing. So, expect to see me doing more. Expect to see me giving more. Expect to see me put on for my city at a higher level as things continue to get bigger for me, they’ll continue to get bigger for Philadelphia because that is a goal that I have. I love you guys!”

ABC bestowed art collectors and philanthropists Keith L. and Katherine Sachs the G. Fred DiBona Jr. Award for their transformative gifts to PMA and the University of Pennsylvania.

ABC’s annual awards celebration also recognized the business, legal, technology and creative professionals that collaborate to strengthen Philadelphia’s global creative presence. Awardees included: PECO + Taller Puertorriqueño (Business + Arts Partnership Award); Mural Arts Philadelphia (PNC Arts Alive Award); and Bluecadet (Creative Economy Award for Distinction in a For-Profit Creative Field). Individual honors will go to: Edmond Ghisu, Associate General Counsel and Chief Investment Counsel, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Business On Board Volunteer Leader of the Year), Christine Ostrowski, Deputy Chief Financial Officer, School District of Philadelphia (Business Volunteers for the Arts Volunteer of the Year); Sekou Campbell, Managing Member, Law Offices of Sekou Campbell, PLLC (Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Volunteer of the Year); Brendan McGeehan, Senior Manager, Enterprise Business Intelligence, Comcast and Jacob Field, Procurement Operations Associate, Accenture (Technology Connectors Volunteer of the Year) and John Orr, Executive Director, Art-Reach (Designing Leadership Alumni Award).