The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County will honor Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward with a special President’s Award in recognition of their significant impact on arts, culture, children’s education and illness, and environmental preservation in Fairfield County.
The Daniel E. Offutt III Arts and Culture Empowerment (ACE) Awards celebrate individuals, organizations, and businesses that have made significant contributions to the Fairfield County community through arts and culture. In its seventh year, the ACE Awards will, this year, highlight the significant role that artists and arts and cultural institutions play in connecting communities across government, businesses, nonprofit agencies, educational institutions and municipalities.
The ACE Awards Breakfast will take place on June 21st, 7:30AM at Norwalk Shore and Country Club. Over 200 arts and culture leaders, legislators, artists, and others are expected to be in attendance, including Clea Newman who will accept the President's Award on behalf of Newman and Woodward.
Over the years, Newman and Woodward have actively supported many organizations, including The Westport Public Library, the Westport Historical Society, and the Westport Country Playhouse. Joanne also served as artistic director of the Playhouse from 2001-2005 and directed and acted in many Playhouse productions. Paul famously starred in a revival of Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” at the Playhouse in 2002, directed by James Naughton, which quickly transferred to Broadway. They also dedicated themselves to land preservation around CT, including working to save Troutbrook Valley (now The Newman-Poses Preserve).
Paul’s entrepreneurial successes included founding, with AE Hotchner, the well-known food company, Newman’s Own and Newman’s Own Foundation. Since 1982, Newman’s Own Foundation has given more than $600 million to worthy causes. Paul’s interest in helping children with serious illnesses lead to the establishment of The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, CT, in 1988, providing opportunities for children to experience the transformational spirit of camp. That sparked a movement through which Paul and others would open similar camps around the world, and today, the SeriousFun Children’s Network consists of 30 camps and programs that has served 1.7 million children living with more than 130 serious and rare medical conditions, totally free of charge.
Paul and Joanne’s daughter Clea Newman Soderlund proudly serves as the Ambassador for SeriousFun, and the family continues to support many social and environmental causes, as well as their parents’ philanthropic legacy.
In addition to the President's Award, there are five more awards that celebrate the quality and diversity of arts and culture across Coastal Fairfield County. They are presented in five categories: Artist, Citizen, Corporate, Educator, and Nonprofit. The following arts and cultural leaders will be honored at the breakfast:
Artist Award: Cris Dam, Bridgeport
Citizen Award: Vic Mulaire, Bridgeport
Corporate Award: David Genovese, Darien
Educator Award: Jenny Nelson, Westport
Nonprofit: Fairfield Museum and History Center, Fairfield
All awardees of the Seventh Annual Daniel E. Offutt III Arts & Culture Empowerment (ACE) Awards have made a significant impact in their communities as connectors and bridge-builders across government, businesses, nonprofit agencies, educational institutions and municipalities.
David Green, Executive Director of Cultural Alliance explains, “We see the arts and culture as a key mechanism in bringing vitality to our municipalities. These ACE awardees are illustrative of how the arts intersect with and serve as a social bridge across all of the other community stakeholders in Fairfield County."
James Naughton, an award-winning actor, singer, director, and enthusiastic supporter of arts and culture, will emcee the Awards Breakfast on June 21st at Norwalk Shore and Country Club. He has had a successful career on Broadway with leading roles in shows such as City of Angels and Chicago. A long-time member of the Cultural Alliance Artistic Advisory Council, James has championed arts and culture on a local, regional, and national level.
Michelle Lapine McCabe, Executive Director, Connecticut Main Street Center, will offer a keynote address that focuses on her own role in bringing communities together to invigorate and sustain our downtowns.
In addition to Michelle, speakers will include Elizabeth Shapiro, Director of CT Arts, Preservation and Museums (DECD) and Jason Mancini, Executive Director, Connecticut Humanities.