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May 15th, 2006
The Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial Will Present 2006 Founder’s Award to James Nelson Kise, James Bennett Straw And David A. Shultz on Monday, May 22,

On Monday, May 22, 2006, 5:30–7:30 p.m., the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial will present the 2006 Founder’s Award to James Nelson Kise, James Bennett Straw and David A. Shultz, in a ceremony at Fleisher, 719 Catharine Street, in Philadelphia. Each year the Founder’s Award is presented to individuals whose commitment and effort have made a significant contribution to expanding people’s access to the arts, supporting excellence in artistic expression, and enriching Philadelphia’s cultural resources. Over 108 years Fleisher’s “builders” have been many, but this year’s honorees have the distinction of being Fleisher’s architects—both real and metaphorical. James Nelson Kise, James Bennett Straw and David A. Schultz have served on Fleisher’s Board of Directors and led the organization to accomplish capital improvement projects beginning in the 1970s, up through the completion of Fleisher’s interior renovations in March 2005. Their generous contributions of time, expertise and passionate support for the arts have been critical to securing Fleisher’s role in the cultural community.

James Nelson Kise was recruited in 1970 for the Fleisher Advisory Committee when the critical relationship between Fleisher’s programs and the space in which they happened became paramount, as Kise set about correcting years of deferred maintenance and bringing the facilities up to code with one of Fleisher’s first capital projects in 1974. Named as Fleisher’s first Board President in 1983, a position he held until 1994, Kise’s tenure was marked by considerable growth and an expansion of Fleisher’s programming and of Kise’s volunteer work in the cultural community. He serves on the boards of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Settlement Music School, Community School of Music (Washington, DC), Avenue of the Arts, Historic Rittenhouse Town, and the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design.

Among Kise’s most inspired choices for the newly formed Board at Fleisher in 1983 was his architectural partner, James Bennett Straw. Their first enterprise on Fleisher’s behalf was the restoration of the Fleisher Sanctuary to make it watertight, provide it with temperature and humidity controls, and enhance its medieval architectural details. With that project completed, Jim Straw wisely encouraged Fleisher to use its building assets to expand programming and audiences – even bringing his favorite musicians to play in the Sanctuary. While he worked to upgrade studio and gallery facilities at Fleisher, Straw also began to work with the Philadelphia Chamber Ensemble, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Flower Show, the John Bartram Association, the Pennsylvania Ballet, and Ballet X.

David A. Schultz began his association with Fleisher in 1992, when he created a new wheelchair accessible entrance in 1993. This volunteer project led to a space needs study in 1997, the capital campaign that acquired and renovated Fleisher’s Center for Works on Paper in 2001, and to the extraordinary improvements accomplished within Fleisher’s main buildings on Catharine Street in 2005. In those same years, he also took on public art projects collaborating with Vito Acconci to fabricate and install his major work at the Philadelphia International Airport and serving on juries for the city’s Percent for Art Program. His work with Fleisher has led to innovative renovation projects with a range of cultural and civic groups in the region.

Previous Founder's Award Recipients
Frank and Betts Louchheim, 2005
Suzanne Fleisher Roberts, 2004
Luther W. Brady, Jr., 2003
Thora Jacobson, 2002
Happy Fernandez, 2001
Linda Lee Alter, 2000
Edward Rendell, 1999
Marian Locks, 1998
Joseph Rishel, 1997
Dorothy R. B. Manou and Melinda Whiting, 1996
Ella King Torrey, 1995
Helen W. Drutt English, 1994
Edna Andrade and William Parshall, 1993
Penny Balkin Bach and Jody Pinto, 1992
Judith Tannenbaum, 1991
Frank Gasparro, 1990

2006 Founder’s Award Honorary Committee
John C. Haas, Co-Chair
Betts Louchheim, Co-Chair
Anne d’Harnoncourt, Co-Chair

2006 Founder’s Award Committee
Bootsie Weiss, co-chair
Dina Wind, co-chair
Gabriele W. Lee
Marsh Moss

Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial Board of Directors
James A. Lebovitz, President
Ray E. Ix, Jr., Vice President
John P. Louchheim, Vice President
John A. Sergovic, Vice President
Dina Wind, Vice President
Robert T. Rambo, Treasurer
William A. Becker, AIA
Luther W. Brady, MD, honorary
James D. Crawford, Esq.
Julia R. Dutton, Ph.D.
Sharon Gallagher
Gerald J. Guarcini, Esq.
Gail Harrity, ex officio
Morrison C. Huston
James Nelson Kise, AIA, ex officio
Gabriele W. Lee
Marian Locks, honorary
Frank P. Louchheim, ex officio
Theodore T. Newbold
Phillip Pillar, Esq.
Liz Price
Maitlon Russell
Bootsie Weiss
Elizabeth Werthan
Charlotte Yudis, ex officio
Martin J. Zeldin

The Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial is best known as the country’s oldest and largest free and low-tuition visual arts program for adults and children. Founded as the Graphic Sketch Club in 1898, Fleisher has been a vital educational resource that includes instruction in the visual arts, exhibitions, concerts, and interpretation of its historic buildings and permanent collection. The Fleisher Art Memorial has been administered by the Philadelphia Museum of Art since the death of Samuel S. Fleisher in 1944.

For 108 years, the Fleisher Art Memorial has carried out its mission of artistic access and excellence by providing tuition-free studio classes and low-cost workshops and by offering innovative community outreach programs. One of the country’s oldest and largest community arts centers, Fleisher offers a wide range of education, exhibition, and performance activities designed to encourage personal artistic expression and to strengthen communities. Fleisher’s programs are supported in part by income from the Samuel S. Fleisher Trust and by grants from the Claneil Foundation, Samuel S. Fels Fund, Glenmede, Independence Foundation, Lincoln Financial Group Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, the Philadelphia Cultural Leadership Program funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, The Philadelphia Foundation, Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation, Washington Mutual, William Penn Foundation, and donations from more than 2,000 student members and friends.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest museums in the United States, with a collection of more than 227,000 works of art and more than 200 galleries presenting painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, decorative arts, textiles, and architectural settings from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Its facilities include its landmark Main Building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Perelman Building, located nearby on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Rodin Museum on the 2200 block of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and two 18th-century houses in Fairmount Park, Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove. The Museum offers a wide variety of activities for public audiences, including special exhibitions, programs for children and families, lectures, concerts and films.

For additional information, contact the Marketing and Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art at (215) 684-7860. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call (215) 763-8100, or visit the Museum's website at www.philamuseum.org.

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