Visionary Leadership Award
The Visionary Leadership Award honors a leader whose trailblazing work is impacting the world. Occurring outside of the annual Festival, the award connects the Festival’s Ideas programs to every day impacts on the community and the world, and was created in honor of the late Jean M. Handley’s leadership as a Founding Director of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. The award will be presented annually to a visionary leader whose trailblazing work is impacting the world.
All proceeds from the award presentation and luncheon benefit The Jean Handley Fund for the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. This Fund will support programs at the Festival each year that represent the values and passions of our co-founder. Most recently the Jean M. Handley Fund supported the Festival's Freedom's Journey program and opening night performance, Sing the Truth! as part of the 2012 International Festival of Arts & Ideas.
This Year's Award
This year's Visionary Leadership Award Presentation and Luncheon will be held at the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 12:00pm.
2012/2013: Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Award Winning Journalist and Activist
2011/2012: Jill Abramson, Executive Editor of The New York Times
2010/2011: Zainab Salbi, Founder & CEO of Women for Women International
About the Award
The First Visionary Leadership Award recipient was Zainab Salbi, Founder & CEO of Women for Women International. The Award Luncheon was held on November 18, 2010 at the New Haven Lawn Club and raised over $55,000 in support of Irish Programming at the 2011 Festival.
The Second Visionary Leadership Award recipient was Jill Abramson, Executive Editor of The New York Times. The Award Luncheon was held on November 4, 2011 at the Omni Hotel at Yale New Haven and raised over $50,000 in support of FREE Programs at the 2012 Festival.
The Festival’s Visionary Leadership Award is embodied in Hartford-born contemporary art visionary Sol LeWitt’s ceramic plate Star (1984). A Connecticut native, much like Jean Handley, Mr. LeWitt drew inspiration from his home State where he worked and shaped his artistic ideas. Described by Time magazine as “the man who made conceptual art an appealing concept…introducing a human factor into what could otherwise have been a mechanical process,” Sol loved to make decorative objects, and used to travel regularly to collaborate with local artisans to the town of Deruta in the Umbria region of central Italy, known worldwide for its ceramics. The tile, from a series that LeWitt made in the mid 1980s ranging from 3 point to 10 point stars, is a traditional 5 point star. The plate was painted at the small factory LaGioconda, where the crystalline glaze and second firing distinguishes the pottery and gives the ceramic its legendary shine and opulence. The International Festival of Arts & Ideas thanks the LeWitt Family for commissioning and donating this Award.