2007 AFABW Awards Event and Concert

October 13, 2007 – Hollywood: Artist awards, singing, music, and dance highlighted the celebration of the 2007 Artists For A Better World annual Awards Event & Concert, held today in the Garden Pavilion, on the grounds of Celebrity Centre International. AFABW acknowledged artists who are changing conditions in society through their aesthetic and social contributions. The 7th annual Awards Event & Concert, was the featured event of the 7th annual AFABW Arts Festival. This year the festival was held in support of The Way To Happiness and Artists For Human Rights.

Pianist and composer, Jason Farnum, opened the event; and writer, actor and standup comic, Richard Stewart, the MC for the occasion, remarked “Artists for a Better World International is dedicated to building a worldwide network of artists who share a vision of creating a better world through aesthetics and is open to artists and art enthusiasts of all religions, nationalities, creeds, races and cultures.”
Debor’ra Hall is a spokesinger for The Way To Happiness and is also a 2006 AFABW Award recipient. For 10 years she used the passion of her voice to perform and promote concerts for AIDS Awareness and has performed as a solo singer for 9 years in many cities throughout the United States to support AIDS awareness as well as civil rights. Debor’ra Hall, accompanied by dance performers, Deuce, belted out a few soulful renditions to uplift the audience in honor of this year’s AFABW awardees.

The Founder of Artists For A Better World, Barbara Cordova Oliver, gave a presentation about the importance of acknowledging artists who are leading the way to creating a better world, which underlies the purpose of today’s AFABW Awards Event & Concert.

Long-time AFABW member, and dancer, Vanessa Guerrero, has performed international folk dance and tribal fusion dance on stages throughout the world and is a strong supporter for the rights of artists and the freedom to express themselves. She enthralled the audience with her artistic costume and other-worldly grace as she gyrated over the stage with the magical motions of an enchanting spirit.

Singer, actress and former award recipient of the AFABW “Outstanding Young Artist” Award, Shelby Lindley was honored to present this year’s “Outstanding Young Artist” Award to Pamela Smith. Ms. Lindley introduced Ms. Smith in part, with these words:

“Pamela is a self-taught artist, and has painted professionally since the age of 17. She captures both realism and a unique sense of whimsy in her character creations. She paints inspired animal and angel portraits, illustrates children’s books, and is the creator of Beneath the Willow, a line of fanciful, hand painted children’s furniture. In her words Pamela says: ‘All children are born with special gifts and talents that make each child unique. It is important to nurture and celebrate our children’s creative spirit, encouraging them to become the shining stars they were meant to become.'”

World Champion Speaker and President of The Way To Happiness, Lance Miller, spoke about the effectiveness of creating a better world through the 21 precepts of The Way to Happiness booklet and also showed three video Public Service Announcements, based upon the The Way to Happiness, “Take Care of Yourself,” “Do Not Harm a Person of Goodwill,” and “Set a Good Example.”

The Garden Pavilion went into high-action, rocking with the dancing, singing group, Kids On Stage For A Better World. These youngsters have performed in many hundreds of shows to support social betterment issues in cities all year round. Led by founder Jean Dale, herself a strong supporter of the freedom of artistic expression and other human rights issues, they have been seen at many prominent events promoting the arts. Each year they do special themed shows during the holiday season and today their theme was Halloween.

On hand as the next Award Presenter was actor, Bob Caso, who has appeared on television shows, “90210” and “Crusade,” and has starred in films such as “Ocean Tribe” for Phoenix Pictures and “Out of the Wilderness,” opposite David Carradine, and most recently, he has completed filming on “American Fork,” a film from the producer of “Napoleon Dynamite.” Mr. Caso presented the 2007 AFABW “Humanitarian Award” to Mamie Hansberry, accompanied with these words:

“In the early 1920’s she was active in civic, social and political life. In her years she has been the recipient of the prestigious Windsor & Newton Award, the Park LaBrea Street Banner award three years in a row and the Pacific Palisades Village Book Store Award. She is a board member of Pacific Palisades Arts Association, Stovall Foundation, TUMAS (Senior Housing Corp), and active with CAAD (Center for the Arts of the African Diaspora) to promote and preserve the artistic contribution to American culture of Americans of African descent. She has been a supporter and participating artist in the Annual Artists for a Better World Annual Arts Festival for a number of years and is a loyal participant of the Annual Rose Variety Arts Show produced by The Rose Breast Cancer Society.”

AFABW Founder, as well as singer, songwriter and novelist, Barbara Cordova Oliver, returned to the stage to perform Dream Star, a song from her musical entitled Mission of the Artist.

The evening’s next AFABW award was presented by Tracy Repchuk, bestselling author, international speaker and an award-winning poet. She is President and Founder of the Canadian Federation of Poets and Founder and Editor of Poetry Canada magazine. She is also the Chief Editor of this year’s AFABW Poetry Anthology book.

Ms. Repchuk presented the 2007 AFABW “Outstanding Contribution as an Artist” award to David Stamps, who is the Director of the Pure Movement Dance troupe, a non-profit organization dedicated to the positive upbringing of youth of ages 6 to 16. The troupe performs in various community events, school outreach workshops, fundraisers and charity events. As part of Ms. Repchuk’s acknowledged of Mr. Stamps, she said:

“The Pure Movement Dance program is dedicated to outreach in schools, reaching out to the underepresented population and making dance accessible to all no matter background, race, gender or social economic status. Since Pure Movement’s inception the program has reached out to hundreds of students in numerous schools, has two performing companies and performed all over Los Angeles County and for many great organizations including The Special Olympics and Los Angeles Children’s Hospital. If that was not enough, when he is not working with the Pure Movement Troupe he continues to produce fundraisers for other non profits including: Stereotype, The Passion for Dance Project and many others, and has volunteered for other children organizations including Hollygroove and the YMCA. He is truly dedicated to making a better world for youth and helping them explore the artists in themselves.”

Following the acceptance of his award, Mr. Stamps Pure Movement Dance group performed two dances punctuated with some very upbeat and entertaining rhythms and expressions.

The President of Artists For A Better World International, George Alger, spoke next and outlined this year’s art projects that include global participation from artists and writers for the AFABW Poetry Anthology book, Short Story Compilation book, upcoming 2008 AFABW Fine Art Calendar, and Art Day Greeting Cards, which are part of the effort to create a holiday in honor of the arts, on the second Friday in August.

Carmelita Pittman took the stage to sing “The Wind Beneath My Wings.” Ms. Pittman is the Founder of The Rose Breast Cancer Society and former AFABW recipient of the “Outstanding Contribution as an Artist” award. A Renaissance woman herself, she wears many hats which include educator, actress, performer and recording artists, to list just a few, and has been a part of Artists For A Better World since its inception.

Tom Fair presented the final 2007 AFABW award. Mr. Fair is a vocalist, instrumentalist and musical arranger, and has been writing, performing, recording and producing music for many years and was with the pop vocal group The Left Banke. In 1992 he founded his own School of Music, delivering his personally crafted music program materials to “students between five and ninety-five.” He is a founding member of Artists For A Better World and for seven years has been the Director of events at L. Ron Hubbard’s Winter Wonderland in Hollywood. Mr. Fair presented the 2007 AFABW “Lifetime Achievement Award” to Bob Stane with the following words:

“Our final award is being given to a very special person here in the Los Angeles community, and has contributed substantially to making LA a world leader in fostering new, world class comedy talent. He is the Founder of the world-famous Ice House comedy and music club and owner of the Coffee Gallery Backstage. This entrepreneur has tirelessly launched the careers of more name acts than can be mentioned. His shows are uplifting and entertaining and clean, and has been present at every one of them for over 30 years. He is the best advisor and supporter any performer could have. And the work he’s done for Southern California is unprecedented. Acts fly in from all over the world to play his club and he has single-handedly lifted the emotional tone level of those performances for decades. His famous rants are some of the best advice any performer could get. I was fortunate enough to have him run them by me before he released them, and have enlightened and entertained millions of people over the Internet. He has had a colorful career in the club business spanning almost 50 years. One of his most important accomplishments consisted of tirelessly auditioning 20,000 acts over his professional lifetime and discovering a plethora of acts who became working entertainers. Some of those who auditioned were Jay Leno, David Letterman, Steve Martin, The Association, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Gallagher, Gabe Kaplan and Tom Waits.”

Mr. Stane demonstrated his comedic talents by way of delivering a very entertaining “Thank you” for the award, punctuated with some career insights.

The final performace was by Harriet Schock, who is a double platinum songwriter/recording artist and songwriting teacher who has recorded six solo albums. She co-wrote the theme song for the current Emmy-winning series, “Jakers” and wrote words and music for the Grammy-nominated song, “Ain’t No Way To Treat A Lady.” Ms. Schock has also scored director Henry Jaglom ‘s last three films. It was a fitting tribute that the MC, Richard Steward noted that the final AFABW award recipient, Bob Stane, also helped launch Ms. Schock’s career.

Mr. Stewart then closed the evening with the words of Artist and Humanitarian, L. Ron Hubbard, who said, “A culture is as great as its dreams and its dreams are dreamed by artists.”

Artists For A Better World International is dedicated to building a worldwide network of artists who share a vision of creating a better world through aesthetics and is open to artists and art enthusiasts of all religions, nationalities, creeds, races and cultures. AFABW believes in a world where good morals are valued; AFABW favors art that inspires and helps make the world a better place; AFABW supports artistic and other social improvement programs that are making positive changes in society.