November 7, 2009 – Hollywood: Artist For A Better World’s 9th Annual Awards Event and Concert celebrated creating a better world through aesthetics. The event was the culmination of the 2009 Annual AFABW Arts Festival at Celebrity Centre International. In addition to awarding artists who are bettering their communities and helping others through their work, the AFABW Int Awards Event and Concert was a celebration of music, dancing and visual fine art.
As guests arrived to the Garden Pavilion for the evenings festivities, improvisational pianist, JoJo Zawawi, greeted them with her aesthetic melodies.
Master of Ceremonies and comic, Richard Stewart, facilitated the evening’s award ceremonies, performances and special guests.
Jades Gourdreault: AFABW Int “Outstanding Young Artist”
Tracy Repchuk, bestselling author, poetry editor, international speaker and motivator, presented the first of the AFABW Int “Creating a Better World” awards of the evening. She presented the AFABW Int “Outstanding Young Artist” award to Jades Gourdreault.
Born in Montreal and educated on both coasts of the United States, Ms. Gourdreault joined the Kids On Stage For A Better World singing and dancing group at age 15, and became a strong performer and leader in the group. She helps other kids learn dances and improve their voices and choreographed the dance for the Miss Guatemala contest.
The host of Celebrity Centre International, Greg Labaqui, presented a brief overview of Celebrity Centre and its purpose in helping artists with their careers and personal lives.
The Garden Pavilion was filled with choral resplendence from the Church of Scientology Choir, led by Marcia Powell. The choir performed “Choose Something Like A Star,” with words by Robert Frost and music by Randall Thompson, as well as “Mission Of The Artist,” which was written by Barbara Cordova.
Dave Eddington: AFABW Int “Setting A Good Example Award”
Gilli Moon, past AFABW Int awardee herself, and Founder of the international songwriting network, SongsAlive!, presented the AFABW Int “Setting A Good Example Award” to Dave Eddington.
Mr. Eddington has been painting since he was a child and attended the Central School of Art in London. In addition to his success as a fine artist and teacher, he earned a Post Graduate diploma in Environmental Design and developed a new concept in art room space and furniture. He then began lecturing and touring, spreading new ideas to the art community in cities around the country. He says “The dentist and space travel are reassuring, art should be questioning.”
Mr. Eddington’s focus now is a commitment to environmentally friendly building and image making and recently built a house in Venice, which became the first conventionally constructed Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum home (highest certification level) in Southern California.
Long-time singer/songwriter and performer, Barbara Cordova, belted out her songs, “Say It” and “Highway Of Life” in Rock & Roll fashion, very ably accompanied by Guy Lindley and Bozz in addition to the band From Dust To Dawn, comprised of Keaton Prescott, Alden Sayre and Collin Levin.
Michael Cory Davis: AFABW Int “Humanitarian Artist” Award
Roberta Perry was the next award presenter. She is President of Roberta Perry & Associates a business development consulting firm specializing in leisure entertainment, sits on the Board of Directors for The Earth Organization, and Co-Founded the Renaissance Speakers Toastmasters Club at Celebrity Center. Ms Perry presented the AFABW Int “Humanitarian Artist” award to actor, filmmaker, and activist, Michael Cory Davis.
Mr. Davis has been involved in the fight to end modern day slavery since 2003 when he became a Goodwill Ambassador for the organization, Face to Face Bulgaria. Through that organization, Michael met a victim of trafficking, a 13-year old Bulgarian girl sold by her adoptive parents into prostitution. Michael wrote, directed and produced the award-winning film, Svetlana’s Journey, based on her story. In 2005, the film aired on Bulgaria’s national television station and in the U.S., it won the Hollywood Film Festival for Best Short Subject as well as the HD Film Festival for Best Short, Best Dramatic Short and runner-up for Best Director.
Michael’s second film, Cargo: Innocence Lost, is a documentary focusing on sex trafficking in the United States—both films have been used by more than one hundred national and international agencies, organizations, churches, and educational institutions. Michael has worked with legislators, royalty, celebrities, and corporations to create social awareness. He is the recipient of the prestigious People to People International (founded by Dwight Eisenhower) Make a Difference award and has been covered by various broadcast and print media outlets including on World News with Charles Gibson, CNN, NBC, ABC, KTLA, and Los Angeles Daily News, bringing light to the issue.
President of Artists For A Better World International, George Alger, presented the purpose of the evening’s awards, which is to honor artists for their work in “helping others.” Additionally, he encouraged the audience to include their own songs, stories, poetry and visual art in the AFABW Artists Directory at artistsforabetterworld.org.
Rhymecologist, J. Walker, graced the stage with a performance featuring the spoken word. Mr. Walker helps at-risk youth work through their problems by expressing themselves through rap or poetry as part of his Rhymecology program. He is also the celebrity “resident poet” on the Myers & Hartman show for Fox Sports Radio nationwide. Tonight he presented his poem dedicated to artists called “Uniqueness”.
Olivier Pojzman: AFABW Int “Social Betterment Award”
Carmelita Pittman, also a past AFABW awardee, and Founder of the Rose Breast Cancer Society, presented the AFABW Social Betterment Award to Olivier Pojzman.
After studying Art and Design in Paris, Mr. Pojzman moved from France to the United States and created a successful career as an advertising and celebrity photographer. During the past 15 years, he has traveled over 30 countries around the world.
Five years ago he founded IrisWork, a Fine Art photography concept based on landscape panoramic photography. His limited edition pieces range in size from 4 feet to 15 feet. The immense size of his panoramic projects reflects works of art that is in his words represent, “the fusion of a painting and a photograph”.
Olivier’s Fine Art pieces have been displayed at some of Hollywood’s most exclusive hotels and exhibited at Southern California’s finest galleries, such as Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Malibu, Palm Desert, Laguna Beach and Miami Beach, FL. Private collectors and interior designers acquire his large-scale panoramics for their clients, and the unique style, scale and possibilities for custom–made images, have made Olivier and his art a sensation in the world of high-end décor.
The award-winning, competitive, hip hop, dance group from the Saint Genevieve Boys Dance Team, in Panorama City, brought the evening’s audience to new heights with their spectacular dance medley and high-energy choreography. These boys knows how to dance!
Gilli Moon returned to the stage to showcase her talents as a singer, songwriter, recording artist, and pianist. She performed her song “Be,” as well as “Conversations With Me,” written by herself and Grammy award-winning songwriter, Pamela Phillips Oland.
Truong Buu Giam: AFABW Int “Outstanding Contribution As An Artist” Award
Freelance writer, local business owner and lecturer with Narconon Drug Education, Mick Coventry, presented the AFABW Int “Outstanding Contribution As An Artist” award to Truong Buu Giam.
Born on Christmas Eve, 1948, in the province of Bên Tre, South Vietnam, Truong Buu Giam became a well-known artist in his hometown and was admitted to the National Ecole Superieure of Fine Arts in Saigon, the first and foremost school of fine arts in South Vietnam.
His technique is reminiscent of the spirit of the Oriental art passed on for thousands of years along with a blending within the Western culture. He has won awards of excellence and his works have been in many international publications and have exhibited and been sold around the world. He has also contributed some of his works to raise funds to support South Vietnamese widows and orphans of the war. His paintings now soar spiritually above the corners of America and around the world.
Truong Buu Giam said, “Art is an international language, it doesn’t matter what race you are, where you come from, you have a feeling when you listen to a song, look at a painting, you have your emotion, only you know it in your soul, so art touches the heart and makes people feel.”
The Hip Hype Kids took over the stage with their own brand of stage magic with a choreographed Michael Jackson dance medley tribute. These students not only excel in their own studies, but they mentor other kids to help them succeed and have a better life through health and wellness.
Chris Dellorco: AFABW Int “Lifetime Achievement Award”
The evening’s final award was presented by Eric Sherman, producer, director and writer of film and television. He has had five books on filmmaking published and is a consultant to Universal Studios, Columbia Pictures, Paramount Pictures and the Mount Company, and is the winner of the prestigious Peabody Award. Mr. Sherman presented the AFABW Lifetime Achievement Award to Chris Dellorco.
Although completely self-taught, Mr. Dellorco’s art career has spanned all aspects of illustration while specializing in the film industry, children’s products and children’s books. A true renaissance man, along with a degree in Economics and a successful art career, he has also written and directed an award winning short film which received international recognition.
This led to a job with the Disney organization, and for the past 15 years he has been widely considered one of Disney’s top illustrators for print advertising, specializing in Home Video packaging. His covers range from the award winning “The Lion King,” to the recent “Lilo and Stich” and everything in between. He has illustrated numerous movie posters which include “Conan the Barbarian,” “Revenge of the Nerds,” “Coming to America,” “The Marrying Man,” “The Firm,” and many others.
He received the Silver Medal award at The Hollywood Reporter Key Art Awards Ceremony for the poster “Eating Raoul,” First Place for his work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” Second Place for “Snow White,” and Finalist for “Aladdin-Prince of Thieves”. His work has delighted audiences young and old from around the world and will continue to do so as his work is enjoyed through the generations.
The evening’s entertainment and awards were sublimely bolstered by the visual art that bejeweled the stage and entire venue.
Special thanks to the following for helping in the production of the 9th Annual AFABW Awards Event and Concert:
- Barbara Cordova – Producer
- George Alger – Awards Presentation Director
- David Bartlett – Director
- Yvonne Harrington – Award Nominations Liaison
- Annette McCullough – Stage Mgr
- Liz Harding – Deputy Stage Mgr
- Jasmine Harding – Stage Mgr Assistant
- Larry Williams – Stage Assistant
- Petrina Sharp – Awards Hostess
- Reinhard Schulte – Chief Videographer
- Michael O’Brien – Videographer
- Ernesto Flores – Photographer
- Dee Barber – Event Host
- Allen Harris – Awards Designer
- Tim Yalda – Awards Framing
- Jennifer Gill – Food
CC Showcase Productions (Lights, sound, set-ups):
- Mike Jones
- Ken Hall
- Julien Mueley
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. Annette McCullough – Stage Mgr