Philadelphia, October 13, 2008 – The Marian Anderson Award has announced the artists who will participate in the upcoming Award Gala planned to honor dual Award recipients Maya Angelou and Norman Lear on November 17, 2008, at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. In announcing the program, Award Chair Pamela A. Crawley noted, “All of our Gala evenings are very special but this year we have assembled an amazing group of artists. It’s our 10th anniversary and 2008 marks the first time we are presenting two Awards in a single year. This year’s Gala is also a heartfelt thank you to Governor Edward G. Rendell as founder of the Award and for his longtime support. To begin, I am very excited to announce that the critically acclaimed actress, CCH Pounder, known for her extensive film, television and stage work and also for her Emmy nominated performance as Captain Claudette Wyms on the FX television series, The Shield, will host this year’s Gala. Ms. Pounder is deeply involved in international humanitarian efforts. She is a Founding Board Member of Artists for a New South Africa and a Board Member of the African Millennium Foundation. We are thrilled to have her with us as this year’s host. Our inaugural Award recipient Harry Belafonte will participate and The Philadelphia Orchestra will perform with Maestro Thomas Wilkins who is a great favorite with our audiences. The Orchestra will also be joined by the exciting young opera star Nicole Cabell, winner of the 2005 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition and another guest star with the Orchestra will be the Broadway legend and Tony Award winning song and dance man, Ben Vereen. 2007 double Grammy winner Kirk Franklin, one of Gospel music’s current super stars will perform with a full gospel choir as the finale of the musical portion of the program. This year for the first time the Award Gala will include spoken word artists Steve Connell and Sekou “that Misfit.” Maya Angelou and Norman Lear are both big fans of Steve Connell and Sekou so we are very excited to have them participate in the tribute. As in previous years, the multi-media Gala will feature special video presentations on the remarkable careers of this year’s prize recipients. It promises to be an amazing evening. Tickets for the Marian Anderson Award Gala can be purchased by calling Ticket Philadelphia at 215 893-1999 or by going to The Philadelphia Orchestra web site, www.philorch.org.