Philadelphia, PA–January 14, 2011 –Mayor Michael Nutter announced today that Mia Farrow – actress, humanitarian, and activist– will receive the 2011 Marian Anderson Award. Ms. Farrow will accept the Award at a Gala Concert produced in partnership with The Philadelphia Orchestra, which will take place on Tuesday, May 10, 2011, at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
In making the announcement, Mayor Nutter noted, “Mia Farrow is one of the most committed artist activists in the world. Her work on behalf of children’s rights, in raising awareness for children in conflict affected regions, and on behalf of refugees around the globe is unparalleled and we are honored at her decision to accept this year’s Award.”
A critically acclaimed actress who has appeared in more than forty films, in addition to work on the stage and television, Mia Farrow is equally known as an unrelenting advocate for human rights. Her primary focus has been on conflict-affected regions in sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2004, Farrow has traveled to the Darfur region of Sudan thirteen times and written extensively about the genocide, most notably in op-ed pieces for the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and LA Times. She blogs and posts relevant articles and analyses on her website: www.miafarrow.org. The site contains her entries from Darfur, Chad, Rwanda, Central African Republic, Uganda, Congo and Haiti, as well her op-ed pieces and photographs which have appeared in publications and exhibitions around the world. She has spoken extensively about the Darfur crisis and human responsibility across the U.S. and Canada, as well as at U.S. Senate and Congressional hearings and the United Nations Security Council. In 2007 Farrow helped to secure the liberty of a respected rebel commander who was unjustly imprisoned in Sudan by publicly offering to exchange her freedom for his.
In 2009 she undertook a hunger strike to protest the expulsion of humanitarian agencies from the Darfur region. She is currently working on her own project, The Darfur Archives, documenting the cultural traditions of Darfur’s major ethnic tribes. In 2008 Mia Farrow was selected by Time magazine as one of the most influential people in the world.
In commenting on her decision to accept the Marian Anderson Award, Mia Farrow stated that, “I am deeply honored to accept this prestigious award, and I do so in the name of the many men, women and children I have met throughout my travels– the world’s most vulnerable and neglected people. They embody the spirit of Ms. Anderson herself: tremendous courage, resilience and humanity while facing unspeakable adversities.”
Pamela Browner White, Chair of the Marian Anderson Award, spoke about the Award:” The selection process is extremely difficult as the artists we honor are rare. They are men and women who combine great creativity with great generosity, great leadership and, in the case of this year’s honoree Mia Farrow, great courage. Her years of humanitarian work in countries such as Darfur, Sudan, Chad and Haiti demonstrate a singular commitment to those in great need. It is our hope that through this year’s Award that we can support her important work and that we can draw attention to the efforts she has undertaken on behalf of so many.”
Browner White went on to say, “Part of our work is to encourage young men and women facing adversity to follow their dreams inspired by people like Marian Anderson and our honorees. Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Richard Gere, Oprah, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis… these are giants of our culture. It is truly an honor that Mia Farrow will join them as the 2011 Marian Anderson Award recipient.”
“The Philadelphia Orchestra is proud to partner with the Marian Anderson Award to honor Mia Farrow, one of the great humanitarians of our time,” commented Philadelphia Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore. “Invoking the power of music in the legendary singer’s name is a fitting way to pay tribute to Ms. Farrow, and we look forward to joining in this community celebration.”