Celebrate Fleisher: The Founder's Award

2018 Recipients: Gayle Isa and Dr. Carmen Febo San Miguel

On May 30, 2018, Fleisher will honor Dr. Carmen Febo San Miguel and Gayle Isa with the 29th Annual Founder’s Award. The award recognizes individuals who have made a significant commitment to providing access to the arts, promoting excellence in creative expression, and enriching Philadelphia’s cultural resources.

With passions and sensibilities that align with the vision of our founder, Samuel S. Fleisher, Febo and Isa have long championed art in the neighborhoods their respective organizations serve. Fleisher is proud to celebrate these exemplary leaders on Wednesday, May 30, as they are surrounded by work in the remarkable Annual Young Artists Exhibition.

The Founder’s Award Celebration is Fleisher’s most significant annual fundraising benefit. The proceeds advance our nationally recognized arts education programs that connect people and strengthen our community through the language of art.

For more than 40 years, Febo worked as a family physician providing comprehensive medical care in Philadelphia and her native Puerto Rico. After serving as the chair of Taller Puertorriqueño’s board of directors for 14 years, Febo became its executive director in 1999 and retired from medicine in 2012. During her tenure, she has grown the organization and relocated it to its new $11.5 million state-of-the-art center in the heart of North Philadelphia’s Latino community. She is deeply committed to Taller’s mission to educate and broaden the understanding of the rich cultural heritages of the Puerto Rican, Latino, and related cultural groups.

As the executive director of Asian Arts Initiative for 25 years, Isa has envisioned a community arts center that engages people of all ages and backgrounds to create art in dialogue with the Asian American experience that affects positive change in Philadelphia. In 2011, Isa led the organization to its new multi-tenant arts space in Philadelphia’s burgeoning Chinatown North neighborhood. It is home to such innovative programs as Chinatown In/Flux, an exhibition of site-specific work that responded to the constantly shifting neighborhood, and the experimental Social Practice Lab artist-residency series. Isa has been a Douglas Redd Fellow focused on arts and community development. She has served on the boards of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and is currently a member of the Mayor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs and the Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Council.

Past Founder's Award Recipients

  • Marsha Moss, 2017

  • Dr. Dennis W. Creedon, 2016

  • Louise Clement-Hoff, 2015

  • Helen Cunningham & Ted Newbold, 2014

  • Dina & Jerry Wind, 2013

  • Jill & Sheldon Bonovitz, 2012

  • Al West & Paige West, 2011

  • Carole Haas Gravagno, 2010

  • Louis Massiah, Pepón Osorio, & Lily Yeh, 2009

  • Peggy Amsterdam & Karen Davis, 2008

  • Anne d’Harnoncourt, 2007

  • James Nelson Kise, James Bennett Straw, & David A. Schultz, 2006

  • Frank & Betty Louchheim, 2005

  • Suzanne Fleisher Roberts, 2004

  • Dr. Luther W. Brady, Jr., 2003

  • Thora Jacobson, 2002

  • Happy Fernandez, 2001

  • Linda Lee Alter, 2000

  • Hon. Edward G. Rendell, 1999

  • Marian Locks, 1998

  • Joseph Rishel, 1997

  • Dorothy R. B. Manou & Melinda Whiting, 1996

  • Ella King Torrey, 1995

  • Helen W. Drutt English, 1994

  • Edna Andrade & William Parshall, 1993

  • Penny Balkin Bach & Jody Pinto, 1992

  • Judith Tannenbaum, 1991

  • Frank Gasparro, 1990