Allan Edmunds, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, and Signe Wilkinson to be honored at 2023 Founder’s Award Celebration

Fleisher Art Memorial will honor Brandywine Workshop and Archives founder Allan Edmunds, hip-hop artist and The Roots co-founder Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, and Pulitzer-prize winning editorial cartoonist Signe Wilkinson with their 33rd annual Founder’s Award this year, recognizing each individual’s commitment to providing access to the arts, promoting excellence in creative expression, and enriching Philadelphia’s cultural resources. The ceremony is part of a yearlong celebration of Fleisher’s 125th anniversary; October programming will also feature the opening of an exhibition featuring the work of groundbreaking printmaker Dox Thrash, and the 11th annual Día de los Muertos Celebration organized by La Calaca Flaca.

As Founder-President Emeritus of Brandywine Workshop and Archives from 1972 to 2022, Allan Edmunds built an internationally-respected art institution focused on the art of printmaking. An artist, educator, and arts administrator with over fifty years of experience, past honors include the National Endowment for the Arts and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Artist Fellowship Awards, as well as the New York City Print Center Award for Arts Administration. Honored by the International Review of African American Art as one of 25 Who Made a Difference in American Art in 2001, he is also the recipient of Temple University’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Co-Founder of The Roots, a critically-acclaimed solo artist, actor, writer, and producer, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter has become one of the most prolific and prescient voices in hip-hop. He has released eleven applauded albums with The Roots, won four Grammy Awards and three NAACP Image Awards, and has been a beloved mainstay of late-night television since The Roots became the house band for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon over a decade ago. Launching the production company Two One Five Entertainment with The Roots co-founder Questlove, Black Thought also served as executive producer for the AMC documentary series, Hip-Hop: The Songs That Shook America.

The first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartoons, Signe Wilkinson joined the Philadelphia Daily News in 1993 and The Philadelphia Inquirer in 2013. Retiring from both in 2020, Wilkinson is now an occasional contributor to the Inquirer’s editorial page. During her career, she was one of a small handful of American female cartoonists, receiving a Visionary Woman Award from Moore College of Art & Design in 2011. Other accolades include four Overseas Press Club Awards, two Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards for Cartooning, and being named “The Pennsylvania Vegetable Substitute” by the PA House of Representatives.

On Saturday, October 21 from 6–9 pm, Fleisher will host the 2023 Founder’s Award Celebration with a program inspired by their iconic Sanctuary space on Catharine Street, featuring an evening of drinks, food, and performance reaching new heights. The event’s cocktail hour, sponsored by Stateside Vodka, Bluecoat Gin, and Yards Brewing Co., will be held in Fleisher’s Dene M. Louchheim Galleries with Dox to Light: The Life and Works of Dox Thrash on view, to be followed by performance and dinner in the Sanctuary, presented by 12th Street Catering.

Support of the Founder’s Award Celebration helps Fleisher continue its 125-year tradition of making art accessible for people of all ages and abilities. For more information about sponsoring the event, please visit our website or contact Catherine Lee, Director of Development, at Tickets can be purchased on Ticketleap, also accessible through Fleisher’s website at

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