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November 12, 2015


Carol Harmon, The Columbus Foundation,, 614/251-4000

Harmony Project's David Brown Awarded Columbus Performing Arts Prize

 Award recognizes artistic innovation in central Ohio

Columbus, OH (November  12, 2015)— The Arts Innovation Fund of The Columbus Foundation has awarded a Columbus Performing Arts Prize to David Brown, founder and creative director of Harmony Project, to support a dynamic multi-disciplinary finale at its performance at the Ohio Theatre on December 1, 2015.


Led by Brown’s vision, Harmony Project will transform the $25,000 award into an innovative arrangement of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” with live music, song, dance, and video dimensions. The finale will include local talent, connections with the women and children of Sunflower House in South Africa, the participation of Thiossane African Drum Circle, and Momentum, and guest soloists Laura Portune (soprano, Opera Columbus) and Justin Fields (baritone, The Ohio State University).

"Author Joel A. Baker said, 'Vision without action is merely a dream.'  We live in a collective community that encourages vision, creative risk, and artistic expression,” said Brown. “With the support of the Columbus Performing Arts Prize through The Columbus Foundation, vision and creative expression are able to be realized by moving beyond the dream stage to the actual stage of the Ohio Theatre. With gratitude, I accept the Columbus Performing Arts Prize on behalf of the hundreds of voices, musicians, dancers, choreographers, drummers, and production crew who will reimagine a 75-year-old folk song with the hope of inspiring the audience to let the lion's voice be raised in all of us as a collective call for a more inclusive community."

Columbus Performing Arts Prize recipients and projects are selected by an anonymous panel made up of a subset of the arts supporters and funders of the Arts Innovation Fund, a Donor Advised Fund at The Columbus Foundation established in 2015 by George Barrett, the Cardinal Health Foundation, The Columbus Foundation, and other anonymous donors. The purpose of the fund is to support the Columbus Performing Arts Prize.

“By celebrating and supporting exceptional artistic directors at our leading performing arts organizations, creativity blooms, resulting in a more vibrant community for all,” said Douglas F. Kridler, president and CEO of The Columbus Foundation.

The prizes are announced without any application process, or specified or regular timing, and are based on the projects themselves, as well as the artistic director’s track record of accomplishments through tenacity, imagination, and risk taking.

In June, the Foundation named the first recipients of the Columbus Performing Arts Prize: David Brown, founder and creative director, Harmony Project; David Danzmayr, music director, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra; Peggy Kriha Dye, artistic director, Opera Columbus; Edwaard Liang, artistic director, BalletMet; and Byron Stripling, artistic director, Jazz Arts Group of Columbus.

For information about Harmony Project’s Let Your Voice Be Loud concert on December 1, visit


About The Columbus Foundation

The Columbus Foundation is the trusted philanthropic advisor® to 2,400 individuals, families, and businesses who have created charitable funds and planned gifts to make a difference in the lives of others through the most effective philanthropy possible. Serving the region for more than 70 years, The Columbus Foundation is the seventh largest community foundation in the United States. The Foundation’s online marketplace, PowerPhilanthropy,® makes giving mobile, easy, and smart. For more information, visit or call 614/251-4000.