The Pioneer of the Arts Awards

THE PIONEER OF THE ARTS AWARDS are presented to outstanding artists in Theatre, Film, Music, Television & Entertainment.

The past recipients are:

ELLYN LONG MARSHALL & MARIA E. NELSON, Casting Directors & Founder of Orpheus Group Casting: Girlfight (2000), Real Women Have Curves (2002), Maria Full of Grace (2004), and Amreeka (2009), (Pioneer of the Arts Award July 2013).

SAM POLLARD, Filmmaker & Editor (WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE: A Requiem in Four Acts (Primetime Emmy), SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME, FOUR LITTLE GIRS (Oscar Nominated), (Pioneer of the Arts Award February 2013).

DAVE DAVIDSON, Filmmaker (A PLACE OUT OF TIME - The Bordentown School, a documentary and CISSY HOUSTON - SWEET INSPIRATION), (Pioneer of the Arts Award February 2013).


ALDO SCROFANI, Broadway Producer (DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, CHITA RIVERA: The Dancer's Life and Lovemusik), (Pioneer of the Arts Award July 2011).


GERALYN LUCAS, Screenwriter (Why I Wore Lipstick To My Mastectomy - Lifetime), (Pioneer of the Arts Award July 2011).


JEWEL KINCH-THOMAS, Executive & Artistic Director (The Riverside Theatre), (Pioneer of the Arts Award July 2011).


The recipients for the Summer 2010 were:

HOPE CLARKE, Stage Director, Choreographer and Actress, 1992 Tony Nominee for the Broadway hit JELLY’S LAST JAM; and

KENNETH L. ROBERSON, Director/Choreographer, Tony Nominee for the Broadway hit AVENUE Q, and choreographer for the upcoming Broadway show UNCHAIN MY HEART, The Ray Charles Musical; and

MARCIA PENDELTON, Founder & President, Walk Tall Girl Productions, Audience Development & Group Sales for Broadway’s FENCES and FELA.




The recipients of the Summer 2009 were:

LUCIA KAISER, CEO of Kaiser International, Inc. (Theatre & Movie Producer) - (Pioneer of the Arts Award June 2009)

GEORGE FAISON, Cheorgrapher - TONY Award Winner for THE WIZ and Emmy Award Winner for THE JOSEPHINE BAKER STORY (Pioneer of the Arts Award June 2009)

VY HIGGINSEN, Pioneer, Producer & Publisher - Radio Personality on WBLS & WWRL, Producer of Joe Turner's Come and Gone on Broadway, and writer, producer, director of the longest-running, Off-Broadway musical in the history of American theatre with MAMA, I WANT TO SING.  (Pioneer of the Arts Award June 2009)

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To submit your play for the Strawberry One-Act Festival go to  The Strawberry One-Act Festival, will be in JANUARY, FEBRUARY AND MARCH, 2021. (15-30 minute plays.) Early Deadline is September 30, 2020  Regular Deadline is October 30, 2020.  Notifucations will be sent out by November 15, 2020.

To submit your play for the Strawberry Theatre Festival (STF) for Full-Length Plays (55-90 minutes), Musicals (not to exceed 120 minutes), Short Plays (40-50 minutes), Variety Acts, Cabaret Acts, Magic Shows, Sketch Comedy, Improv Shows and Readings.  To submit your play to the STF go to   The Early Deadline is September 30, 2020Regular Deadline is October 30, 2020.  Notifications will be sent out by November 15, 2020.  The Strawberry Theatre Festival will run in JANUARY, FEBRUARY AND MARCH 2021.

Submissions are now being accepted for the Jocunda Music, Film & Theatre Festival.  We are seeking singers, r&b, neo soul, pop and hip hop artists; Films: short, narrative, animation and music videos; comedians and Short and Full Length Plays and Screenplays.

The Jocunda Music, Film & Theatre Festival will run from JANUARY through MARCH 30, 2021 at ARTEL Hotel in Brooklyn, NY.  Singers, Fashion Designers and Vendors send us a link to your music and/or performance.  Include your bio and a cover letter why you would like to be in the Josucnda MFT Festival.  Vendors email us to request an application for Vendors.  State in your email what it is you would be selling. (i.e. Food, Merchandise or Crafts.  Or if want to promote your business.)  Email submissions to

Filmmakers, Comedians, Screenwriters, Playwrights, Spoken Word Artists and Novelist submit your work for review at


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