Marian Anderson Award Honors a Legacy of Cultural Change through Art

Having served for 16 years in several executive positions at Wells Fargo, Vince Liuzzi currently serves as an executive vice president and chief banking officer at DNB First, a community bank based in Chester County, Pennsylvania. When not supervising the development of commercial and retail banking sales at DNB First, Vince Liuzzi enjoys listening to classic rock, such as The Beatles, as well as the music released by several prominent artists on the Motown Records label. As a member of the board of directors for the Marian Anderson Award, Vincent Liuzzi helped select Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown, to be the 2013 recipient of the Fifteenth Annual Marian Anderson Award.

The Marian Anderson Award is named after the classically trained African-American contralto vocalist and opera artist born in Philadelphia in 1897. Marian Anderson is considered one of the artists crucial to the triumph over the prejudices barring African-Americans from the highest levels of recognition in classical music. Her groundbreaking achievements include a now famous 1939 performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to a crowd of 75,000 spectators, and in 1954 she became the first African-American member of the elite Metropolitan Opera Company in New York. Furthermore, she was honored with the NAACP’s Spingam Award in 1939 and the Presidential Medal of Honor in 1963.

Established in 1998, the Marian Anderson Award is intended to recognize present-day artists who have had a similarly profound and positive influence on society. In selecting honorees, the award’s board of directors considers both artists’ cultural contributions within their field and any efforts they have made in support of causes for the betterment of humanity. Past recipients include Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, and Norman Lear.

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