Jon Bon Jovi to Receive Marian Anderson Award

We would like to thank the board of the Marian Anderson Award as well as Mayor Michael Nutter (who made the announcement today at the Sofitel Hotel in Philadelphia) for recognizing the work of Jon and the Foundation in Philadelphia and across the country. We would also like to thank the sponsors Wells Fargo, Comcast, and PECO for helping to make this event possible. As Tracy Baumgartner, Executive Director of Community Investment of Comcast Corporation, stated in her remarks at the unveiling of this year’s award recipient “Marian Anderson persevered at a time when simply being herself was a barrier. She used her art as a platform to influence change for the generations that followed – change that continues more than 20 years after her passing. The impact of the Award, which is given in her honor, provides the opportunity to shine a spotlight on another trailblazer who puts his artistic passions to work to better our society.”

We could not agree more and congratulate Jon for his passion and leadership on projects that have made a huge impact on so many lives in communities across the nation.

Press Release:
Philadelphia, PA – June 23, 2014 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced today that Jon Bon Jovi – founder and front man for the iconic band Bon Jovi – will receive the 2014 Marian Anderson Award. The singer, song-writer, actor and producer, known for his philanthropy, has a long history of civic and humanitarian outreach which has benefitted the homeless of Philadelphia. In making the announcement, Mayor Nutter noted that, “For more than 30 years, Jon Bon Jovi has been making music loved by millions, and he has used his success to help others. The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation has succeeded in changing lives through its investment in healthcare, housing and hunger support programs, as well as being an advocate for those in need. He has supported a range of important organizations including Project H.O.M.E., Covenant House, and the Angel Network, the philanthropic organization of Marian Anderson Award recipient, Oprah Winfrey. I am proud to announce Jon Bon Jovi as this year’s recipient of the Marian Anderson Award.”

Marian Anderson Award board chair Nina C. Tinari thanked the Award’s lead sponsors Wells Fargo, PECO, and COMCAST and spoke about the board’s choice of Jon Bon Jovi as this year’s recipient. “Since 1998, the Award has been conferred upon outstanding individuals whose careers and advocacy have had a global impact. But this year, we wanted to single out an artist whose work is not only global, but also deeply invested here in Philadelphia. This marks the first time that we have looked at generosity to the City and region as part of our search. We also wanted to highlight the impact of an individual who is in the forefront of artists who have made the choice to help change the world for the better. Jon Bon Jovi is a unique candidate in this regard and is a wonderful addition to our distinguished group of honorees.”

Musically and philanthropically, Jon Bon Jovi’s work honors the spirit of America and salutes the principles that define our nation. Self-reliance, optimism and community are key concepts he embodies, not just in his music, but also in his charitable efforts. These common threads have resulted in millions of dollars raised while bringing heightened awareness to the issues of homelessness and hunger that adversely impact our society.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized by the great city of Philadelphia, in receiving this prestigious award,” stated Jon Bon Jovi. “The JBJ Soul Foundation originated in Philadelphia and will continue to reach those in need, both locally and nationally. Through the ‘power of WE,’ we can end homelessness and hunger.”

Jon Bon Jovi is Chairman of the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing about positive change and helping the lives of those in need “one SOUL at a time.” The projects funded by the Soul Foundation address the issues of food and shelter for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Jon and the organization have provided funding for affordable housing and shelter for hundreds of low-income individuals and families throughout the country.

Facilities and projects range from temporary shelters, transitional housing for teens, permanent supportive housing including housing for vets and special needs populations, as well as home ownership opportunities. In October 2011, the Foundation expanded by opening The JBJ Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, New Jersey to address issues of food insecurity and has since served over 26,500 meals, and most recently reached the goal of 51% of the diners paying and 49% being in-need. The community kitchen serves nutritious, culinary dishes in a restaurant atmosphere where diners contribute either volunteer hours or a minimum donation for their meals. As the Foundation continues to expand, the goal is to assist with rebuilding pride in one’s self and one’s community – one SOUL at a time.

Musically, the Grammy Award winning rock band Bon Jovi has set the bar for over three decades as one of the most successful rock bands in the world. Globally, they have sold more than 130 million albums, performed more than 2,900 concerts in over 50 countries for more than 37.5 million fans. Throughout the years, the band has consistently delivered #1 albums and Top Ten hits – most recently, Bon Jovi’s 12th studio album, WHAT ABOUT NOW, debuted at #1 around the world while the accompanying tour became the #1 tour in the world. Jon and his wife, Dorothea, have four children and still call their native New Jersey home.

Nina Tinari went on to say, “In addition to honoring those changing our world for the better, an equally important part of our work is to encourage young men and women to follow their dreams inspired by people like Marian Anderson and Jon Bon Jovi. Miss Anderson frequently said that her career was the result of many people helping her along the way. And we at the Award are trying to provide the same crucial assistance and support for young artists through our Young Artist Study Program which is administered with the support of our partner the University of the Arts and the initiative established this year with Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in Michigan. We do that work with the important support of our sponsors and everyone who attends the Gala Dinner and Concert, so we hope you will plan to join us on November 18 when we present Jon Bon Jovi with this year’s Award in an evening of musical celebration.”

For information about the organization and attending the November 18 Award Gala Dinner please visit marianandersonaward.org