MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A ceremony honoring the philanthropic efforts of local businesses filled a downtown Montgomery hotel ballroom Thursday. It was the 33rd annual Business in the Arts Awards, sponsored by the Montgomery Area Business Committee for the Arts (MABCA). The event recognizes businesses that go beyond the call of duty in their support of local arts organizations.
The MABCA was founded in the 1980s by Montgomery business leaders Winton M. “Red” Blount, Bobby Weil, Sr., and Frank Plummer. It was modeled on a similar organization in New York developed by David Rockefeller. The group’s overall goal is to promote the contributions made by arts organizations and the supportive role played by the business community.
"We honor all sizes of business -- small, medium and large -- because everyone can get involved,” said MABCA Executive Director Ashley Ledbetter. "Everyone can help provide these great art opportunities within our arts community.”
Local arts organizations like the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and others are asked each year to nominate businesses for the Business in the Arts Awards. Below is a list of this year’s winners:
- Small Business Category: Dreamland BBQ
- Medium Business Category: Morgan Stanley
- Large Business Category: Jack Ingram Motors
- Frank Plummer Memorial Arts Award: Jackson Thornton
- Winton M. Blount Arts Leadership Award: Laura and Barrie Harmon
Montgomery artist Melissa Tubbs, known for her architectural portraiture and intricate pen-and-ink work, was chosen to design this year’s awards. They featured drawings of historic Alabama buildings, which were recently included in a traveling Alabama Bicentennial exhibit.
WSFA 12 News is a previous Business in the Arts Award recipient and news anchor Mark Bullock served as emcee at Thursday’s luncheon. The MABCA also used the occasion to honor outgoing Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange for his contributions to the arts community.