On May 3, 2017, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) will honor author James McBride with the Founder’s Award, the institution’s most prestigious accolade, in recognition of the National Book Award winner’s exemplary service to the history community. James McBride and the Good Lord Bird Band, a gospel/jazz quintet, will also perform at the gala.
HSP Board Member Alice L. George and Library Company of Philadelphia Director Emeritus John Van Horne also will be honored with Heritage Awards, acknowledging significant contributions of individuals to the future of Philadelphia’s heritage.
The annual gala will take place at the National Constitution Center (NCC) beginning at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception followed by a musical performance of the story of John Brown by James McBride and the Good Lord Bird Band, an awards ceremony, dinner, and an appeal auction by George McNeely. The Chairs for the event are J. Rudy Lewis and Dorothy Mather Ix. Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest are serving as Honorary Co-chairs.
This year's Founder's Award also marks the beginning of an ongoing collaboration between HSP and the NCC. Founder’s attendees will have the opportunity to witness the opening of a new exhibition of historical treasures from the Constitutional Convention of 1787, including the only handwritten working drafts of the U.S. Constitution. The exhibit, American Treasures: Documenting the Nation’s Founding, will appear in a newly constructed exhibition room at NCC intended for displaying the rarest founding documents in American constitutional history.