Trinity Rep’s Pell Awards Gala

On May 21, we celebrated artistic excellence and honored the legacy of Senator Claiborne Pell at Trinity Rep’s 22nd annual Pell Awards Gala. Trinity Rep’s creative black tie gala is fun, festive, and full of unforgettable moments. 

Monday, May 21, 2018

VIP Reception: 6:00pm |  Ceremony and Dinner Reception: 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm

WaterFire Arts Center, 475 Valley St., Providence, Rhode Island

Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Mary McDonnellPell Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts

A two-time Oscar nominee for Dances with Wolves and Passion Fish, McDonnell’s theater, film and television career has spanned more than four decades with dynamic character portrayals in period and present-day roles, including TNT’s The Closer and Major Crimes, Syfy’s Battlestar Galactica, Donnie Darko, and Sneakers.

“Mary McDonnell’s extraordinary work exemplifies the artist as a socially responsible citizen. Her portrayals of strong women, from Stands with a Fist to President Roslin to Sharon Raydor, have inspired and captivated millions. Trinity Rep is thrilled to honor Ms. McDonnell’s talent and impact with this year’s Pell Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts.” – Curt Columbus, Trinity Rep Artistic Director

Read the full announcement here.

Local Honorees

Morris NathansonRhode Island Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts 

Jeannine ChartierPell Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Arts 

Jane S. NelsonCharles Sullivan Award for Distinguished Service in the Arts 

Learn more about the local honorees here.

Tickets, Sponsorships & Ads

Click Here for Additional Event and Sponsorship Information

Chairs & Committee

Event Chairs: Sally Lapides & Art Solomon and Jonathan M. Nelson

Honorary Chairs: Clay Pell, Nick & Annie Pell, Tripler Pell & Tawfik Hammoud, Christina Pell Neal, and Eames Yates, Jr.

Event Committee: John Chan, Paul & Libba Choquette, Ann Marie Clarkson, Linda & Steven Cohen, Curt Columbus & Nate Watson, Ruth Dealy, Sally & Joe Dowling, Alison & Larry Eichler, Rebecca Gibel, Laura Harris, Eugene & Brooke Lee, Joe Madden, Suzanne Magaziner, Chris Marsella, Martha Douglas-Osmundson, Tom Parrish, Timothy Philbrick, Kibbe & Tom Reilly, Barbara & Larry Schoenfeld, Judith Stillman, Mindy & Stanley Wachtenheim, Pat Watson, and Herb Weiss

Honorary Committee: Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman David N. Cicilline, and Congressman James R. Langevin

Event Sponsors

as of 5/14/18

Visionary: Jonathan Nelson & Maya Stendhal

VIP Reception Sponsor: The Providence Real Estate Guy

Producers: Brown University; IGT; Stenhouse Consulting

Directors: Adler Pollock & Sheehan P.C.; Buff & Johnnie Chace; Delin Design; Gilbane; Hinckley Allen; Suzanne & Ira C. Magaziner; Sara Shea McConnell; The Murray Family Charitable Foundation; Residential Properties LTD; Russell Morin Catering & Events; Sayles Livingston Design; Barbara & Larry Schoenfeld; Washington Trust Company

Supporters: Liz Chace; CVS Health; John & Yvette Harpootian; Laura Harris; Hayes & Sherry; Howland Evangelista Kohlenberg Burnett LLP; Navigant Credit Union; Shechtman Halperin Savage, LLP; Starkweather & Shepley; Textron Inc.

Southwest is the official airline of Trinity Rep

About the Pell Awards

Trinity Rep established the Pell Awards in 1997 to honor artists whose artistic careers exemplify the values of Senator Claiborne Pell, one of the principal founders of the National Endowment for the Arts. The Pell Awards honor Senator Claiborne Pell and recognize artistic excellence in Rhode Island, the New England region and nationally. Throughout his life, Senator Pell worked to support the arts and provide new opportunities for artists. He sponsored the landmark legislation that established the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities in 1965 and chaired the Senate Education and Arts subcommittee. The Pell Awards’ criteria include excellence in the artist’s chosen field, work that significantly advances the art form and contribution to the betterment of the community and the world at large through artistic presence and community service.

All proceeds from the Pell Awards Gala benefit artistic programming at Trinity Rep.

For more information, contact Jen Canole, director of development, at (401) 453-9234 or

Past Honorees

Pell Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts

Jane Alexander
Kate Burton
Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis
Viola Davis
Olympia Dukakis
Oskar & Laurie Eustis
Adrian Hall
Richard & Sharon Jenkins
Jessica Lange
Arthur Miller
Liza Minnelli
Toni Morrison
Robert Redford
Chita Rivera
Jason Robards
Maurice Sendak
Beverly Sills
Stephen Sondheim

Pell Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Arts

John Krasinski
Debra Messing
Amy Morton
Trinity Rep Resident Acting Company

New England Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts

Brian Dennehy
Julie Harris
Jeffrey Osborne
Lloyd Richards
Gunther Schuller
John Updike

Pell Award/Charles Sullivan Award for Distinguished Service in/to the Arts

Elizabeth Z. Chace
Mayor Vincent A. Cianci, Jr.
Martha Douglas-Osmundson
Joe & Sally Dowling
Adrian Hall
Mary Paula Hunter
P. William Hutchinson
Virginia Lynch
Lowry Marshall
Elaine Foster Perry
Julie Strandberg

Pell Award for Outstanding Leadership in Arts Education

Ruth J. Simmons

Pell Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Arts

Joseph A. Chazan M.D.
Mihailo “Misha” Djuric
Michael Gennaro
Roger Mandle
Senator Claiborne Pell
Rhode Island State Council on the Arts
George Wein
J.L. “Lynn” Singleton

Rhode Island Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts

John Benson
Howard BenTré
Dan Butterworth
Len Cabral
Charlene Carpenzano
John Chan
Bob Colonna
Robert Coover
Umberto “Bert” Crenca
Richard Cumming
Ruth Frisch Dealy
Tony Estrella
Richard Fleischner
Peter Geisser
Malcolm Grear
Michael Harper
Bunny Harvey
Dorothy Jungels & the Everett Dance Theatre
George Kent
Eugene Lee
David Macaulay
Salvatore Mancini
Dave McKenna
Barbara Meek
Denny Moers
Timothy Philbrick
Ricardo Pitts-Wiley
Duke Robillard
Thomas Sgouros, Sr.
Consuelo Sherba
Gretchen Dow Simpson
Maria Spacagna
Judith Lynn Stillman
Chris Van Allsburg
Paula Vogel
Keith and Rosmarie Waldrop
William Warner
Rose Weaver
Steven Weinberg
Toots Zynsky