Brigit Award Goes to ANNA

Logo for women and mythology brigit award

The Association for Study of Women and Mythology Board of Directors has, by unanimous vote, selected the ANNA Crusis Women's Choir as the 2017 recipient of Brigit Award for Excellence in the Arts. This award is given in recognition of decades of music that inspires audiences everywhere, creates a diverse and powerful community of women, and promotes the development of new works that are true to women's lived experiences.

The Choir is widely recognized as both an agent of social change and a premier performing arts group in the greater Philadelphia region. For 42 years, ANNA Crusis has been committed to reaching diverse audiences, including outreach to those who have little access to the arts. Since its beginnings the Choir has involved the voices of all women, regardless of race, class, or sexual orientation, and has represented the concerns of marginalized communities and individuals.

From this perspective and these strengths, the Choir has addressed the most pressing social issues of our times with humor and reverence. The Choir has fostered the development of women's arts by commissioning new music and reviving interest in nearly forgotten works. Additionally, ANNA Crusis created the Themis Award, named for the Greek goddess of visionary justice, to honor women from the greater Philadelphia area who are dedicated to social justice, equality and peace.

Recognition for the Choir's accomplishments also comes from musicians, including internationally renowned singer-songwriter Holly Near, who offers high praise for the quality and depth of the Choir's work:

"When I hear Anna Crusis, the well-rehearsed sound lifts me above the literal, and we, the audience, are invited to dream about the footprints we follow and the footprints we leave behind. For me, singing is an inside job and then I open my mouth and externalize that which I have learned up to this moment. I feel that when I hear Anna Crusis sing. They have done their homework so there is nothing shallow about the sound they offer. They sing all they know with the promise that they will continue to learn, continue to sing."

Special mention must be given to the women who have been instrumental in creating and sustaining ANNA Crusis over the years. We recognize the vital contributions of Dr. Catherine Roma, founder and first director, and the directors who have followed her: Jane Hulting, Jacqueline Coren, and, presently, Miriam Davidson. And in addition we acknowledge the work of countless women who have supported the work of the choir through volunteering.

The Choir has been and remains a strong force in the fight for social justice for all people. We congratulate the women of ANNA Crusis for their past accomplishments, and we look forward to many more years of music that comforts, challenges, and inspires us all.