The 2017 honorees are Donald and Kaye Kole (Leopold Alder II Historic Preservation Award), James Alan McPherson-Posthumously (King-Tisdell Cottage Fine Arts Award), Father Charles L. Hoskins (W.W. Law Legacy Award), Alderman Van R. Johnson, II (Reverend James M. Simms Public Service Award) and Dr. Joseph H. Silver, Sr. (Beach Institute Education Award).
Leopold Adler II is a Savannah native who has been actively committed to Savannah’s Historic Preservation efforts. For many years, Don and Kaye Kole through their generosity, financial contributions, community service and extensive and renowned African art collections have been instrumental in preserving and compiling Georgia History and Jewish Genealogical History which enhances the cultural climate of Savannah.
The King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation is committed to using the arts as its primary mode to preserve, interpret, and present to the public the African American cultural experience. James Alan McPherson became the first Black author to win the Pulitzer Prize in fiction as a result of overcoming segregation and the narrow prism of a legal education. This native son changed the landscape of literature exploring race and community and was sought after as a lecturer with his writings entitled “Hue and Cry”, “Elbow Room”, Gold Coast (semi-autobiographical short story), Railroad: Trains and Train People in American Culture, Crabcakes, and A Region Not Home: Reflections from Exile. Recipients of W.W. Law Legacy Award are recognized for their commitment to the King-Tisdell Cottage, the Beach Institute, the Ulysses Davis Collection, the Legacy Program, or for their tangibly evidenced commitment to the preservation of African-American history and to improving the quality of life for all citizens of Chatham County.
Father Charles L. Hoskins has published books continuously that chronicle the history of African Americans in Savannah. He has authored Yet with a Steady Beat: Biographies of Early Savannah, Out of Yamacraw and Beyond: Discovering Black Savannah, Saints Stephen, Augustine and Matthew: 150 Years of Struggle, Hardship and Success. In 2013, Father Hoskins wrote, W. W. Law and His People: A Timeline and Biographies. The Reverend James Merilus Simms (1823-1912), an African American, represented Chatham County in the Georgia Legislature during Reconstruction.
During his life he made significant
contributions to the social, moral and political thought and policy of the community; Van R. Johnson, II has ensconced himself into the Savannah community and is now viewed as an “honorary Savannahian” by his constituents. Van has served as alderman on the Savannah City Council and impacted the Savannah community significantly during the Hurricane Matthew evacuation with numerous updates on the city reentry.
The Beach Institute Education Award is given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the field of Education in the Coastal Empire—Dr. Joseph H. Silver, Sr. is the Managing Partner of Silver and Associates, a full service higher education consulting firm. He has served in several administrative positions throughout his stellar career. Over his career, Dr. Silver has developed the reputation of a transformational and innovative leader with great vision and principled ethics. He has sound strategic planning skills and is championed as a strong academic thinker who is well positioned throughout academia and in the community. Silver’s work is recognized on the regional, national and international levels among Blacks in Higher Education. The King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation was founded in 1981 by civil rights leader, historian, and preservationist W.W. Law. The mission of the Foundation is to research, collect, interpret and present African American history and culture through exhibits, art, films, lectures,
oral history, tours, and publications. The Foundation endeavors to promote and disseminate information concerning this history and to celebrate the contributions of African Americans, especially in Georgia and the Sea Islands of South Carolina. The Foundation seeks to foster continued interracial understanding and appreciation of different cultures. Today, the Foundation manages the Beach Institute African-American Cultural Center, which houses the internationally recognized Ulysses David Folk Art Collection and the art and artifacts from the African American Diaspora, The Beach Institute Garden and Garden Level area, which houses the Gift Shop and King-Tisdell Cottage. The KTCF Annual Awards Gala is the Foundation’s primary activity for securing operating and personnel support. Individual tickets for the gala are available for $75.00. Table and sponsorships are available. For more information, please contact the Beach Institute at 912-335-8868 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.