HOLLYWOOD, CA, February 17, 2010 – The four recipients of the fifth annual Jim Henson Honors were announced today by Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company. Established in 2005, the awards program acknowledges organizations, individuals or products that reflect the core values and philosophy of the legendary Jim Henson and the company he founded. Criteria used in the evaluation process include: a commitment to creativity, innovative applications of art and technology, and inspiration of others.
The four Jim Henson Honorees are:
• The Jim Henson Celebration Honor – Steve Jobs, Apple CEO
• The Jim Henson Community Honor – 826 National, a tutoring, writing, and publishing organization
• The Jim Henson Creativity Honor – Neill Blomkamp, director
• The Jim Henson Technology Honor – YouTube Symphony Orchestra, the world’s first collaborative orchestra
“I am always excited and inspired by the selections made by our artists and staff,” said Lisa Henson. “This year’s recipients all truly embrace creativity and imagination. Steve Jobs has been a leader in the ongoing efforts to develop technologies that allow users to effortlessly express themselves; the YouTube Symphony Orchestra brought together vastly diverse musicians from around the world to share their talents; Neill Blomkamp inspired us with his incredibly original storytelling on film; and 826 National is helping to educate and encourage the creative voices of tomorrow.”
About the Honors and Recipients
• The Jim Henson Celebration Honor: Steve Jobs, Apple CEO The highest Henson Honor goes to an individual, organization or product that makes the world a better place by inspiring people to celebrate life. A co-founder of Apple, Jobs has led the company and the creation of its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, iPod media player, iTunes media store and Mac computers. Said Henson, “Steve Jobs has continuously broken new ground with technologies that allow existing media in all forms to be easily enjoyed and also by providing fantastic tools for artists, photographers, musicians and filmmakers of all skill levels.”
• The Jim Henson Community Honor: 826 National, a tutoring, writing and publishing organization The Community Honor acknowledges an individual, organization or product who/which has increased goodwill or made a positive impact in a specific community or around the world. 826 National is a nonprofit tutoring, writing, and publishing organization with volunteers in locations across the country working with teachers and students to improve writing skills of kids ages 6 – 12. With project-based programs that include the creation of newspapers, books and films, 826 National encourages collaboration, creative decision making, and ownership in the learning process. Said Henson, “We were so excited to learn about the incredible work of 826 National and the thousands of volunteers who are dedicated to providing personalized instruction and inspiration to future authors, playwrights and screenwriters.”
• The Jim Henson Creativity Honor: Neill Blomkamp, director The creativity honor acknowledges a new creative voice or unique expression of an idea. Blomkamp’s debut feature film “District 9” seamlessly blends organic and artificial imagery and creates a science fiction story that is both original and compelling. Henson said, “Blomkamp’s ‘District 9’ connected with all of the science fiction and fantasy fans here at the Company, and there are many of us. We were inspired by his great storytelling and spectacular use of special effects.”
• The Jim Henson Technology Honor: YouTube Symphony Orchestra, the world’s first collaborative orchestra The Technology Honor acknowledges an individual, organization or product who/which demonstrates ground-breaking technology in a creative way. The YouTube Symphony Orchestra is an exciting project intended to create the world’s first collaborative orchestra by accepting entry videos from all over the world and then providing a venue for established musicians and emerging talent to celebrate their talents and classical music in a new way. Said Henson, “We are most enthusiastic when technology can be used as a tool for creative expression and can bring together a community regardless of location. The YouTube Symphony brings a classical music to millions of viewers in a unique and engaging way and creates an international community of musicians that can work together in a way never possible before.”
The Jim Henson Company has remained an established leader in family entertainment for over 50 years and is recognized worldwide as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics and digital animation. Best known as creators of the world famous Muppets, Henson has received over 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards. Recent credits include the Emmy® nominated “Sid the Science Kid,” “Dinosaur Train,” “Wilson & Ditch: Digging America” and “Pajanimals.” Features include “The Dark Crystal,” “Labyrinth,” “MirrorMask,” and “Unstable Fables” and television productions include “Fraggle Rock” and the sci-fi cult series “Farscape.”
With additional locations in New York and London, The Jim Henson Company is headquartered in Los Angeles on the historic Charlie Chaplin lot, complete with soundstage and postproduction facilities. Independently owned and operated by the five adult children of founder Jim Henson, the Company is also home to Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™, a pre-eminent character-building and visual effects group with international film, television and advertising clients, as well as Henson Recording Studios, one of the music industry’s top recording facilities known for its world-class blend of state-of-the-art and vintage equipment. The Company’s Henson Alternative brand has recently launched the national tour of “Stuffed and Unstrung,” a live puppet improvisational show named one of the top 10 “Best Stage Shows of 2010” by Entertainment Weekly.
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