Clifford Antone, Harold McMillan and Cyril Neville will receive the 2009 Bridging Divides Award from The University of Texas Project on Conflict Resolution (UTPCR) Oct. 15.
The award spotlights individuals who have made significant contributions to society by building bridges between groups and cultures. The award honors the creative ability of artists to combine styles and approaches in a way that benefits society or helps humanitarian causes. Willie Nelson was the first Bridging Divides Award recipient in 2007 and its inspiration. The award is now presented to several individuals each year.
"We feel privileged to honor Clifford Antone, Harold McMillan and Cyril Neville," said UTPCR Director and founder Madeline Maxwell. "All of them have inspired generations already, and they have helped countless people they know about and others they will never know. We honor the memory of Clifford, who was an early supporter of UTPCR, and salute Harold McMillan, who worked with our teen summer symposium, and Cyril Neville. They show what commitment, imagination and initiative can do for the world."
Antone, who died in 2006, was known for his work with numerous social and educational organizations, most notably his "Help Clifford Help Kids" fundraiser for a program that serves at-risk youth. Antone loved teaching music history at The University of Texas at Austin in his final years. He is best known for his namesake internationally recognized blues club in Austin where he fostered interracial collaborations between established artists and new musicians, young and old.
McMillan is a tireless artist, historian, producer and musician, devoted to traditions derived from African American culture and other forms of artistic expression outside the classical European tradition. As director of Diverse Arts Culture Works, and founder of the Austin Blues Family Tree Project, he has preserved the stories of dozens of African American musicians. His work allows modern ears to hear first-person accounts of how the blues, and the heyday of Black East Austin's entertainment district, contribute to modern experience.
Neville is recognized for his contributions to Hurricane Katrina victims and to preserving the New Orleans sound while blending it with Austin sounds through Project Chumbo. Driven from New Orleans by the flooding, Neville made his way to Austin where he joined in efforts to help the people back home and those who decided to stay in Texas. Long involved in humanitarian causes and programs reaching out to children, Neville overlooked his personal hardships to help create a bridge over the waters for others.
UTPCR is a university organization dedicated to promoting the study and practice of peace initiatives and successful conflict resolution in contemporary culture.
The UT Willie Nelson Center for Peaceful Conflict Resolution students organization will join the UTPCR and musical friends at 6:30 p.m., Oct. 15, in a celebration hosted by Antone's, 213 W 5th St. with performances by Gary Clark Jr., Eve Monsees, Pamela Hart, James Robinson, Neville, Big Chief Kevin and more. For more information, visit http://www.utpcr.org.