Champion Award

2020 Champion Award Recipients: Jim and Cathy Stone

We are pleased to recognize Jim and Cathy Stone as the 2020 recipients of the Inspire Arts & Music Champion Award, which was established to honor individuals who have been extraordinary leaders for the arts.

Through their charitable organization, the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation, Jim and Cathy are exemplary candidates for this prestigious recognition. The Stones’ civic leadership and philanthropic spirit clearly embody what this award stands for.

The Stones have a distinguished history of supporting an array of worthwhile non-profits. Whether chairing the Board of the School on the Move Prize, launching the Museum of African American History Stone Book Award, or serving the people of Boston via their commitment to conservation, the environment and urban affairs, their time, expertise, effort and generosity is an example for all.

Inspire Arts & Music was honored to officially present Jim and Cathy with our Champion Award during our virtual Concert in the Park on August 6th.

Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees: Marietta Phinney and Paul J. Pitts

The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the Arts. Special attention is given to those who have spent their lives influencing and impacting youth through the arts. Inspire Arts & Music values the selfless giving of heart and mind of the tremendous individuals who are recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2020, we were proud to recognize:

Marietta Phinney – Executive Founding Director Riverside Theatre Works

Marietta Phinney is the Founding Director of Riverside Theatre Works. During her youth she studied classical piano with Mary Walter of the New England Conservatory. Ms. Phinney was the Musical Director of St. Anne Parish in Readville from 1959 through 1981. She was also a private piano instructor, as well as a church pianist and choir director who produced a series of variety shows as part of parish activities. Mrs. Phinney began Riverside Media Workshops in 1983. Starting with 15 students learning music and drama, Ms. Phinney expanded to French’s Opera House in Cleary Square and opened Riverside Theatre Works School of Performing Arts in 1988.

Paul J. Pitts – Director of Fine Arts at Boston Latin

Paul Pitts was born in 1956 in Boston, MA. He attended St. Thomas Grammar School and the Boston Latin School graduating in 1973. After that he attended Boston University graduating with a Bachelor of Music in 1977 and a Master of Music in 1980.

Paul has been a music educator in Massachusetts for the last forty years, beginning his career in Westwood as the percussion instructor for the marching band in 1979. He has been the director of bands at Oliver Ames High School, Director of Music at Nashoba Regional High School and he is the Fine Arts Director at the Boston Latin School.

Paul has always been a strong advocate for jazz education wherever he has taught. While at Oliver Ames, he produced several award winning junior high and high school jazz ensembles, receiving numerous gold medal ratings at the district and state level. He was awarded the Lowell Mason Award in 1995 by the MMEA for leadership in music education. In 1999 he returned to his alma mater, The Boston Latin School to be the director of Fine Arts. He currently supervises 6 concert bands, 2 jazz ensembles, 1 jazz combo, 7 orchestras, 9 choirs, 9 full time arts staff and 11 adjunct faculty members. Boston Latin School received a GRAMMY® Signature School Award in 2005 for excellence in music education.

Paul has served as Massachusetts Association of Jazz Educators State President (1999 -2002; 2015-2019), MMEA Eastern District Festival Host 2008-2019, All – State Jazz Band Manager in 1993 and 1997, All – State Concert Band Manager in 2003, Southeast District Jazz Band Manager 1992.

Paul has performed with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, Boston Opera Company, Rhode Island Philharmonic, New Hampshire Symphony and the Nashua Symphony Orchestra.

Paul Pitts was honored at the Jazz Education Network 11th Annual Conference in New Orleans, January 7-10, 2020. CONGRATULATIONS PAUL PITTS, the recipient of the 2020 John LaPorta Jazz Educator of the Year Award!

Previous Champion Award Recipients

2020 - Jim and Cathy Stone

Jim and Cathy Stone
James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation

2019 - Bob Reynolds

Robert Reynolds
CEO, Putnam

2018 - Jay Hooley

Jay Hooley
CEO, State Street

2017 - Martin J. Walsh

Martin J. Walsh
Mayor, City of Boston