For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development


Mayor Kenney will proclaim July 19, 2016 “Jerry Pinkney Day”

PHILADELPHIA, July 1, 2016—The Free Library of Philadelphia is excited to join with; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; University of the Arts; the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy; other partners; and Philadelphians  to celebrate “Jerry Pinkney Day,” which the mayor will proclaim on July 19, 2016, in honor of Philadelphia-born-and-raised children’s book illustrator and author Jerry Pinkney. This honor follows an unprecedented dual recognition of Pinkney’s work from the American Library Association: the 2016 Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement and the 2016 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award. The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually to African American authors and illustrators of books for young readers who demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values; the Wilder Award honors one author or illustrator, published in the United States, whose books have made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children. Partners organizing this day also include Art Sanctuary, the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, and the School District of Philadelphia.

Pinkney is one of the most beloved artists in children’s literature, having illustrated more than 100 books over his five-decade career. He received the 2010 Caldecott Medal for his picture book The Lion and the Mouse; other awards include five Caldecott Honor Medals, five Coretta Scott King Book Awards, four Coretta Scott King Honor Awards, and a lifetime achievement award from the Society of Illustrators in New York. Pinkney grew up in Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood, and his work touches upon personal and cultural themes of the African American experience, the majesty of wildlife, and the wisdom of folk tales.

“Jerry Pinkney’s images have taught us how to imagine, through luminous watercolor, pencil, and pen-and-ink book illustrations; postage stamps that visualize American heroes; and passionate and dignified museum interpretations of African American history,” says Lorene Cary, Director of, which has published Pinkney’s personal narrative about how drawing provided him a childhood safe space. “I am so thrilled for Philadelphia to honor his influence on Pinkney Day.” Cary will interview Pinkney on Tuesday night, July 19, at the Parkway Central Library.

The celebration will include public events at locations across the city:

Tribute Ceremony – with Mayor Kenney and Jerry Pinkney
Tuesday, July 19 ¦2:00 p.m.
City Hall, Mayor’s Reception Room

Art Splash for Families – with Jerry Pinkney
Tuesday, July 19 ¦3:00 p.m.
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Perelman Building

Conversation with Jerry Pinkney – interviewed by author Lorene Cary
Tuesday, July 19 ¦7:30 p.m.
Parkway Central Library, Montgomery Auditorium

Meet the Illustrator – with Jerry Pinkney
Wednesday, July 20 ¦2:00 p.m.
Joseph E. Coleman Northwest Regional Library

For more information, visit or

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The Free Library of Philadelphia system, with 54 locations and the Rosenbach, advances literacy, guides learning, and inspires curiosity with millions of digital and physical materials; 25,000 yearly programs and workshops; free public computers and extensive Wi-Fi, including neighborhood Hotspots; and rich special collections, including  those at Parkway Central Library and at the Rosenbach. With more than 6 million in-person visits and millions more online annually, the Free Library and the Rosenbach are among the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia and boast a worldwide impact.


Using a wide range of contributors, from college writers to K-12 students to professional journalists and artists, SafeKidsStories crowd-sources deep cultural knowledge and care for kids to explore safety?—?physical safety, certainly, but also the emotional, relational, and social conditions that foster and repair it. The idea is to disrupt powerlessness and fear.


Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850