This new Carbonell Special Award is named after the legendary playwright, actress, and theater director who was the first African-American woman to direct on Broadway and the first to receive a Tony Award nomination for directing, before moving to South Florida in the 1980s where she founded the Vinnette Carroll Repertory Company.
2022: Marshall L. Davis
The inaugural winner of this award, Marshall L. Davis has served for nearly 40 years as managing director of the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center (AHCAC) in Miami’s Liberty City, where artists such as Oscar winner/playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater artistic director Robert Battle got their start. A former drama teacher, Davis created a multi-arts curriculum and programming to nurture thousands of arts students, many of whom have gone on to study in arts magnet programs or received scholarships to study at top arts institutions such as the Juilliard School. Adding an art gallery and black box theater to the AHCAC campus, Davis has helped make a creative home for young artists, companies and audiences.