We Are Family Foundation (WAFF) will honor legendary artist Dolly Parton and iconic fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier at its 2019 Celebration on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.
WAFF, a not-for-profit organization founded by legendary multiple GRAMMY Award winning musician Nile Rodgers, is dedicated to the vision of a global family. WAFF creates and supports programs that promote cultural diversity while nurturing the vision, talents and ideas of young people who are positively changing the world.
“We’ve wanted to recognize and honor the extraordinary accomplishments of Dolly Parton for many years. Her exemplary work as an artist, businesswoman and philanthropist is an example for us all. She symbolizes everything that is great about music and America. Jean Paul Gaultier is someone who I’m happy to call a friend. His incomparable work as an iconic fashion designer and forward thinker has changed our culture in a way the world has greatly benefitted from. We are enormously grateful to our honorees for their exceptional work to improve humanity and we warmly welcome them into our WAFF family”, said Rodgers.
Dolly Parton, legendary singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actress, author, businesswoman and humanitarian will receive the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peacemaker Award. Over the years, Parton has supported many charitable efforts, particularly in the area of literacy, primarily through the Dollywood Foundation. Her literacy program, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a part of the Dollywood Foundation, mails one book per month to each enrolled child from the time of their birth until they enter kindergarten. In August 2019, the Imagination Library gave away over 1.4M books, and has given away a total of over 125M books to date. In 2018, Parton was honored by the Library of Congress on account of the “charity sending out its 100 millionth book”.
With a record for any female artist of 26 songs reaching No. 1 on the Billboard country charts; 42 career top-10 country albums, a record for any artist; and 110 career-charted singles over the past 40 years, Parton remains one of the most-honored female country performers of all time.
“To say that I am honored would be quite an understatement. I am so humbled to be included in with such an amazing group of people. I have often said that I don’t count my awards, but this is one I will not soon forget. The Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peacemaker Award from the We Are Family Foundation represents so many of the characteristics that I strive every day to live by. I believe in family, I believe in love, and I believe that together we can change the world”, said Parton.
Previous honorees of the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peacemaker Award include: President Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, Roger Daltrey CBE, Paul Simon, Dr. Maya Angelou and Quincy Jones.
Jean Paul Gaultier will receive the Humanitarian Award. Gaultier, a French couturier started an apprenticeship at eighteen in the fashion house of Parisian designer Pierre Cardin and by 1976, founded his own eponymous fashion label. Gaultier started his ascent in the fashion world in the early eighties adding a men’s collection in 1984, and two years later opening his first boutique in Paris. In 1997 with his showing of his first haute couture collection, Gaultier secured his place in the fashion industry.
With Gaultier’s desire to illuminate and support human individuality and beauty, he used unconventional models for his shows. This earned him both criticism and enormous popularity. In acknowledgement of his role in reshaping popular perceptions of humanity through fashion and in redirecting the creative process, Gaultier was awarded in 2001 the title of Chevalier de la Lègion d’Honneur (“Knight of the Legion of Honor”), one of France’s highest honors, amongst many other awards and accolades he has received.
“It is with great honor that I receive the 2019 Humanitarian Award. I have always believed that all people are beautiful, no matter what their color, shape, size, creed, or sexuality. It is the inner beauty of all people and what we do for others that contributes the most to our beautiful global family”, said Jean Paul Gaultier.
Previous honorees of the Humanitarian Award include Bono, Sting & Trudie Styler, Steven Van Zandt, Nile Rodgers, Jackson Browne, Peter Gabriel and Sir Elton John.
Nile Rodgers & CHIC and Dolly Parton will perform live at the event.
To purchase tickets or to contribute to We Are Family Foundation, please visit wearefamilyfoundation.org. Contributions are fully tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.