NEW YORK, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Grammy award winner Angelique Kidjo will be honored with the 2012 FIAF Trophee des Arts at The Plaza hotel in New York, on Friday, November 30th, 2012.
The Trophee des Arts Gala will also award the Pilier d'Or to Thierry Breton, Atos Chairman and CEO, and a former French Minister of Economy.
Born in Benin, Angelique Kidjo is one of the most electrifying performers in the world. She is also one of its most forward and creative thinkers, an artist whose mission has been to explore the relationships between diverse musical cultures. Mrs. Kidjo's repertoire includes collaborations with recording artists such as Bono, Peter Gabriel, Josh Groban, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Branford Marsalis, Carlos Santana, and the French singer Henri Salvador. Mrs. Kidjo has also performed songs by Edith Piaf, Gainsbourg, and Nougaro.
"I will always remember the generosity and the passion of Angelique Kidjo when she participated in a fund raising concert at the FIAF's Florence Gould Hall in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti," the President of FIAF, Marie-Monique Steckel says.
Time Magazine called Mrs. Kidjo "Africa's premier diva," and she has also distinguished herself as an advocate for children welfare, both as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and through her own philanthropy, the Batonga Foundation.
"I will accept with honor and pride this award not only because it reflects on my African francophone roots," Mrs. Kidjo says. "But this award also reflects the power of listening to one another's culture, and here in New York at FIAF, this is particularly true of the cultural exchange between the Francophone and American cultures."
Since 1992, the Trophee des Arts has distinguished artists who exemplify FIAF's mission of French-American friendship and cross-cultural exchange. Former honorees include Isabelle Huppert, James Ivory, Quincy Jones, Charlie Rose, Marc Jacobs, and Alain Ducasse.
"FIAF is also honored to bestow the 2012 Pilier d'Or upon Thierry Breton," Mrs. Steckel adds. "Thierry Breton is not only a fantastic corporate leader but also someone who has served the French Republic at the highest level when he was the Minister for the Economy and Finance from 2005 to 2007. Through his many corporate and political leadership positions, he has always championed the promotion of culture."
Since 2008, Mr. Breton has been the Chairman and CEO of Atos, a global information technology services leader that delivers hi-tech transactional services, consulting and technology services, systems integration and managed services.
The Trophee des Arts raises funds to support FIAF's educational and cultural programs.
Founded in 1898, the French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF) is the leading French language and cultural center in the United States. Its mission is to create and offer New Yorkers innovative and unique programs in education and the arts that explore the evolving diversity and richness of French cultures. www.fiaf.org