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THE CATALYST:
A CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

The Catalyst is an annual award given to a trailblazing creative artist for achieving major career steps, creating new pathways, breaking down barriers, and inspiring & lifting up new voices.

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Ashley Nicole Black is an American comedian, actress, and writer from Los Angeles, California.

Ms. Black has written for many critically acclaimed series and shows, including “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee,” “Ted Lasso” and “Bless This Mess.”

Although “A Black Lady Sketch Show” is Ms. Black's first time as a series regular, she was a correspondent on “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” and acted in “Drunk History” and the 2014 film “An American Education.”

She won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special for Full Frontal With Samantha Bee Presents Not The White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

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Hollis award

Best-known as the spiky-headed underachiever Bart Simpson, Emmy Award-winning voice actor Nancy Cartwright is also the unique voice behind The Simpsons’ characters Ralph Wiggum, Nelson Muntz, Rod Flanders, Kearney, Database and Maggie. In keeping with her history of playing popular characters on such animated series as Richie Rich; My Little Pony; Snorks; Pound Puppies;  Animaniacs; and Pinky and The Brain, Nancy also became a hit with the millennials as the voice of Chuckie in Rugrats and Rufus—the Naked Mole Rat—in Kim Possible.   
 

In 2001, years before its time, Nancy co-created and produced The Kelly’s—one of the first critically-acclaimed digital animated series in conjunction with Turner Broadcasting and NASCAR.  With 40 three-minute webisodes, The Kelly’s opened the door to production and writing.
 

Most recently, Nancy completed a life-long dream of writing and producing a film based on an adventure she took in 1985 when she went to Italy to find the great Italian director, Federico Fellini.  In Search of Fellini went on to achieve official selection with 9 film festivals including SIFF, Bentonville, Ferrara and Ischia. The New York Times raved that In Search of Fellini is “a charming drama about the love of movies and youthful passion.” It is currently streaming on Netflix and available for purchase on all digital platforms and DVD.  
 

With the compassion to “give back”, Nancy has been the Honorary Mayor of her community for the past 15 years and enjoys being active as a volunteer in the community.  She is the recipient of the coveted Fernando Award presented to those whose support is above and beyond.  She has supported many non-profit organizations that focus on helping children, such as Famous Fone Friends, The Way to Happiness Foundation and The Citizens Commission on Human Rights.  She also received the prestigious Icon Award from The Make-A-Wish Foundation with the help and happiness she has given to numerous children.
 

Nancy’s zest for life is founded in the belief that we all have the ability to achieve our dreams.  “It is through art, music, dance, sculpture, film and stories that makes people happy.  It is the artist who inspires people—gives them hope—that they too can become a dream-maker to make this world a better place.” 

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