The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), known internationally as the producers of the Grammy Awards, presented its first "Heroes Awards" in Washington, DC on March 21, honoring outstanding individuals and institutions in the DC region that have improved the environment for the creative community. The event, produced by the Academy's Washington, DC Chapter and co-sponsored by BMI, recognized the achievements of Congressman John Conyers Jr. (D-Michigan), Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), hip-hop artist Missy Elliott, and the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, DC's performing arts high school.
Congressman John Conyers (center) is congratulated by BMI's Charlie Feldman and Recording Academy President Michael Greene.
"The Heroes Awards in Washington recognize the crucial link between cultural policy and artistic excellence," noted Recording Academy President and CEO Michael Greene. "Our members are grateful to Senator Hatch and Congressman Conyers. Not only do they protect music through important copyright legislation, they also understand the important role music plays in our culture."
BMI's Charlie Feldman, Conyers, BMI's Fred Cannon, and BMI songwriter and Billboard's Washington correspondent Bill Holland.
Congressman Conyers, an avid music fan, is known as "jazz's man in Congress" and was honored for his tireless efforts in support of American music throughout his long career on Capitol Hill.