Artist Recognition Award

ABSFest’s Artist Recognition Award is given annually to a member of the community outstanding for their dedication to the Arts.
Sometimes that commitment takes the form of front and center boundary-smashing, genre-defining polished performance, as in the case of the historic Rebelles and Holiday Childress of the Goodies.

Sometimes the award goes to the lesser-known heroes of arts administration, stage tech, and the preservation of our sub-cultural histories. All of our recipients labor mightily to keep these arts alive, rich in texture, weirdness, and community spirit!

Phil Slomski

In 2011, the award was re-named the Phil Slomski Artist Recognition Award in honor of the early passing of Phil Slomski of the comedy duo the Slomski Brothers, dear to fans of music and comedy up and down the East Coast.
In honor of Phil, we have one distinctive award, and each generation of recipient adds to it, augmenting it with their own special flair, to be passed on to the next. Like a big, gaudy, be-loved and be-glittered Olympic Torch!

2023 Winner: Brawling Beauty

Previous Winners:

  • 2008 Christine DiBenedetto, historic regional burlesque troupe, The Rebelles
  • 2009 Holiday Childress, proto-neo Vaudeville band The Goodies
  • 2010 Jim Julien, Asheville Arts Activist
  • 2011 Jen Amann, Queen of the Card Girls
  • 2012 Mab Just Mab, DC’s Own Sideshow Girl
  • 2013 Kisa Von Teasa, The Sweet Little Psycho from Knoxville, TN
  • 2014 James Taylor, America’s Sideshow Historian
  • 2015 Kitty Love, Asheville Art Instigator and Community Leader
  • 2016 Maria Bella, Baltimore’s Sicilian Queen
  • 2017 Jen & Jim Lazoun of Lazoom Tours
  • 2018 Les S. Moore, Comedy Pickpocket
  • 2019 Talloolah Love; CandyBox Revue