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 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!

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!

2024 Winner

Brawling Beauty

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
2023 Queen April, an Asheville Original