Submitted by NCTV17
Naperville Community Television’s Executive Director, Liz Spencer, was honored as the first local recipient of Naperville’s Fair Lady Award on Thursday, June 7th at the Center Stage Theater. Spencer was honored by Fair Lady Productions, Inc. as a business woman who has made a difference in the Naperville community through her contribution and commitment to the arts.
Kandiss Hernandez, Founder and Executive Director of , the not-for-profit parent company to Kidz Kabaret, designed the Fair Lady Award to acknowledge women deserving recognition for their tireless efforts to support community arts organizations. With their creative partnership reaching back to 2002 when Hernandez was the host for NCTV17’s show, Spotlight on Naperville, Hernandez quickly recognized Spencer as a perfect recipient for the honor, “As I branched away from and developed Kidz Kabaret, Liz continued to professionally guide me from my backyard productions to where we are today with a professional theater and rehearsal facilities.”
Hosted by Chicago radio personality, Kiki Vale, the evening included keynote speaker Mary Kay Kliest, a CBS 2 meteorologist, who reflected on her career experiences in the media field as well as several vocal performances by members of Kidz Kabaret.
Mayor of Naperville, George Pradel, praised Spencer for her hard work, “Through her leadership at Naperville Community Television, she is able to weave arts and technology together in a seamless blend to showcase Naperville’s unique stories. Liz inspires our youth to pursue their dreams in visual storytelling and understands that arts bring a city together and lay the foundation for a strong, cultured community.” After sharing his perspectives on the importance of supporting community arts, Mayor Pradel, alongside Hernandez, presented Spencer with the award.
“Kandi and I started out together some 10 years ago at NCTV17, she hadn’t known me very long when she asked if we could tape a performance she was doing in her backyard with a group of kids from her church. As I pulled up to her house with our portable control room gear, I was blown away. Kandi had transformed her patio into a stage including a Manhattan skyline with the Statue of Liberty peering over the roof line,” Spencer said as she reflected on her early experience with Fair Lady Productions, Inc. during her acceptance speech. “We added lights and cameras, and when the show began it was magic. The kids were incredible; anyone there that night will tell you it was electric and I was hooked from there.”
Spencer has utilized her Emmy award winning knowledge as a director and producer to lead the way for NCTV17 to become a true community television station, featuring diverse programming that educates, informs, preserves, entertains, assists and celebrates the people and places of Naperville. “In her leadership of NCTV17, Liz Spencer has brought to Naperville a level of community television that stands as a model for the industry,” states Christine Jeffries, President of Naperville Development Partnership. Spencer has also been the recipient of Naperville Jaycees for Distinguished Service, and honored with a Women in Business “Women Who Inspire” award.
In closing out the evening, Hernandez added, “The purpose of this award is to honor and raise awareness for the arts. I believe Elizabeth Braham Spencer is the first in a long line of Naperville ground-breaking visionaries. On behalf of myself, the Kidz Kabaret families, and the Board of Directors, I want to thank Liz for her continued support.”