The Francis Johnson Baton: An Award for Altruism


The application for the 2017-2018 Francis Johnson Baton is now open! Student performing arts groups from the University of Pennsylvania can apply through April 6th, 2018 at 11:59pm. Click here to apply.

johnson_resize.jpgThe Office of the Chaplain and Platt Student Performing Arts House collaborate to bring you the Francis Johnson Baton: An Award for Altruism.  Named for Francis Johnson (1792-1844), Penn band leader and internationally renowned African American musician and composer, this award celebrates charitable work accomplished by University of Pennsylvania student performing arts groups. 


Charitable work includes, but is not limited to, fundraisers and charitable performances benefiting outside causes, workshops for local public school children, group participation in After School Arts at Penn (ASAP).     Throughout the year, it is the responsibility of the student group to record and evaluate charitable work.  At the close of the academic year, participating student groups will submit a one-page summary of their charitable work including a reflection on the impact their work has made on the Greater Penn Community and the members within the student performing arts group.  Student performing arts groups are not required to be members of the Performing Arts Council (PAC) or have an affiliation with Platt House and/or the Office of the Chaplain. 

Groups that receive the Award are not eligible to receive it again for the following two academic years.


The student performing arts group that demonstrates the most meaningful and consistent charitable work as determined by a committee of Penn staff and students will be rewarded with its name upon a plaque to be displayed in Platt Student Performing Arts House and a dinner party hosted by the Office of the Chaplain.

Past Recipients

2014-2015Disney A Cappella
2015-2016New Spirit of Penn Gospel
Mask & Wig

Questions about The Francis Johnson Baton can be directed to  Read more about Francis Johnson here