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4th Annual GANYC Apple Awards To Honor The Best of NYC!
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Guides Association of New York City (GANYC) Announces Billy Mitchell as Lifetime Achievement Honoree at 4th-Annual GANYC Apple Awards


NEW YORK, Friday, December 1 —  The Guides Association of New York City (GANYC)  is proud to announce that "Mr. Apollo" Billy Mitchell will be the Lifetime Achievement Award honoree at the 4th Annual GANYC Apple Awards on March 12, 2018 at the SVA Theater. The Apple Awards celebrate those who make New York City great. Over a dozen awards are given out each year to individuals & organizations from across our five boroughs.

In particular, the Lifetime Achievement Award honors individuals who have shown exceptional commitment to improving our city and our experience as tour guides. "Mr. Apollo" certainly fits that description.

Billy Mitchell is an actor, director, voice-over artist, mentor, producer, and lecturer. To tourists, Apollo Theater patrons, celebrity entertainers and friends in the Harlem community, Billy Mitchell is Mr. Apollo. Spirited and charming, Mr. Mitchell knows the Apollo Theater like the back of his hand and is one of the longest tenured employees at the historic venue. In 1991, Mr. Mitchell was named the Apollo Theater's Historical Tour Manager and is now the landmark theater's Tour Director and resident historian.

Billy Mitchell was born and raised in Mount Vernon, New York as the fifth of fourteen children. As a young boy, he and his friends would go to Amateur Night at the Apollo. It was on one of his first visits that Billy witnessed the making of a legend first hand, when a nine year old Michael Jackson and his brothers won the amateur contest. From that day on, Billy would hop on the train to 125th Street after school and on weekends position himself at the Apollo's backstage entrance, and offer shoe shines and run errands for Apollo performers. In 1984, Billy was hired by the Apollo as an usher. Since then, he has worn almost every hat the theater has to offer including gift shop manager, stagehand, and even Amateur Night Producer, where he auditioned and coordinated the weekly productions. He was also responsible for the Apollo's first Caribbean Music Award Show and produced many of the theater's children's performances.

Over the course of his Apollo tenure, Billy Mitchell has interacted with thousands of visitors from around the world, transporting them through pivotal eras in Harlem and Apollo Theater history with a unique presentation that is part vaudeville and part historical lecture. With his countless backstage memories and stories about Apollo legends like James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Mahalia Jackson, Sammy Davis Jr., Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Redd Foxx, Moms Mabley, Denzel Washington, Ossie Davis, Marvin Gaye, and The Temptations, Mr. Mitchell provides unique behind-the-scenes insight that only a true insider can give.

Previous winners of GANYC's Lifetime Achievement Award include cabaret impresario Steve Ross, Harlem jazz legend Marjorie Eliot, and artist James Turrell.
GANYC is further proud to announce that the Guiding Spirit Award will go to two guides for the first time, Art and Susan Zuckerman. This award honors a NYC tourist guide(s) who has shown exceptional commitment to their community of guides and to the city.

Art Zuckerman is the owner of three Westchester-based IT (Computer) companies:  Armascan Development Group, Armascan Technology Corp., and True Diversity Ltd.  These organizations employ 50 people.  Prior to starting his own business in 1992, he worked at Data General and Macdonnel Douglas. Before entering the computer field, several decades ago, Art was an educator and basketball coach in Yonkers, NY for three years, after earning his B.S. degree from Indiana State University.

 Susan Zuckerman teaches college courses on NYC History for Monroe College after being head of History department for Yonkers school system.   (BA History, Master Degree in History from SUNY Albany)

The Zuckerman’s started their tour company in 1999.  Just a few of the noteworthy accomplishments since beginning this second career and avocation have been:
  • Co-authors of "It Happened in New York City: Remarkable Events That Shaped History", published in 2010
  • Tour guide for The Travel Channel “The Secrets of Central Park” (aired in Nov. 2001)
  • Published in Fodor’s Travel Guide for walking tours of New York City
  • Voice over CD walking tour of New York to accompany the children’s book, A Cricket in Times Square, published by Houghton Mifflin
  • Written numerous articles and featured in several publications on walking tours of New York and other locations in the U.S.
  • Acted as a tour commentator for BBC (British Broadcasting Company) on a tour of New York City; in November 2001
  • Reviewer for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on a “live” broadcast to the United Kingdom on November 22, 2001; spent one and a half hours discussing the parade, the atmosphere in New York and the state of U.S. politics following the events of September 11th
  • Former Talk Show Host (weekly drive time) “Tech Watch” WVOX Radio
    Presently host Talk Show “Z” Travel & Leisure hour WVOX Radio (“NY’s Most Influential station”)
  • Hosts of “45 Minutes to Broadway” WVOX Radio (Reviewing Theatre Entertainment)
  • Continuing education programs at Westchester Community College and Bronx Community College on, “How to be a Licensed Tour Guide”
  • Tour Guides for ZDF Germany Television segment on the anniversary of Central Park
  • Subject of TV segment for Talkback TV, ITV London on walking documentary of Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Heights Dec. 2003
  • Master of Ceremonies for the “Coalition for the Hungry and Homeless” Gala event
  • “Inside Edition” feature story April 2004 national TV feature on Travel
    President of “The Times Square Group” (Helping students learn theatre arts)
  • Historians & Consultants for the Hall Of Fame for Great Americans & Gould Memorial Library (National Landmarks)
  • State certified to teach New York State teachers for college credit “NYC History”
We look forward to honoring the Zuckermans at the Apple Awards this March.
Tickets for this event, hosted by the incomparable Brian Stokes Mitchell, are now on sale! Early bird pricing for both general admission & VIP tickets are available through the holidays.

To learn more about the GANYC Apple Awards, visit http://www.ganyc.org/2018-ganyc-apple-awards

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ABOUT GANYC: The Guides Association of New York City (GANYC) is New York City’s professional tour guides association. Founded in 1974 by licensed guides for licensed guides, GANYC is one of the oldest and most active tour-guide associations in America. All GANYC members are licensed by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs. For more information about GANYC, please visit www.ganyc.org.
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