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William W. Griffin Performing Arts Award, 1985 - 2003

 Item — Box: 5, Object: 2
Identifier: 016.05.2

Scope and Contents

Plaque reads as follows:

Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, Inc.

William Q. (Billee) Griffin Performing Arts Award.

William W. (Billee) Griffin was born October 21, 1913, in Seattle, Washington, the first son of Mr. and Mrs. William Griffin and the brother of James S. (Jimmy) Griffin. His parents returned to St. Paul in 1915. He attended McKinley and Cathedral Elementary Schools and St. Thomas Academy where he played violin in the orchestra and was one of the top cadets in the freshman class of 1928. He graduated from Mechanic Arts High School in 1932.

Mr. Griffin attended Macalester College where he majored in Dramatics and Social Work. During his college life he was involved in interpretative dancing and other artistic activities. He was the producer, director, and choreographer in the "Brownfield Follies of 1934 and 1935", which were held at the Hallie Q. Brown Community Center and was the most successful community production of its time. He used the talents of the young people of both St. Paul and Minneapolis and had the support of the adult communities.

At the age of 22 Billee died of spinal meningitis. In his short life he made a tremendous impact on the dramatics scene in St. Paul.

The plaque then lists the year and the names of people who were awarded this honor, which was presented by the family of James Griffin. Here are their names:

Lou Bellamy, 1985; Claude Purdy, 1986; Kathryn Gagnon, 1987; Terry Bellamy, 1988; Central High School Touring Theatre, 1989; August Wilson 1990; Franklin Wharton, 1991; Edna D. Duncan, 1992; Roberta Bruce Davis, 1993; Walker West Music Academy, 1994; T. Mychael Rambo, 1995; Jearlyn Steele Battle, 1996; Project Cheer, 1997; Percy Hughes, Jr., 1999; City Songs, 2000; Mint Condition, 2002; and Yolande Bruce 2003.


  • 1985 - 2003

Conditions Governing Access

Physical access to this collection is restricted due to COVID precautions.


From the Collection: 6.1 Linear Feet (6 containers with 7 free standing awards)

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Physical Description

Wooden plaque with several metal name plates affixed to the face of the wood with metal rivets.


45.7 cm x 35.6 cm

Repository Details

Part of the Hallie Q. Brown Community Archives Repository

270 N. Kent Street
Saint Paul MN 55102 USA