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Recipients for the First Jim Henson Honors Announced

The Jim Henson Co. has selected the honorees of the newly established Jim Henson Honors, an annual program that acknowledges organizations, individuals or products that reflect the core values and philosophy of Jim Henson and the company he founded in 1955.

The Jim Henson Celebration Honor was awarded to HARRY POTTER author JK Rowling. The highest honor goes to an individual, organization or product that makes the world a better place by inspiring people to celebrate life. Rowling was selected for this honor for her imagination and originality in creating the fantastical world of HARRY POTTER and for the amazing impact these books have had around the world.

The Jim Henson Creativity Honor went to alternative band The Gorillaz. The Creativity Honor acknowledges a new creative voice or unique expression of an idea. The Gorillaz, an animated rock group established by Damon Albarn of the band Blur and named the world's most successful virtual band by the Guinness Book of World records, was selected for this honor for the revolutionary way the band was created as well as the innovative expression of their music.

The Jim Henson Community Honor was awarded to Bill Haber, board of directors, Save the Children. The Community Honor acknowledges an individual, organization or product who/which has increased goodwill or made a positive impact in a specific community or around the world. Haber was chosen for this honor for his personal commitment to make a positive difference in the world and for his unending efforts on behalf of Save the Children.

The Jim Henson Technology Honor went to the gas-electric hybrid automobile Toyota Prius. The Technology Honor acknowledges an individual, organization or product who/which demonstrates ground-breaking technology in a creative way. The Prius, Toyota's fuel-saving near zero-emissions hybrid car, was selected for this honor for its innovative technology and its inspiring efforts to turn an environmentally conscious car into something "cool," and also for the overwhelming percentage of Henson employees who park their Prius on the company's lot each day.

Honorees were chosen by the artists and staff at The Jim Henson Co., who were asked to nominate recipients who inspire them in their everyday work, maintain similar core values as the company, and of course, reflect Jim Henson's commitment to excellence in creativity and innovation.

"It is with great respect that we recognize these honorees for their commitment to excellence and their unique creative expression," said co-ceo Brian Henson. In regards to JK Rowling receiving the highest honor, he added, "By encouraging audiences of all ages to rediscover the magic of books and reading, Ms. Rowling has truly made this world a better place."

"The diversity and accomplishment of the recipients exemplifies what we believe; that there can be inspiration and fun in everything around us. In our books and music, but also in our cars, communities and our environment," said co-ceo Lisa Henson. "My father saw the joy that comes from embracing all kinds of creativity and we are thrilled to continue that legacy."

The Jim Henson Co., celebrating 50 years as an established leader in family entertainment, is recognized worldwide as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics and computer graphics. Best known as creators of the world famous Muppets (the rights to which are now owned by The Walt Disney Co.), Henson is the recipient of nearly 50 Emmy Awards, nine Grammy Awards and two Oscar Awards. For more information, visit

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Rick DeMott
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