Brilliant Star Earns Three 2016 Awards

Award-winning cover art for our Jan-April 2015 issue by C. Aaron Kreader

Brilliant Star received top honors from the Religion Communicators Council (RCC) in the 2016 DeRose-Hinkhouse Awards competition. At RCC’s annual convention held in New York City from March 31-April 2, our 2015 issues were named Best of Class for periodicals, in addition to receiving an Award of Excellence.

RCC members Amethel Parel-Sewell, C. Aaron Kreader, Amy Renshaw, and Susan Engle were named in the award. Brilliant Star crew members Annie Reneau, Foad Ghorbani, Lisa Blecker, and Donna Price also contributed their creative talents to the 2015 issues. The magazine also attributes its product quality to its collaboration with Merrick Printing Company.


Senior Editor Amy Renshaw received the DeRose-Hinkhouse Best of Class award on Brilliant Star’s behalf. Photo by George Conklin.


Our 2015 issues earned praise from judges for high production values and a unifying editorial approach.

One wrote, “Excellent use of creative artwork and graphics. Games were both educational and fun. Engaged target audience well. Positive messages of peace are communicated in fun ways . . . Inclusive, can appeal to children of all faiths. Great job!!”

Another judge commented, “Beautiful and light-hearted. I especially loved the graphics of ‘Lightning & Luna.’ The issues show a beautiful and consistent quality of interfaith and contemporary graphics. Visually exciting and calming at the same time. Bravo to a gorgeous and inspiring magazine.”

C. Aaron Kreader, Designer/Illustrator, received an Award of Excellence for the engaging cover art he created for “Connecting Hearts,” the Jan-April 2015 issue (above). In describing his artistic approach, Aaron said, “On the front cover we see a variety of kids, each contributing their unique gifts in the form of stylized word balloons . . . On the back . . . the same cast of diverse characters, [are] now commingling their ideas into a new form . . . Something never before imagined is brought into being . . . The message to readers is that all this and more is possible, when our hearts are connected and we see each other as one human family.”

Other Best of Class winners included Joyce Litoff and Ellen Price of the Communications Office at the Bahá’í National Center, who were recognized for excellent writing of promotional displays for the Welcome Center at the Bahá’í House of Worship. Their goal, Joyce said, was “to warmly welcome visitors to the Baha'i House of Worship, and concisely tell them about the Baha'i Faith, and the history and symbolism of the temple.”

Also among the Best of Class group were Christian and Sikh organizations, as well as the online interfaith community Deily, and Bread for the World, a hunger relief group. 

The DeRose-Hinkhouse awards recognize the achievements of RCC members who demonstrate excellence in their work. They honor the late Victor DeRose and Paul M. Hinkhouse, who were leading lithographers in New York City. A complete list of the 2016 DeRose-Hinkhouse award winners can be found here


DeRose-Hinkhouse Award Best of Class winners. Front row: Sarah Mangum, Paul Black, Simran Jeet Singh. Back row: Joyce Litoff, Ellen Price, Amy Renshaw, David Barnhart, Joseph Molieri and Doug Puller. Photo by George Conklin.

The RCC is an interfaith association of religion communicators at work in print and electronic communication, marketing, and public relations. Established in 1929, it is the oldest association of religion communicators in the U.S. There are six local chapters around the country as well as members-at-large in cities where a chapter does not exist. The chapters meet monthly, providing an outlet for education and networking for the members. The chapters also serve to promote excellence in the communication of religious faith and values as well as understanding among diverse faith groups.

The annual RCC National Convention offers learning opportunities for members from diverse faiths around the country. Joyce Litoff noted, “I love learning about other religions and going on field trips to the various religious institutions and houses of worship that are incorporated into the annual conventions. Thanks to RCC I’ve been to a Mormon Temple in Manhattan, a Mosque in Indianapolis, and a Hare Krishna worship service in Dallas.”

The 2017 RCC National Convention will gather March 29-April 1 in Chicago.

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