Lily Rabe Receives Character Approved 'Cultural Trailblazer' Award for THE MERCHANT OF VENICE

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THE MERCHANT OF VENICE's Lily Rabe has been announced as as recipient of USA Network's Character Approved: Cultural Trailblazers Award.  The Awards pay tribute to the visionaries and real "characters" from a cross-section of creative disciplines who are changing the face of American culture. USA Network created the awards to provide a national platform for important cultural influencers and to encourage a collective dialogue around their ideas. USA chose to bestow this year's honorees with the Network's "character seal of approval" based on their cultural impact, legacy and persona. These exceptional pioneers are making progressive changes in their field through innovation, creativity and a willingness to break the mold.

"USA surveyed the cultural landscape and hand-picked twelve exceptional pioneers whose impact in their unique creative disciplines will be felt far into the future," said Alexandra Shapiro, USA's senior vice president, brand marketing and digital. "These honorees defy convention, influence popular opinion and exemplify what it means to be a true character."

The Character Approved honorees will be featured in a multimedia campaign including a one-hour television special, CHARACTER APPROVED: HONORING 12 CULTURAL TRAILBLAZERS, directed by acclaimed documentarian Phil Griffin and produced by @radical.media. The telecast will premiere on USA Network, Tuesday March 8th at 11/10c immediately following the season 2 finale of White Collar and will be comprised of original, exclusive long-form interviews shot expressly for the special.

The 2011 CHARACTER APPROVED HONOREES include:

-- ARCHITECTURE - Walter Hood:

Through his innovative work in landscape architecture, Walter Hood is redefining how we think about our surroundings. He is known for transforming neglected public spaces into places that are relevant and meaningful to their communities. His studio, Hood Design, has been engaged in architectural commissions, urban design, art installations, and research for almost twenty years.

-- ART - Vik Muniz:

For decades, Brooklyn-based Brazilian artist Vik Muniz has transcended media to question perceptions of art. Using whimsical media such as chocolate syrup, diamonds and trash, Muniz has re-appropriated canonized works and created an unconventional aesthetic of his own. The 2011 Academy Award nominated documentary Waste Land, is based on his evocative work.

-- DESIGN - Emily Pilloton:

Pilloton is revolutionizing communities through design. She founded Project H, a nonprofit organization - one part design firm, one part advocacy group - that is dedicated to harnessing the power of design for social good.

-- FASHION - Prabal Gurung:

With his inspiring, fresh aesthetic, designer Prabal Gurung has skyrocketed to the pinnacle of the American fashion scene. Drawing inspiration from around the globe, Gurung transforms clothing into wearable art.

-- FILM - Davis Guggenheim:

Critics and audiences agree - Davis Guggenheim is one of the most talented and influential documentary filmmakers of our time. What he accomplished for the environment with An Inconvenient Truth, he has now done for education with Waiting for "Superman."

-- FOOD - Grant Achatz:

With incredible imagination and whimsy, Achatz has re-envisioned the way we experience food. His Chicago restaurant, Alinea, has transformed food into performance art and is the definition of inspired, inventive cuisine, and is poised to do so again with the opening of Next in April.

-- GIVING - Blake Mycoskie:

In just four short years, Mycoskie has created one of the most innovative and socially responsible retail companies in the country, pioneering the one-for-one sell/give-away concept with TOMS Shoes. Since 2006, TOMS has given over one million pairs of new shoes to children in need through giving partners around the world.

-- MUSIC - Janelle Monae:

Singer, dancer, futuristic funktress. Monae and her music transcend genre and definition. In 2010, Monae released the brilliant and imaginative ArchAndroid, which garnered two Grammy nominations.

-- NEW MEDIA - Dennis Crowley & Naveen Selvadurai:

The founding duo behind foursquare, the locations-based social networking site, have been on a meteoric rise this year, with membership exceeding 6.5 million users. Through their creation, Crowley and Selvadurai have encouraged us to connect in new ways with the people and places that matter most.

-- THEATRE - Lily Rabe:



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