Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Juilliard and FENDI Announce the Recipients of the Inaugural FENDI Vanguard Awards


Four students—one dancer, one actor, and two musicians—have been selected from Juilliard to receive this honor.

Juilliard and FENDI Announce the Recipients of the Inaugural FENDI Vanguard Awards

Juilliard and FENDI have partnered to launch the Fendi Vanguard Awards, which will be presented to four exceptional Juilliard students who are poised to be innovators in their chosen discipline and across the performing arts. Four students-one dancer, one actor, and two musicians-have been selected from Juilliard to receive this honor. Each of them embodies the promise of a career in the vanguard.

The Vanguard Awards continues Juilliard's relationship with FENDI, an international fashion brand known for its longtime support of artists and its commitment to craft. That relationship began in December 2020 with the creation of an episode in the unique streaming series-Fendi Renaissance-Anima Mundi. The filming for the project was the first time the students had performed together since March 2020, when New York City shut down due to the pandemic. The video, which was released on January 12, 2021, featured an ensemble of six Juilliard Jazz students rehearsing an original score, Rollerblading in Harlem, composed and arranged by master's student Aaron Matson, which was commissioned by FENDI for the series. At that time, FENDI also made a significant contribution to Juilliard's Scholarship Fund in the spirit of supporting creativity at every level and enabling young student-artists to realize their highest aspirations.

The recipients of the 2021 Fendi Vanguard Awards are dancer Cyrie Topete from Peoria, Arizona; actor Morgan Scott from Greenville, South Carolina; trumpeter William Leathers from Toronto; and harpist Adam Phan from Cedar Hill, Texas.

As Fendi Vanguard Award recipients, each student will receive a cash award; press and media opportunities; a dedicated showcase performance for members of the Juilliard and FENDI community; the opportunity for individual mentorship with the firm's creative and communications professionals; and access to its merchandise for major professional engagements.

"To celebrate our shared commitment to the creative process, we are proud to launch the Fendi Vanguard Awards," Adam Meyer, Juilliard's provost, said. "We are grateful for the generosity of FENDI and for our continued collaboration. These awards have an enormous impact on our students. We are pleased to congratulate the four inaugural recipients."

Nominees for the FENDI Vanguard Award are chosen from among Juilliard students about to begin their final year of study in a bachelor, master, or advanced diploma program. Students are selected through a nomination process by divisional leadership and faculty.

In addition to the Vanguard Awards, Juilliard will host a virtual Entrepreneurship Symposium in collaboration with FENDI on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, from 11am to 3pm (ET). The pandemic left many artists and creative professionals wondering how to restart their journeys. This symposium will offer attendees the opportunity to participate in cross-industry conversations with Juilliard alumni and FENDI leadership, who will share their knowledge and offer real-world examples of how a global perspective and entrepreneurial spirit are tied to creative success. The event's keynote panel, Creativity Without Borders-A Global Approach to Artistic Innovation and Entrepreneurship, will feature Ulysses Owens Jr. (BM '06, jazz studies) and Andrea Miller (BFA '04, dance), and members of FENDI Americas executive team, and will be moderated by Alice Jones, assistant dean of community engagement and career services for Juilliard. Other speakers will include Anthony Barfield (BM '08, trombone), Armando Braswell (BFA '06, dance), Arnaud Sussman (BM '05, MM '07, violin), and Joanne Tucker (Diploma '09, drama). Topics will include building your brand, creative direction and planning, and engagement entrepreneurship: exploring community artistry.

Related Articles

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You