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Linda Goode Bryant Receives United States Artists' 2020 Berresford Prize

Linda Goode Bryant Receives United States Artists' 2020 Berresford Prize

United States Artists has awarded Linda Goode Bryant with the 2020 Berresford Prize, an annual award that honors cultural practitioners who have contributed significantly to the advancement, wellbeing, and care of artists in society. As a legendary social activist, gallerist, and filmmaker, Bryant has had a massive effect on the trajectory of countless artists and has changed the course of art history in the process.

"Linda Goode Bryant is a visionary. Full stop. Her work changed the game for both artists and audiences," said United States Artists President & CEO Deana Haggag. "Whether as a gallerist, filmmaker, or community organizer, Linda has pushed our field to expand and we are all better for it. It is our privilege to honor her in this way."

For over five decades, Bryant has committed herself to creating space and opportunities for those around her. In 1976, she opened Just Above Midtown, a gallery that launched the careers of many of today's most well-known Black artists. She also made several films, including Flag Wars (2003) with Laura Poitras. She founded the urban farming initiative Urban Eats in 2009. As a tireless advocate for artists, Linda embodies the spirit of the Berresford Prize which was founded to honor those who have initiated visionary projects with and for artists.

"I am so honored to receive an award that recognizes the people who have dedicated their lives to the magical process of generating new ideas with artists," said 2020 Berresford Prize recipient Linda Goode Bryant. "Receiving the Berresford Prize is a testament to all the enduring and amazing relationships that have made my work possible. Art is essential and no matter the medium, it is what helps us relate to one another and the world around us. I am forever grateful that I belong to a vast family of makers and creatives who have helped me to imagine the ways art can transform a community."

"The Berresford Prize is unique in its effort to recognize the inspiring contributions of practitioners like Linda Goode Bryant, who built new worlds for artists," said United States Artists Board Chair Ed Henry. "The Berresford Prize remains another example of how we are committed to supporting artists by honoring those who make things better for them."

The Berresford Prize is named for Susan V. Berresford, former President of the Ford Foundation, who co-founded USA and is still an active Trustee. Introduced in 2019, the unrestricted $25,000 prize reinforces USA's commitment to artists by acknowledging the remarkable administrators, curators, scholars, and producers who are building platforms and creating conditions for artists to thrive. The award was conceived of by several USA Fellows in response to the lack of acknowledgment for those who have dedicated their careers to the betterment of artists. The inaugural recipient in 2019 was Kristy Edmunds who is the Executive and Artistic Director of UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance.

Linda Goode Bryant is the Founder and President of Active Citizen Project and Project EATS, originally from Columbus, OH. She developed Active Citizen Project while filming the 2004 Presidential Elections and developed Project EATS during the 2008 Global Food Crisis. Linda is a Guggenheim Fellow and a Peabody Award recipient. She was Founder and Director of Just Above Midtown, Inc. (JAM), a New York City non-profit artists space. Linda has a Masters of Business Administration from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in painting from Spelman College.

Photo Credit: Oresti Tsonopoulos

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