Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

The Herb Alpert Award In The Arts Announces 25th Anniversary Recipients


The Herb Alpert Award In The Arts Announces 25th Anniversary Recipients

The Herb Alpert Foundation and California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) will award the 25th Annual Herb Alpert Award in the Arts to five exceptional mid-career artists at a celebration hosted by the Herb Alpert Foundation in New York City on Monday, May 13.

The awards recognize risk-takers working in Dance, Film/Video, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts who are using their talent, vision, and labor to make something that matters within and potentially beyond their field. The outstanding candidate in each genre receives an unrestricted prize of $75,000.

"We are gratified to celebrate with CalArts the shared vision of 25 years of The Herb Alpert Award in the Arts." said Herb Alpert Foundation President Rona Sebastian. "Under the exemplary direction of Director Irene Borger, this program has reached far and wide into the arts community and is appreciated for its high level of compassion, sensitivity, and respect for individual artists. This unique grant opportunity has become an important milestone for mid-career artists to be recognized by their peers, and often is a defining moment leading toward the next level of their careers."

CalArts President Ravi Rajan added, "Artists need space and time to create models of what's possible in the world. CalArts was founded to focus on incubating artists, and for the past 25 years it has been amazing to partner with Lani Hall and Herb Alpert to do just that. I can't imagine the arts without them."

"Herb Alpert had a hunch that a prize to artists-artists who took risks-could make a difference to artists, certainly, and maybe even in the world. He said: 'what if?' - the core of creativity. The artists the Herb Alpert Award honors and supports not only 'think outside the box,' they think: What Box?" notes Irene Borger, Director, Herb Alpert Award in the Arts.

The Dance panel has selected choreographer Pam Tanowitz for her unwavering commitment to her uncompromising artistic vision, rigorous sense of craft and composition, and for beginning again with each new work. They value her musicality, wit and poetry, her investigation - and disruption - of traditional forms, and her generous, humane and fully collaborative practice.

Dance Panelists:

Lili Chopra, Executive Director, Artistic Programs, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Brooklyn, New York
Joanna Haigood, choreographer, Herb Alpert Award Artist, Bolinas, CA
Stanford Makishi, Vice-President for Programming, New York City Center, New York

The Film/Video panel honors artist Beatriz Santiago Muñoz for her unique visual language that reveals the invisible, and magically locates the cosmic in the everyday. Always experimenting, she creates a sense of time unique to each film, tackles major ontological questions, constructing narratives that go way beyond themselves, and grapples with long haunting questions of representation.

Film/Video Panelists:

Pablo DeOcampo, exhibitions curator, Western Front, Vancouver, Canada
Bill Morrison, filmmaker, Herb Alpert Award Artist, New York
Diana Nawi, independent curator, Los Angeles

The Music panel celebrates composer, singer, bassist, storyteller, lyricist and producer Meshell Ndegeocello as a rare constellation in the artistic firmament, whose generosity of spirit defies the confines of genre and whose work - vulnerable and unflinchingly honest - dwells in both darkness and deliverance. She does nothing less than renew their faith in the transformative power of art.

Music Panelists:

Derek Bermel, composer, performer, Herb Alpert Award Artist, Brooklyn, NY
Vijay Iyer, composer-pianist, professor, Harvard University, Herb Alpert Award Artist, New York
Pamela Z, composer/performer, Herb Alpert Award Artist, San Francisco

Playwright Lloyd Suh was chosen by the Theatre panel for his adventurous spirit, thrilling theatrical imagination, brilliant sense of play, and the way he approaches each work as a new form while constantly exploring questions of identity in America. They applaud, too, his wholehearted support of his peers, and encouragement of emerging voices that are shaping a new generation of theatre makers.

Theatre Panelists:

Loretta Greco, director, artistic director, Magic Theatre, San Francisco
Gideon Lester, Artistic Director for Theater and Dance, Bard Fisher Center, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York
Carl Hancock Rux, writer/performer, Herb Alpert Award Artist, Brooklyn, New York

Artist, poet and activist Cecilia Vicuña was named the Visual Arts prizewinner for her fearless explorations, uncompromising poetics, resonant approach to cross-disciplinary experimentation, innovative responses to today's political, social, and ecological realities, unwavering feminism and commitment to indigeneity with an integrity that is a model for younger generations.

Visual Arts Panelists:

Bill Arning, independent curator and arts consultant, Houston, TX
Marcela Guerrero, assistant curator, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Hamza Walker, director, LAXART, Los Angeles

Among some of the other 125 past winners are noted artists Carrie Mae Weems, Taylor Mac, Suzan-Lori Parks, Julia Wolfe, Michelle Dorrance, Tania Bruguera, Kerry James Marshall, Lisa Kron, Sharon Lockhart, Ralph Lemon, Cai Guo-Qiang and Okwui Okpokwasili to name a few.

The Herb Alpert Award in the Arts is an unrestricted prize of $75,000 given annually to five, risk-taking, mid-career artists working in the fields of dance, film/video, music, theatre and the visual arts. The prize was initiated and funded by the Herb Alpert Foundation and has been administered by the California Institute of the Arts since 1994. The Award honors and supports artists respected for their creativity, ingenuity, and bodies of work, at a moment in their lives when they are poised to propel their art in new and unpredictable directions. The Herb Alpert Award recognizes experimenters who are making something that matters within and beyond their field.

Related Articles View More Off-Off-Broadway Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You