Hermitage Greenfield Prize Commissions

2024 | Discipline: Theater


Deepa Purohit (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based playwright. She made her Off-Broadway debut in The Atlantic Theater Company’s 2022-23 season with the world premiere of her play Elyria (2023 Drama League Award Nominee for Outstanding Production of a Play, 2017 NEA Commission, and 2019 Jerome Foundation support w/Ma-Yi Theater Company). She received the 2023 Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award for Excellence in Playwriting, and a 2022-23 Edgerton Foundation Award for Elyria. Plays: Crushed Earth with Sanjit De Silva (2017 People’s Light Theatre: New Play Frontiers Commission) – 2023 audio play debut with People’s Light, Theatre Horizon, and Hedgerow Theatre, The In Between, Mxx/perience, A Valentine (2016 Kilroys Honorable Mention), Bones (2017 Andrew Mellon Foundation Residency w/Ma-Yi Theater Company), Have Sari Will Travel! (Rising Circle Theater Collective), Flight, and Mothering: a collection of short form plays. Co-writing with Sanjit De Silva and Rising Circle Theater Collective: Pulling the Lever, American Family Project, Grace. Deepa is currently adapting Elyria into a TV series and working on a NYSCA new play commission from Atlantic Theater Company.   She co-founded and ran Rising Circle Theater Collective (2000-2012), a theater company centered on the stories of people of color. A former Baltimore City middle school teacher and 1992 Teach For America alumna, Deepa has a BA in History from Northwestern University, Masters in Public Health from Columbia University, and an MFA in Playwriting from Brooklyn College. She is currently the Director of New Works at People’s Light Theatre.

Deepa Purohit’s Hermitage Greenfield Prize commission will premiere in Sarasota in April 2026.

website: NewDramatists.org/DeepaPurohit

Rajiv Joseph
Obie Award-winning Playwright & Hermitage National Curatorial Council Member
Diane Paulus Tony Award winner, Artistic Director of American Repertory Theater
Ruben Santiago-Hudson – Tony and Obie Award-winning Actor, Director, and Writer

2023 | Discipline: Dance and Choreography
2023 HGP Winner - Dance - Rennie Harris

Lorenzo ‘Rennie’ Harris was born and raised in an African American community in North Philadelphia. In 1992, Harris founded Rennie Harris Puremovement, a street dance theater company dedicated to preserving and disseminating hip-hop culture through workshops, classes, hip-hop history lecture demonstrations, long-term residencies, mentoring programs, and public performances. Harris founded his company based on the belief that hip-hop is the most important original expression of a new generation. With its roots in the inner-city African American and Latino communities, hip-hop can be characterized as a contemporary indigenous form, one that expresses universal themes that extend beyond racial, religious, and economic boundaries, and one that can help bridge these divisions. Harris’ work encompasses the diverse and rich African American traditions of the past, while simultaneously presenting the voice of a new generation through its ever-evolving interpretations of dance. Harris is committed to providing audiences with a sincere view of the essence and spirit of hip-hop. Harris was voted one of the most influential people in the last one hundred years of Philadelphia history. Among his awards are honorary doctorates from Bates College and Columbia College. The London Times wrote of Mr. Harris that he is “the Basquiat of the U.S. contemporary dance scene.”

Rennie Harris’s Greenfield Prize commission will premiere in Sarasota in April 2025.

website: RHPM.org

Joseph Melillo
Executive Producer Emeritus, Brooklyn Academy of Music & Hermitage National Curatorial Council
Michael Novak Artistic Director, Paul Taylor Dance Company
Charmaine WarrenFounder/Artistic Director, “Black Dance Stories”

2023 | Discipline: Visual Art

Sandy Rodriguez (b. 1975, National City, CA) is a Los Angeles-based artist and researcher, and first-generation Chicana raised on the US-Mexico border. Her Codex Rodriguez-Mondragón is made up of a collection of maps and paintings about the intersections of history, social memory, contemporary politics, and cultural production. Rodriguez earned her BFA from California Institute of Arts. She has exhibited her works at the Denver Art Museum, The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Garden, The Amon Carter Museum of American Art and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Busan, South Korea. Her work is in the permanent collections of Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX, The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Garden. San Marino, CA and others.  She was awarded the Caltech-Huntington Art+Research Residency, Creative Capital Award and Migrations initiative from Mellon Foundation Just Futures Initiative and Global Cornell. Rodriguez and her work have been featured in BBC News: In The Studio, Hyperallergic, LA Weekly, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Spectrum News/NY1, and on several radio programs and podcasts.

Sandy Rodriguez’s Greenfield Prize commission will premiere in Sarasota in April 2025.

website: StudioSandyRodriguez.com

Allison Glenn
Senior Curator, New York’s Public Art Fund
Christine Kuan President and Executive Director, Creative Capital
Ann PattersonAward-winning Visual Artist & Hermitage Alumna

2022 | Discipline: Music

(Photo Credit: Quique Cabanillas)

Puerto Rican-born composer and multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón writes music for accordions, robotic instruments, toys, and electronics as well as for chamber ensembles, orchestras, choir, and film. Her music has been described as “wistfully idiosyncratic and contemplative” (WQXR/Q2) while The New York Times noted her “capacity to surprise.”

Negrón has been commissioned by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Kronos Quartet, loadbang, Prototype Festival, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Sō Percussion, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, and the New York Botanical Garden, among others. She has collaborated with artists like Sō Percussion, Lido Pimienta, Mathew Placek, Sasha Velour, Cecilia Aldarondo, Mariela Pabón, Adrienne Westwood, and Tiffany Mills, and has written music for films, theater, and modern dance. She was recently an Artist-in-Residence at WNYC’s The Greene Space working on El Living Room, a 4-part offbeat variety show and playful multimedia exploration of sound and story, of personal history and belonging. Premieres and commissions also include works for the Seattle Symphony, LA Philharmonic, Louisville Orchestra and New York Philharmonic Project 19 initiative, and multiple performances at Big Ears Festival 2022.

Negrón studied at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. She also holds a master’s degree in music composition from New York University and pursued doctoral studies in composition at The Graduate Center (CUNY). Also active as an educator, Negrón is currently a teaching artist for New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers program.

Angélica’s Hermitage Greenfield Prize commission will premiere in Sarasota in April 2024.

website: AngelicaNegron.com

Terrance McKnight
Host of WQXR New York Public Radio and a member of the Hermitage National Curatorial Council
Jessie Montgomery Award-winning composer, violinist, and educator
Gary PadmoreDirector of Education and Community Engagement at the New York Philharmonic

Aleshea Harris, Playwright

2021 | Discipline: Theater



Aleshea Harris’s play Is God Is (directed by Taibi Magar at Soho Rep) won the 2016  Relentless Award, an OBIE Award for playwriting in 2017, the Helen Merrill  Playwriting Award in 2019, was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and  made The Kilroys’ List of “the most recommended un and underproduced plays by  trans and female authors of color” for 2017. 


What to Send Up When It Goes Down (directed by Whitney White, produced by The  Movement Theatre Company), a play-pageant-ritual response to anti-Blackness,  had its critically-acclaimed NYC premiere in 2018, was featured in the April 2019  issue of American Theatre Magazine and was nominated for a Drama Desk award. 


Harris was awarded the Windham-Campbell Literary Prize and the Steinberg  Playwriting Award in 2020. She has performed her own work at the Edinburgh  Fringe Festival, Orlando Fringe Festival, REDCAT, as part of La Fête du Livre at La  Comèdie de Saint-Étienne and at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles. She is a two time MacDowell Fellow and has enjoyed residencies at Hedgebrook and Djerassi.


Aleshea’s Hermitage Greenfield Prize commission will premiere in Sarasota in April 2023 with our presenting partner, Asolo Repertory Theatre.

website: bagofbeans.net

Mandy GreenfieldArtistic Director of Williamstown Theater Festival (MA) and a member of the Hermitage National Curatorial Council 
Nataki GarrettArtistic Director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Robert O’Hara – Award-winning director and playwright, and Artistic Advisor to New York City Center’s Encores series

Helga Davis, Composer

2019 | Discipline: Music

Helga Davis is a composer, vocalist and performance artist with feet planted on the most prestigious international stages and with firm roots in the realities and concerns of her local community. She was principal actor in the 25th-anniversary international revival of Robert Wilson and Philip Glass’s seminal opera Einstein on the Beach.

Among the collaborative and works written for her are Oceanic Verses by Paola Prestini, You Us We All by Shara Nova and Andrew Ondrejcak, and Faust’s Box by Italian contemporary music composer Andrea Liberovici.

The renowned theater director and visual artist Robert Wilson describes her as “a united whole, with spellbinding inner power and strength.” Davis also starred in Wilson’s The Temptation of St. Anthony, with libretto and score by Bernice Johnson Reagon; and The Blue Planet, by Peter Greenaway.

She is the recipient of the 2014 BRIC Media Arts Fireworks Grant and completed her first evening-length piece, Cassandra. Current projects include Silent Voices with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus with text by Hilton Als; Requiem for a Tuesday with bass-baritone Davóne Tines and dancer/choreographer Reggie Gray; and Yet Unheard, a tribute to Sandra Bland by Courtney Bryan, based on the poem by Sharan Strange. Davis conceived and performed First Responder and Wanna as responses to Until and The Let Go by multidisciplinary artist Nick Cave. She is artist in residence at National Sawdust, host of the eponymous podcast HELGA on WQXR/New Sounds and is the 2018-19 visiting curator for the performing arts at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Helga’s Hermitage Greenfield Prize commission will premiere in 2022 in partnership with ensembleNEWSRQ and New College of Florida.

Limor Tomer – General Manager for Concerts and Lectures, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Terrance McKnightWQXR host, pianist, and educator
Karen Sander – Director of Public Programs, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Martyna Majok, Playwright

2018  |  Discipline: Drama

Martyna Majok* was born in Bytom, Poland, and grew up in Jersey and Chicago. Her plays have been performed and developed at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Women’s Project Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, and The John F. Kennedy Center, among others. Awards include The Dramatists Guild’s Lanford Wilson Award, The Lilly Awards’ Stacey Mindich Prize, Helen Merrill Emerging Playwright Award, Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play or Musical at The Helen Hayes Awards, The Ashland New Plays Festival Women’s Invitational Prize, The Kennedy Center’s Jean Kennedy Smith Award, Marin Theatre’s David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize, New York Theatre Workshop’s 2050 Fellowship, Aurora Theatre’s Global Age Project Prize, National New Play Network’s Smith Prize for Political Playwriting, Jane Chambers Student Feminist Playwriting Prize, and The Merage Foundation Fellowship for the American Dream. Commissions from Lincoln Center, The Bush Theatre in London, The Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Rep, and Manhattan Theatre Club. Publications by Dramatists Play Service, Samuel French, TCG, and Smith & Kraus. Residencies at The Vineyard Arts Project with The Public Theatre, Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Fuller Road, Marble House Project, and Ragdale. BA: University of Chicago; MFA: Yale School of Drama, The Juilliard School. 

Martyna has taught playwriting at Williams College, Wesleyan University, SUNY Purchase, Primary Stages ESPA, NJRep, and as an assistant to Paula Vogel at Yale. She is an alumna of EST’s Youngblood and Women’s Project Lab. She is a Core Writer at Playwrights Center and a member of The Dramatists Guild, The Writers Guild of America East, and New York Theatre Workshop’s Usual Suspects. Martyna was a 2012-2013 NNPN playwright-in-residence and the 2015-2016 PoNY Fellow at the Lark Play Development Center. 

Martyna’s Hermitage Greenfield Prize commission will premiere at Asolo Repertory Theatre in 2022. 

Just seven days after she accepted her Hermitage Greenfield Prize, Martyna also accepted a Pulitzer Prize in Drama.

* pronounced “my-OAK”

website: martynamajok.com 

Carey Perloff – Jury Chair; Artistic Director, American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco, CA 
Jaime Castañeda – Associate Artistic Director, La Jolla Playhouse, La Jolla, CA 
Mandy Greenfield – Artistic Director, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown, MA 

David Burnett, Photojournalist

2017  |  Discipline: Photography

The Hermitage Artist Retreat and its partner, the Greenfield Foundation, marked the 2017 Hermitage Greenfield Prize award with a new category, recognizing the art of photography. 

The 2017 prize was presented to internationally acclaimed photojournalist David Burnett, at a celebration dinner on Saturday, April 22nd at Michael’s On East Ballroom in Sarasota, Florida. The jury who selected Burnett consisted of Chair Dr. Tony Bannon, executive director of the Burchfield Penney Art Center and former director of the George Eastman Museum; Daile Kaplan, vice president and director of photography for Swann Auction Galleries; Robert Pledge, co-founder of Contact Press Images and international curator of photographic exhibitions; Greenfield Foundation Representative Joni Greenfield and Hermitage Artist Retreat Executive Director and moderator Bruce E. Rodgers. 

David Burnett has been an internationally acclaimed photojournalist for over five decades. He learned to photograph on his high school year book in Salt Lake City, and eventually worked for TIME Magazine in Washington, in Miami, and later for two years in Vietnam, as a freelance correspondent. He has worked on contract with LIFE, TIME and PEOPLE, and continues to work for a variety of magazines in the US and Europe. He is the recipient of the “Press Photo of the Year” award from World Press Photo Foundation (Holland), “Magazine Photographer of the Year” from the Pictures of the Year (USA), the Robert Capa Gold Medal from the Overseas Press Club of America (USA), the latter of which has also twice awarded him the Olivier Rebbot award for work done around the world. He’s photographed every American President since John F. Kennedy, and covered every Summer Olympic Games since 1984. He has taught a number of workshops, including the Gulf Photo Plus in Dubai, and Joop Swart Masterclass in Amsterdam, and has twice chaired the Jury of World Press Photo. He has authored three large-format photography books: Soul Rebel – An Intimate Portrait of Bob Marley, the world-renowned Reggae musician and songwriter; 44 Days: Iran and the Remaking of the World, a photo memoir of the Iranian Revolution and Man Without Gravity (in French) a collection of his Olympic sports photographs. He lives in the New York area, but considers himself a citizen of the world. 

website: DavidBurnett.com 

David’s Hermitage Greenfield Prize commission opened in 2019, in partnership with The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art

Dr. Anthony Bannon – Jury Chair; Executive Director, Burchfield Penney Art Center at Buffalo State College, Buffalo NY 
Daile Kaplan – Vice President and Director of Photographs, Swann Galleries, New York NY 
Robert Pledge – Co-Founded, Contact Press Images, New York NY 

Coco Fusco, Interdisciplinary Artist

2016  |  Discipline: Visual Art

Coco Fusco is an interdisciplinary artist and writer and the Andrew Banks Endowed Professor of Art at the University of Florida. She is a recipient of a 2014 Cintas Fellowship, a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2013 Absolut Art Writing Award, a 2013 Fulbright Fellowship, a 2012 US Artists Fellowship and a 2003 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts. Fusco’s performances and videos have been presented in the 56th Venice Biennale, two Whitney Biennials (2008 and 1993), BAM’s Next Wave Festival, the Sydney Biennale, The Johannesburg Biennial, The Kwangju Biennale, The Shanghai Biennale, InSite O5, Mercosul, Transmediale, The London International Theatre Festival, VideoBrasil and Performa05. Her works have also been shown at the Tate Liverpool, The Museum of Modern Art, The Walker Art Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona. She is represented by Alexander Gray Associates in New York. 

Fusco is the author of English is Broken Here: Notes on Cultural Fusion in the Americas (1995) and The Bodies that Were Not Ours and Other Writings(2001), and A Field Guide for Female Interrogators (2008). She is also the editor of Corpus Delecti: Performance Art of the Americas (1999) and Only Skin Deep: Changing Visions of the American Self (2003). Her new book entitled Dangerous Moves: Performance and Politics in Cuba was recently issued by Tate Publications in London. 

Fusco received her B.A. in Semiotics from Brown University (1982), her M.A. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University (1985) and her Ph.D. in Art and Visual Culture from Middlesex University (2007). 

website: CocoFusco.com

Franklin Sirmans — Director of Perez Art Museum, Miami, FL 
Wassan AlKhudhairi — Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL 
Jose Carlos Diaz — Curator of The Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA 

Bobby Previte, Composer/Drummer

2015  |  Discipline: Music

Composer, drummer, and bandleader, Bobby Previte studied at the University of Buffalo, surrounded by some of the pioneers of new music: John Cage, Morton Feldman, Lucas Foss, and Jan Williams, with whom he majored in percussion. He moved to New York City in 1979 and became involved with the downtown music scene, which has come to be known as contemporary-classical. A series of albums recorded in the late ’80s established him as one of the relatively few drummers who were also composers of significance. Leading a plethora of diverse ensembles, he has performed at festivals and clubs worldwide, and has collaborated with some of the leading lights in and beyond the world of music – from master composer John Adams to rock icon Tom Waits to legendary filmmaker Robert Altman. 

Previte has worked in theater, film and television, and has enjoyed residencies at The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center on Lake Como, Civitella Ranieri, Montalvo Arts Center, and nine MacDowell Colony fellowships. In addition to the Hermitage Greenfield Prize, Previte has received awards and grants from the Guggenheim Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, The American Music Center, Mid Atlantic Arts, New York. His latest album is “Terminals”, featuring five concertos for percussion ensemble and soloists. 

website: BobbyPrevite.com

Read the article in Broadway World.

Linda Golding — Chair, former President and CEO Boosey & Hawkes USA 
Anne Ewers — President / CEO Kimmel Center, Philadelphia 
David Lang — Composer, co-founder, Bang On A Can 

Nilo Cruz, Playwright

2014  |  Discipline: Drama

Cuban-American playwright Nilo Cruz gained national prominence in 2003 when he won the Pulitzer Prize for drama for his play Anna in the Tropics, for which he also received a Tony Award nomination. The immigrant experience is a common theme in many of Cruz’s plays and he has become known for his ability to successfully weave strains of magic realism and other literary traditions into his works.


In addition to the Pulitzer, he has received numerous awards, including those from the Hermitage Greenfield Prize, Kennedy Center Fund, American Theatre Critics and the Humana Festival for New American Plays, as well as grants from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Rockefeller Foundation, among others.


His plays include Dancing on Her Knees; A Park in Our House; Two Sisters and a Piano; A Bicycle Country; Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams; Lorca in a Green Dress; Beauty of the Father; Hurricane; and A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, as well as translations of Doña Rosita the Spinster; The House of Bernarda Alba; Life Is a Dream; and ¡Ay, Carmela! His work has been seen at numerous theaters around the country including, among others, South Coast Rep, the Mark Taper Forum, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Washington D.C.’s Studio Theatre and New York’s Public Theater; and around the world in Canada, England, France, Australia, Germany, Belarus, Costa Rica, Colombia, Japan and Spain.


As a lyricist, he is a frequent collaborator with composer Gabriela Lena Frank. He has written the libretti for The Conquest Requiem and The Santos Oratorio for Ms. Frank and the text of orchestral songs, La Centinela y la paloma. Cruz also adapted Ann Patchett’s 2001 novel Bel Canto for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, with Peruvian composer Jimmy López and recently premiered the oratorio Dreamers by López at Cal Performance in Berkeley, California.


Cruz, who received an M.F.A. from Brown University and an honorary doctorate degree from Whittier College, has twice previously served as a playwright-in-residence: In 2000, for the McCarter Theatre, in Princeton, N.J., and in 2001 for the New Theatre in Coral Gables, Florida, which commissioned Anna in the Tropics. Cruz has also taught drama at Yale, Brown and the University of Iowa. During the 2019/20 academic year, he was the Hearst Theater Lab Initiative Distinguished Visiting Playwright-in-Residence at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. He is a member of the New Dramatists.

Carey Perloff — Chair, Artistic Director, American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco, CA 
Emily Mann — Artistic Director, McCartre Theatre, Princeton, NJ 
Kawme Kwei-Armah OBE — Artistic Director, Center Stage, Baltimore MD 

Trenton Doyle Hancock, Visual Artist

2013  |  Discipline: Visual Art

Trenton Doyle Hancock was born in 1974 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Raised in Paris, Texas, Hancock earned his BFA from Texas A&M University, Commerce, and his MFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, Philadelphia. Influenced by the history of painting, especially Abstract Expressionism, Hancock transforms traditionally formal decisions—such as the use of color, language, and pattern—into opportunities to create new characters, develop sub-plots, and convey symbolic meaning. Hancock’s paintings often rework Biblical stories that the artist learned as a child from his family and local church community. Balancing moral dilemmas with wit and a musical sense of language and color, Hancock’s works create a painterly space of psychological dimensions. 

Trenton Doyle Hancock was featured in the 2000 and 2002 Whitney Biennial exhibitions, one of the youngest artists in history to participate in this prestigious survey. His work has been the subject of one-person exhibitions at Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; and Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, the Seattle Art Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh. The recipient of numerous awards, Hancock lives and works in Houston, where he was a 2002 Core Artist in Residence at the Glassell School of Art of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. 

Dan Cameron, Chair — Chief Curator, Orange County Museum of Contemporary Art 
James Rondeau — Francis and Thomas Dittmer Chair and Curator, Department of Contemporary Art, Art Institute of Chicago 
Valerie Cassel Oliver — Senior Curator, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston 
Matthew McLendon — Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art (non-voting) 

Vijay Iyer, Composer/Pianist

2012  |  Discipline: Music

Grammy-nominated composer-pianist Vijay Iyer was described by Pitchfork as “one of the most interesting and vital young pianists in jazz today,” by The New Yorker as one of “today’s most important pianists…extravagantly gifted…brilliantly eclectic,” and by the Los Angeles Weekly as “a boundless and deeply important young star.” He was voted the 2010 Musician of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association, and named one of the “50 Most Influential Global Indians” by GQ India. Iyer has released sixteen albums as a leader, most recently Accelerando (2012), an intense, visceral follow-up to the multiple-award-winning Historicity (2009), both featuring the Vijay Iyer Trio (Iyer, piano; Marcus Gilmore, drums; Stephan Crump, bass). Historicity was a 2010 Grammy Nominee for Best Instrumental Jazz Album, and was named #1 Jazz Album of the Year in The New York TimesThe Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Detroit Metro Times, National Public Radio, PopMatters.com, the Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll, and the Downbeat International Critics Poll. The trio won the 2010 Echo Award (the “German Grammy”) for best international ensemble and the Downbeat Critics Poll for rising star small ensemble of the year. Iyer’s many other honors include the Alpert Award in the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and numerous composer commissions. 

Iyer’s many collaborators include his generation’s fellow forward-thinkers Rudresh Mahanthappa, Rez Abbasi, Craig Taborn, Ambrose Akinmusire, Liberty Ellman, Steve Lehman and Tyshawn Sorey; elder avant-garde pioneers such as Steve Coleman, Roscoe Mitchell, Wadada Leo Smith, Butch Morris, George Lewis, and Amina Claudine Myers; new-music experimenters Miya Masaoka, Pamela Z, and John Zorn; hip-hop innovators Dead Prez, Das Racist, DJ Spooky, and High Priest of Antipop Consortium; South Asian percussionist-producers Karsh Kale, Suphala, and Talvin Singh; filmmakers Haile Gerima and Bill Morrison; choreographer Karole Armitage; and poets Mike Ladd, Amiri Baraka, Charles Simic, and Robert Pinsky. His concert works have been performed by Ethel, JACK, Brentano String Quartet, American Composers Orchestra, Hermès Ensemble, and Imani Winds. A polymath whose career has spanned the sciences, the humanities and the arts, Iyer received an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in the cognitive science of music from the University of California, Berkeley. He has published articles in Journal of Consciousness StudiesWireMusic PerceptionJazzTimes, and The Best Writing on Mathematics: 2010

website: Vijay-Iyer.com

Linda Golding — Founder, The Reservoir, Former President/CEO, Boosey & Hawkes USA Music Publishers 
Jennifer Koh — Violinist 
Limor Tomer — General Manager of Concerts and Lectures, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY 
Derek Han (Non-voting) — Associate Artistic Director, La Musica International Chamber Music Festival 

John Guare, Playwright

2011  |  Discipline: Drama

John Guare’s plays include Lydie Breeze; Bosoms and Neglect; The House of Blue Leaves, which won an Obie and NY Drama Critics Circle Award for the Best American Play of 1970- 71 and four Tonys in its 1986 Lincoln Center revival; Six Degrees of Separation, which received the NY Drama Critics Circle Award in 1991 for its LCT production and the Olivier Best Play Award in 1993. Grove Press publishes Landscape of the Body and A Few Stout Individuals. He wrote the lyrics and coauthored the book for the 1972 Tony-winning Best Musical, Two Gentlemen of Verona. His screenplay for Louis Malle’s Atlantic City earned him an Oscar nomination. In 2003 he won the PEN/Laura Pels Master Dramatist Award; in 2004, the Gold Medal in Drama from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; in 2005 the Obie for sustained excellence. He is a council member of the Dramatists Guild and co-editor of The Lincoln Center Theater Review

Michael Bigelow Dixon — Assistant Professor of Theater, Goucher College
Eduardo Machado — Playwright 
Carey Perloff — Artistic Director, American Conservatory Theater (ACT), San Francisco 

Sanford Biggers, Visual Artist

2010  |  Discipline: Visual Art

Sanford Biggers’ work is an interplay of narrative, perspective and history that speaks to current social, political and economic happenings while also examining the contexts that bore them. His diverse practice positions him as a collaborator with the past through explorations of often overlooked cultural and political narratives from American history. Working with antique quilts that echo rumors of their use as signposts on the Underground Railroad, he engages these legends and contributes to this narrative by drawing and painting directly onto them. In response to ongoing occurrences of police brutality against Black Americans, Biggers’ BAM series is composed of bronze sculptures recast from fragments of wooden African statues that have been anonymized through dipping in wax and then ballistically ‘resculpted’. Following a residency as a 2017 American Academy Fellow in Rome, the artist recently began working in marble. Drawing on and playing with the tradition of working in this medium, Biggers creates hybridized forms that transpose, combine and juxtapose classical and historical subjects to create alternative meanings and produce what he calls “future ethnographies.” As creative director and keyboardist, he fronts Moon Medicin, a multimedia concept band that straddles visual art and music with performances staged against a backdrop of curated sound effects and video. Moon Medicin performed at Open Spaces Kansas City in October 2018 and at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. in 2019.

Sanford Biggers (b. 1970) was raised in Los Angeles and currently lives and works in New York City. He was awarded the 2017 Rome Prize in Visual Arts. He has had solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2018), the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (2016), the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (2012) and the Brooklyn Museum (2011), among others. His work has been shown in several institutional group exhibitions including at the Menil Collection (2008) and the Tate Modern (2007), and also recent exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2017) and the Barnes Foundation (2017). Biggers’ work is held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Walker Center, Minneapolis; the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington D.C.; the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas; and the Legacy Museum, Montgomery, among others. 

website: SanfordBiggers.com

Dan Cameron (Chair) — Founder and Curator, Prospect New Orleans 
Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson — Executive Director / Chief Curator, Aspen Art Museum 
Franklin Sirmans — Department Head and Curator of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) 

Craig Lucas, Playwright

2009 | Discipline: Drama


Craig Lucas’ plays include Missing Persons, Blue Window, Reckless, God’s Heart, The Dying Gaul, Stranger, Small Tragedy, Prayer For My Enemy and The Singing Forest. He wrote the book for The Light In The Piazza, music and lyrics by Adam Guettel; the musical play Three Postcards, music and lyrics by Craig Carnelia; the libretto for the opera Orpheus in Love, music by Gerald Busby; and he has recently completed the libretto for Two Boys, an opera with composer Nico Muhly, commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera and scheduled to premiere there in a co-production with the English National Opera. His new English adaptations include Brecht’s Galileo, Chekhov’s Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya, and Strindberg’s Miss Julie. His screenplays include Longtime Companion (Sundance Audience Award), The Secret Lives of Dentists (New York Film Critics Best Screenplay), Prelude to a Kiss, Reckless and The Dying Gaul, which he also directed.

Twice nominated for a Tony (Prelude to a Kiss and The Light in the Piazza), three times for the Drama Desk (Prelude, Missing Persons and Reckless), he has won the L.A. Drama Critics Award (Blue Window), the Steinberg/American Theater Critics Award for Best American Play (The Singing Forest), the Hull-Warriner Award (The Light in the Piazza), the LAMBDA Literary Award (for his anthology What I Meant Was), the Flora Roberts Award, the Excellence in Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Laura Pels/PEN Mid-Career Achievement Award and the Joan Cullman Award; he has twice won the Obie Award for Best Play (Prelude and Small Tragedy). He graduated from Boston University where he studied with poets Anne Sexton and George Starbuck. Lucas serves as Associate Artistic Director at the Intiman Theater in Seattle, and he is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild, SSDC and PEN America. He lives in upstate New York.