Five to Receive 2009 National Arts Awards
Washington, DC—October 5, 2009—Americans for the Arts today presents its annual National Arts Awards. The awards recognize those artists and arts leaders who exhibit exemplary national leadership and whose work demonstrates extraordinary artistic achievement. They are organizations and individuals—artists, business leaders, and patrons—who understand that the arts enrich people and communities alike. The National Arts Awards will be presented tonight in New York City as part of National Arts and Humanities Month.
Following are this year’s National Arts Awards honorees:
Robert Redford, Lifetime Achievement Award
Robert Redford is an artist and a visionary businessman who is a staunch supporter of uncompromised creative expression. His passion remains to make films of substance and social/cultural relevance, as well as to encourage others to express themselves through the arts. He founded the Sundance Institute in 1981, which is dedicated to the support and development of emerging screenwriters and directors of vision, and to the national and international exhibition of new independent cinema.
Salman Rushdie, Kitty Carlisle Hart Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Arts
Born in Bombay, India, Salman Rushdie is the acclaimed author of ten novels—Grimus, Midnight’s Children (Booker Prize, 1981; “Best of the Booker” award, 2008, for the best novel to have won the prize in its first 40 years), Shame, The Satanic Verses, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Moor’s Last Sigh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Fury, Shalimar the Clown, and The Enchantress of Florence—and one book of stories, East, West, as well as three works of nonfiction—Imaginary Homelands, The Jaguar Smile, and Step Across This Line. His books have been translated into more than 40 languages.
Ed Ruscha, Artistic Excellence Award
Born in Omaha, raised in Oklahoma City, Ed Ruscha moved to Los Angeles in 1956 and it has been his home and inspiration ever since. Mr. Ruscha has consistently combined the cityscape of Los Angeles with vernacular language to communicate a particular urban experience. His work encompasses photography, drawing, painting, printmaking, and artists books and is in public and private collections worldwide. Mr. Ruscha has been the subject of numerous museum retrospectives and he was the US Representative at the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005.
Sidney Harman, Frederick R. Weisman Award for Philanthropy in the Arts
Sidney Harman is founder and chairman emeritus of Harman International, a leading manufacturer and worldwide supplier of high-quality audio and video products, as well as digital navigation and information systems for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. He is a board member of many arts groups, including: vice chairman of the Corporate Fund Board of The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and a member of the executive committee of the board of trustees of The Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC.
Anne Finucane, Bank of America, Corporate Citizenship in the Arts Award
During these unprecedented economic times, Bank of America and Global Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer Anne Finucane remain steadfast in support of communities and the arts. Bank of America believes that improving access to arts is critical to both the cultural and economic vitality of the communities it serves. Its support is built on a foundation of good corporate citizenship, responsible business practices and effective business outcomes. Anne Finucane’s vision and leadership is reflected in both the depth of this support, and in the philosophy that drives the bank’s investments in arts and culture.
Anne Finucane is Bank of America’s Global Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer and a member of the company’s executive management team. Finucane leads marketing, communications, advertising, and research for the enterprise and all lines of business. She is also responsible for the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives including a 10-year, a $1.5 trillion community development and investment commitment and 10-year $2 billion philanthropic giving goal through the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, one of the largest corporate philanthropic organizations in the world.
The honorees will receive their awards at a gala dinner at Cipriani 42nd Street on October 5 chaired by Maria Bell, member of the Americans for the Arts Board of Directors. Co-chairing the event alongside Bell are Edythe and Eli Broad, Isabella and Theodor Dalenson, and Julie Minskoff. Sheila C. Johnson and the Honorable William T. Newman, Jr. are the Honorary Chairs.
The evening will feature special musical performances by Kate Davis and Andrea Jarrett, 2009 Presidential Scholars in the Arts, and an installation of works by video artist Kelly Richardson.
Presenters include: Author Paul Auster; filmmaker Ken Burns; Elliot F. Gerson, the Aspen Institute; U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi; Lisa Phillips, Director of the New Museum of Contemporary Art; and actress Kerry Washington.
Support for the National Arts Awards has come from individuals, foundations, and corporations, including: Bank of America, Target, Maria and Bill Bell, Julie Minskoff, BBDO New York, Gagosian Gallery, Hill Holliday, and Sheila C. Johnson.
The National Arts Awards have been presented by Americans for the Arts since 1996. Past honorees have included, among others: Edward Albee, Dame Julie Andrews, Wallis Annenberg, Alec Baldwin, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Leonard Bernstein, Chuck Close, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Pierre Dulaine, Aretha Franklin, Frank Gehry, Martha Graham, Agnes Gund, Jake Gyllenhaal, Joan W. Harris, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Helen Hayes, Sheila C. Johnson, Ellsworth Kelly, Jeff Koons, Jacob Lawrence, John Legend, Gerald M. Levin, Wynton Marsalis, Natalie Portman, Phil Ramone, Cindy Sherman, Beverly Sills, Anna Deavere Smith, David Rockefeller, Isaac Stern, Paul Taylor, Uma Thurman, Kerry Washington, Sanford I. Weill, and Kehinde Wiley.
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With offices in Washington, DC, and New York City, it has a record of 49 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.
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