Americans for the Arts and The United States Conference of Mayors today awarded two-time Tony Award-winning stage and screen actor and musician Michael Cerveris the 2018 Citizen Artist Award. The award is given to nationally renowned artists who have achieved both outstanding success in their creative professional fields, and have made significant charitable contributions of their time and resources to advance humanitarian and educational causes.
Cerveris is a Tony Award winner, as well as an advocate for arts, education, and numerous humanitarian causes. He has performed in many stage musicals and plays, including several Stephen Sondheim musicals: Assassins, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Road Show, and Passion. In 2004, Cerveris won the Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Assassins as John Wilkes Booth. In 2015, he won his second Tony Award as Best Actor in a Musical for Fun Home as Bruce Bechdel.
Cerveris appears in Steven Soderbergh’s Mosaic on HBO, and has created such iconic roles as September the Observer in five seasons of JJ Abrams’ Fringe, fan favorite Professor Pyg on FOX’s Gotham, Ramses IV in Amazon’s The Tick, State’s Attorney James Castro on CBS’ The Good Wife, and Marvin Frey in three seasons of HBO’s Treme.
In addition to his professional work, Cerveris devotes much of his time to many social causes close to his heart. For each of the last 13 years, he has participated in the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Walk, raising over $160,000 to date. He is an active and longtime supporter of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Actors Fund. Cerveris performs often in support of humanitarian causes, including From Broadway With Love: A Benefit for Sandy Hook and the What the World Needs Now Is Love recording and concert for victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting. He has organized several other benefit concerts over the years, including Take Me Home: A Concert for West Virginia, which raised funds and awareness for relief efforts following the floods of 2016.
Cerveris helped organize and perform at the grand reopening of New Orleans’ majestic Saenger Theatre—appearing with Kristin Chenoweth and Mayor Mitch Landrieu—and received the Mayor’s Key to the City for his contributions.
Cerveris commented, “The arts not only define our society, they are the crucible of our dreams. Our hope for a better tomorrow rests in the very ideals of community, dedication, understanding, and vision that are at the core of all artistic endeavor. And so, to me, they are both fundamental and essential.”
“Michael Cerveris has contributed enormously to America’s artistic and cultural legacy, and his advocacy, persistence, and achievements have no doubt helped change the future of the arts in America for the better. I applaud Michael’s accomplishments and commitment worthy of this recognition, and I look forward to seeing his work continue to shape the arts in America,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts.
“Every year, The U.S. Conference of Mayors recognizes the exemplary efforts of local leaders who believe as much as we do that the arts are an integral part our society,” remarked Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of The U.S. Conference of Mayors. “Mayors understand the connection between arts and business, and the significant contribution the arts make to the local economy.”
Americans for the Arts and The United States Conference of Mayors presented their 2018 Public Arts Leadership Awards at the mayors’ Winter Meeting in Washington, DC. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan received the National Award for State Arts Leadership; Dallas Mayor Michael S. Rawlings received the National Award for Local Arts Leadership for cities with a population of 100,000 or more; and Santa Fe Mayor Javier M. Gonzales received the National Award for Local Arts Leadership for cities with a population of fewer than 100,000.
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 55 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.
Jay H. Dick
Americans for the Arts