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Meredith Monk Receives Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize

(October 2017)

Meredith Monk_Julieta Cervantes.jpg The Gish Prize Trust has awarded Meredith Monk with the 2017 Gish Prize, one of the most prestigious honors given to artists in the United States.

On September 19, the Gish Prize Trust announced that Meredith Monk will receive the 24th annual Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize in recognition of her ongoing achievements as a composer, singer, and interdisciplinary artist. The Gish Prize is one of the most prestigious honors given to artists in the United States and bears one of the largest cash awards, currently valued at approximately $250,000.

Established in 1994 through the will of Lillian Gish, the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize is given each year to a highly accomplished artist from any discipline who has pushed the boundaries of an art form, contributed to social change, and paved the way for the next generation. The 2017 selection committee chose Monk from among more than 66 outstanding finalists in the fields of visual and performing arts, literature, and arts administration. Monk now joins a list of honorees that includes Elizabeth LeCompte, Suzan-Lori Parks, Maya Lin, Anna Deavere Smith, Spike Lee, Trisha Brown, Laurie Anderson, Frank Gehry, Peter Sellars, and Bob Dylan.

In a statement, Meredith Monk wrote:

I am humbled and grateful to receive the Gish Prize. It’s exceptional for being a prize that a great artist decided to give to other artists, and even more special for the values that Lillian Gish expressed when she said it should recognize contributions to ‘the beauty of the world.’ I believe, as she did, that art can be a healing force, a source of light during dark times. With boundless admiration for her, and profound respect for the artists who received this prize before me, I am thrilled to have been chosen for this one-of-a-kind award.

The Gish Prize will be presented to Monk on the evening of Thursday, October 26, 2017 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), which has been the site of many of her notable performances. Monk will be joined by Vocal Ensemble members Theo Bleckmann, Ellen Fisher, Katie Geissinger, Allison Sniffin and Jo Stewart for a special commemorative performance.

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Photo: Julieta Cervantes

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