The Herb Alpert Foundation and the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) have awarded Herb Alpert Award in the Arts (HAAIA) to five mid–career artists working in the fields of dance, film/video, music, theatre and visual arts, each of whom will receive unrestricted $75,000 grants. Trumpeter, composer, and producer Christian Scott aTundé Adjuah is this year’s music award recipient. The citation for Scott praises “his originality and artistry” and “the inventive ways he decolonizes sound and uses the past to move us forward. His immersive and compelling music makes magic, stretches conventions, has a powerful, visceral impact on listeners, and builds bridges and community.”
The other four recipients of this annual award, which is now in its 26th year, are Karen Sherman (dance), Sky Hopinka (film/video), Phil Soltanoff (theatre), and Firelei Báez (visual arts). The recipients will be honored at a virtual ceremony hosted by Herb Alpert, his wife Lani Hall Alpert, and the Herb Alpert Foundation on Friday, May 22, 2020 at 2:00pm PDT.
“We are grateful to be able to celebrate the Herb Alpert Award’s 26th anniversary during this very challenging year, where more than ever the arts are a vital and necessary way of bringing sustenance, meaning and well-being to our world,” says Rona Sebastian, Herb Alpert Foundation President. “In recognizing and honoring these five visionary mid-career artists who expand their fields as well as our own horizons, we acknowledge the profound social, cultural and personal impact their work, and the arts overall, has on a civil society…and particularly a civil society in the midst of crisis.”
Each of the awards are adjudicated by three-member panels of noted artists – including many past winners – and arts professionals in each of the five categories. Molly Barth (flutist, professor, Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN), Steve Coleman (saxophonist, composer, band leader, Herb Alpert Award Artist, New York, NY and Allentown, PA); and Miya Masaoka (composer, sound artist, Herb Alpert Award Artist, associate professor, director, Sound Art Program, Columbia University, New York City) served as this year’s music panel. The Herb Alpert Award in the Arts was conceived by Herb Alpert and his wife, the Grammy-winning vocalist Lani Hall Alpert to reward creative experimenters who are challenging and transforming art, their respective disciplines, and society. In addition, the awards provide vital financial support to each artist at a key juncture in his or her creative development. Among the 125 past winners of the Award are artists Carrie Mae Weems, Vijay Iyer, Taylor Mac, Arthur Jafa, Suzan-Lori Parks, Julia Wolfe, Meshell Ndegeocello, Michelle Dorrance, Tania Bruguera, Kerry James Marshall, Lisa Kron, Okwui Okpokwasili, Sharon Lockhart, Ralph Lemon, and Cai Guo-Qiang.