On May 19 at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, The Herb Alpert Foundation and CalArts announced the 2011 winners of the 17th Alpert Award in the Arts. The annual prize of $75,000, recognizes past performance and future promise to five exceptional mid-career artists working in Dance, Film/Video, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts, five of the six major fields of investigation at CalArts.
- Natalia Almada (Film/Video) was chosen by the Alpert Award Film/Video panel for being a gifted storyteller and artist, pushing against the strictures of nonfiction film, telling nuanced, complex stories, and gracefully drawing attention to the overlooked narratives in today’s challenging landscapes of immigration reform, border issues and human rights;
- Jess Curtis (Dance) was named as the Dance recipient for his profound and provocative investigation of the body, and the ways in which he viscerally transmits corporeal experience with a strong, unique sense of imagery, timing and rhythm, mesmerizing dream logic, inventiveness, and magnetic, singular depth;
- Nicole Mitchell (Music) was selected by the music panel for her brilliant playing, the maturity of her conception, and her courageous breaking of forms;
- Emily Jacir (Visual Arts) was named for her poetic vision, creating incisive and aesthetically engaging work that bravely raises important questions, in this historic moment of social transition, without presuming to come up with answers;
- Marc Bamuthi Joseph (Theater) was chosen for his vision, the originality of his forms, which acknowledge the “breaks” between identities, ideas and realities as a space for discovery and power, and his continuing synthesis of art, activism, education and autobiography.
“Alpert Award artists make exceptional, innovative work,” said David Rosenboom, Dean of The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts and the Institute’s co-acting president. “The awards are agents of transformation and, with the support of The Herb Alpert Foundation, awardees can create the next directions in their fields.
“CalArts students reap the benefit as these exemplary artists come to campus for the residencies, a component of the prize,” Rosenboom added.