FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Santa Monica, May 11, 2012:
The Herb Alpert Foundation and California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) have awarded the 18th annual Alpert Award in the Arts to five exceptional mid-career artists. The award, a prize of $75,000, recognizes past performance and future promise to artists working in Dance, Film/Video, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts. Herb Alpert, the legendary musician and artist who created the Herb Alpert Foundation with his wife Lani Hall and gave the first Alpert Award in the Arts in 1995, says, “All of this year’s winners represent the essence of the Alpert Award. They take aesthetic, intellectual and political risks, and challenge worn-out conventions. They’re unafraid of the unknown.”
Irene Borger, Director of the Alpert Award in the Arts, describes why each of the artists was chosen.
Over the years the distinguished Alpert Award panelists have selected a group of artists who have gone on to extraordinary careers after winning the Alpert Award including Zhou Long, 2011 Pulitzer Prize winner in Music; Suzan-Lori Parks, a Pulitzer winner for Drama 2002; four MacArthur Fellows and 22 Guggenheim Fellows.
This year’s panelists include Alma Guillermoprieto, contributor to The New Yorker; Romi Crawford, Associate Professor, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago; David Wessel, Professor of Music and Director, Center for New Music and Audio Technologies at University of California, Berkeley; Daniel Alexander Jones, Head of the Playwriting Program; Acting and Theatre History Faculty, Fordham University; and David Joselit, Carnegie Professor, History of Art, Yale University. Past panelists have included Tony Kushner, Julie Taymor, John Adams, Trisha Brown, Don Byron, Ann Hamilton, and David Henry Hwang.
“The Herb Alpert Foundation is delighted to honor these courageous, independently minded artists,” said Foundation President Rona Sebastian. “Begun in 1995, on the heels of the NEA’s cut backs of individual artists’ grants, the Alpert Award was designed to acknowledge the importance of our artists and their significant contributions to society. CalArts has been the ideal partner to carry out Herb Alpert’s vision for building a new and innovative arts award program. CalArts shares our vision of the transformative power of the arts.”
“The awards recognize that a vital culture requires artistic experimentation on the highest level,” said CalArts President Steven Lavine. “A remarkable number of awardees have achieved heightened prominence during the years following the awards and this is due to the foundation’s continued acknowledgement and support of truly significant artists. Moreover, year in and year out, CalArts students benefit when these exemplary artists come to campus for the residence that is a component of the awards.”
Herb Alpert concludes, “CalArts is a really creative place where people push the edges and come up with things that are different from what we’ve heard in the past. It’s exciting to think about how winners of the Alpert Award will push CalArts students even farther.”
The Alpert Award in the Arts recipients will receive their awards at a brunch on May 11th held at the Herb Alpert Foundation in Santa Monica.
Photographs of the 2012 Alpert Award In the Arts recipients can be accessed at:
CalArts media requests, contact: Margaret Crane, CalArts Media Relations Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org  Tel: 661 222 2787
Herb Alpert Foundation media requests, contact: Caroline Graham, C4 Global Communications, email@example.com  Tel: 310 899 2727