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From the Press: Seven Performing Artists Win 2018 Doris Duke Artist Awards

From the Press: Seven Performing Artists Win 2018 Doris Duke Artist Awards

Published on June 28, 2018
Photo: Paul B. Goode

A Total of $1.925 Million in Flexible Funding for Their Ongoing Contributions to Jazz, Theater and Contemporary Dance

Pictured above: One of the 2018 Doris Duke Artist Award winners Okwui Okpokwasili 

In a short film released today by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the foundation’s president and CEO, Edward P. Henry, was joined by several previous Doris Duke Artist Award winners in announcing the 2018 recipients of the $275,000 award. The new awardees include Dee Dee Bridgewater, Regina Carter and Stefon Harris for their continuing contributions to jazz; Michelle Dorrance and Okwui Okpokwasili for contemporary dance; and Muriel Miguel and Rosalba Rolón for theater. Each 2018 Doris Duke Artist is receiving $250,000 in flexible funding, along with up to an additional $25,000 to encourage contributions to retirement savings.

“For us, it’s pretty simple: Like our programs in medical research, child well-being and the environment, we recognize that the arts also are critically important to our communities. And at the heart of the arts is the individual artist. This award frees artists to be artists by providing them with the financial security to take risks and to make great work,” said Henry before announcing the names of the awardees.

Nine previously honored Doris Duke Artists, Ping Chong, Steve Coleman, John Collins, Dave Douglas, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Eiko Otake, Zeena Parkins, Elizabeth Streb and Yosvany Terry, accompanied Henry in congratulating the 2018 Doris Duke Artists — offering messages of appreciation for their creative talents and of belief in their ongoing capability to make extraordinary work.

“This is not a prize for you for what you have done,” said Otake to the 2018 Doris Duke Artists. “This is an investment for what you will do.”

The foundation designed the Doris Duke Artist Awards to invest in exemplary individual artists in contemporary dance, jazz, theater and related interdisciplinary work who have demonstrated their artistic vitality and ongoing commitment to their field. As Otake noted, the award is not a lifetime achievement award. Rather, it is a deep investment in the creative potential of dedicated artists. The foundation aims to empower Doris Duke Artists through the freedom of unrestricted support to take creative risks, explore new ideas, and pay for important professional and personal needs not typically funded by the project- related grants that dominate arts funding.

With the 2018 class, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation will have awarded approximately $29.625 million to 108 noteworthy artists through the Doris Duke Artist Awards since May 2012. Going forward, the foundation will continue to award up to seven Doris Duke Artist Awards on an annual basis.

To read more about the Doris Duke Artist Awards and the 2018 Doris Duke Artists, visit


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