Ranging in age from their mid-thirties to their early seventies, the twenty-one recipients of the awards include accomplished performing artists in the fields of jazz, contemporary dance, theater, and multidisciplinary work selected for their exceptional creativity, ongoing self-challenge, and potential to make significant contributions to their fields in the future. The awards are part of a ten-year, $50 million commitment by the foundation to help support at least two hundred performing artists chosen through a rigorous peer review process.
Each artist in this year's cohort will receive an unrestricted, multiyear cash grant of $225,000 and as much as $50,000 in targeted support for retirement savings and audience development. Creative Capital, the foundation's primary partner in the initiative, will offer the awardees professional development opportunities, financial and legal counseling, and networking events designed to help them maximize the use of their grants.
Announced in the year that marks the centenary of the birth of Doris Duke, the 2012 award recipients are Anne Bogart (theater), Don Byron (jazz), Wally Cardona (dance), Rinde Eckert (multidisciplinary performance), Bill Frisell (jazz), John Hollenbeck (jazz), Vijay Iyer (jazz), Marc Bamuthi Joseph (multidisciplinary performance), Elizabeth LeCompte (theater), Young Jean Lee (theater), Ralph Lemon (dance), Richard Maxwell (theater), Sarah Michelson (dance), Bebe Miller (dance), Nicole Mitchell (jazz), Meredith Monk (multidisciplinary performance), Eiko Otake (dance), Takashi Koma Otake (dance), Basil Twist (theater), and Reggie Wilson (dance).
"We established the Doris Duke Performing Artists Awards in recognition of the fact that individual artists — however celebrated and accomplished — too often struggle to piece together a life of economic dignity," said Ben Cameron program director for the arts at the Duke Foundation. "We hope these awards allow artists to step off the project treadmill, should that be their desire, and offer them freedom to experiment, to reflect, and to try something new without fear of failure or other negative consequences."