Since its inception in 1994, the HAAIA has been awarded to 125 artists in the five disciplines of dance, film/video, music, theatre and visual arts. Each artist receives a $75,000 unrestricted prize and a one week residency at the California Institute of the Arts which administers the prize on behalf of the Herb Alpert Foundation.
Irene Borger, Executive Director of HAAIA since its inception twenty-five years ago, reflects on the motivation behind the establishment of the awards. “The Herb Alpert Award was born in response to fevered cutbacks in the arts; now, in its 25th year, once more we are finding ourselves in an increasingly doctrinaire and retrograde period of extremity. Herb Alpert Award artists understand the necessity of an inclusive society, the beauty of independent thought and give us, year after year, a vital, expanded notion of the possible.”
Among the 125 past winners are noted artists, Carrie Mae Weems, Vijay Iyer, Taylor Mac, Suzan-Lori Parks, Julia Wolfe, Michelle Dorrance, Tania Bruguera, Kerry James Marshall, Lisa Kron, Sharon Lockhart, Ralph Lemon, Cai Guo-Qiang and Okwui Okpokwasili to name a few.
The awards are adjudicated by three-member panels of respected artists - including many past winners - and arts professionals in each of the five categories. The Herb Alpert Award in the Arts was conceived by legendary musician, philanthropist and artist Herb Alpert and his wife, Grammy-winning vocalist and author,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.
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