17th Alpert Award in the Arts Announced


Nicole Mitchell
Photo by Michael Jackson

The Herb Alpert Foundation and California Institute of the Arts have awarded the 17th Alpert Award in the Arts to five mid-career artists: Natalia Almada (film/video), Jess Curtis (dance), Nicole Mitchell (music), Emily Jacir (visual arts), and Marc Bamuthi Joseph (theatre).

The award, an annual prize of $75,000, recognizes the past performance and future promise of artists working in the five major fields of investigation at CalArts. Herb Alpert, the 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.”

In the area of music, Nicole Mitchell was honored “for her brilliant playing, artistic maturity and the ways she courageously break forms; the panelists were moved by her dedication as a deeply ethical member of the musical community, and for the way she consistently opens up new spaces in the world.”

In the area of music composition, this year’s Herb Alpert Foundation and CalArts residency prizes were awarded to:

  • Alpert/Ragdale Prize: Benjamin Goldberg (Berkeley, CA)
  • Alpert/Ucross Residency Prize: Amy X Neuburg (Oakland, CA) and Evan Ziporyn (Lexington, MA)
  • Alpert/Yaddo Residency Prize: Sean Griffin (Los Angeles, CA)

(—from the press release)