The Greenfield Prize at the Hermitage Artist Retreat is a groundbreaking partnership between the Philadelphia-based Greenfield Foundation and the Hermitage Artist Retreat. Pursuing the mission "to bring into the world works of art that will have a significant impact on the broader or artistic culture," the prize seeks to identify individuals whose past work and future prospects position them to achieve this lofty and ambitious goal. The $30,000 prize in the form of a commission is awarded annually, and rotates each year among three areas; drama, music, and a "wild card." In the "wild card" years, the prize may be awarded in any field or combination of fields, or themes in an effort to accommodate new forms, fields, technologies, and the blending of traditional disciplines.

NILO CRUZ WINS 2014 PRIZE

The Hermitage Artist Retreat, along with the Philadelphia-based Greenfield Foundation, are pleased to announce that Pulitzer Prize-winning Playwright (Anna in the Tropics, 2003) Nilo Cruz has been named the 2014 winner of the Greenfield Prize. The Prize will be presented at a special dinner on Saturday, April 12th in Sarasota, FL. Olympia Dukakis will be the keynote speaker. Nilo Cruz is the third playwright to receive the Prize since its inception in 2009. Other drama winners were Craig Lucas (2009) and John Guare (2011). The Prize consists of a $30,000 commission to create a new work of art to be fulfilled by the artist in two years; time and space to create the piece at the Hermitage Artist Retreat in Englewood, FL; a first public presentation by a professional arts organization in Sarasota, FL; and help to promote the work so it can be seen beyond that first presentation.

"Three remarkable and very different playwrights were short-listed as our finalists this year," remarked Bruce E. Rodgers, executive director of the Hermitage. "Our very distinguished jury had a very hard decision to make. In the end they selected Nilo Cruz for the poetic nature of his work and where he stands in his career at this time. We are very pleased and look forward to officially presenting the Greenfield Prize to Nilo, the first Florida artist, and first Latino artist to receive the Greenfield Prize."

The jury that selected Cruz was chaired by Carey Perloff who is in her 21st year as artistic director of The American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.), San Francisco's Tony Award-winning regional theater. Joining her were Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE, an award-winning British playwright, director, actor, and broadcaster, in his 3rd season as Artistic Director of Center Stage in Baltimore, Maryland and Emily Mann, in her 23rd season as Artistic Director of McCarter Theatre, Princeton, where she has overseen over 125 productions. Others involved in the discussions were Michael Donald Edwards, in his 7th season as Producing Artistic Director of Asolo Repertory Theatre, Sarasota, which will produce the first public presentation of Cruz's commission; Joni Greenfield, representing the Greenfield Foundation; and Bruce E. Rodgers, playwright and executive director of the Hermitage, who served at facilitator.

"This prize is so extraordinary," exclaimed Perloff, addressing a group of Hermitage patrons who gathered for the announcement. "No one says write whatever you want and then gives you the resources and endorsements needed to make it happen. We are thrilled to present this opportunity to Nilo and look forward to seeing what evolves as a result."

Pursuing the mission "to bring into the world works of art that will have a significant impact on the broader or artistic culture," the Prize seeks to identify individuals whose past work and future prospects position them to achieve this lofty and ambitious goal. Cruz commented on what it meant to win this year's Greenfield Prize:

"I am very grateful for the Greenfield award. It was a total surprise. I think in this case it is not only a recognition of the work I have written in the past, but more an award that comes full of inspiration for the stories I want to unravel in the future and the characters that are waiting to be represented through the word and ultimately on the stage. With this award comes the continual recognition and trust of "Latino" playwrights that in the last decades have been acquiring a place in North American theatres. Sometimes "Latinos" might only be perceived as exiles and immigrants in search of freedom and financial stability, but we also come to this land with suitcases full of paintings, novels and plays, the substance and observation of the imagination. The gifts of art."

Photo credits:
Nilo Cruz by Oskar Landi
Olympia Dukakis by Joanna Tzetzoumis

AWARDEES

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AWARD DINNER

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