New York Times: Deavere Smith ’71 Honored with Gish Prize

January 30, 2013

The New York Times reported on Jan. 17 that Anna Deavere Smith ’71 was honored with the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, one of the largest awards in the arts.

The prize, now in its 19th year, was established by Lillian Gish’s will and is awarded “to a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life.” Ms. Smith, a familiar figure on stage, television and film, was chosen from a list of 30 finalists.

Darren Walker, vice president for education, creativity and free expression for the Ford Foundation and a member of the selection committee, credited Ms. Smith with creating “what is in some ways a new art form,” and using her position as an artist and educator “to address today’s major social issues.”

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