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Doris Duke Artist Award winners announced, prize amount doubled

Trumpeter and composer Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah, also known as Christian Scott, was named a Doris Duke Artist on February 13
Maya Iman
Doris Duke Foundation
Trumpeter and composer Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah, also known as Christian Scott, was named a Doris Duke Artist on Feb. 13.

At the 10th anniversary celebration and first-ever awards ceremony at Lincoln Center for the Doris Duke Artist Awards on Feb. 13, the Doris Duke Foundation announced the newest class of Doris Duke Artists and revealed it is doubling the size of its annual prize.

The Doris Duke Artist Awards program supports up to six performing artists annually, across the fields of contemporary dance, jazz and theater, with unrestricted individual grants that "celebrate their extraordinary and innovative artistry by unleashing their ability to chart their own courses, take creative risks and define what they need, personally and professionally, to thrive and create powerful work." The award amount has increased from $275,000 to $550,000.

The 10th class of Doris Duke Artists are honored as "visionary performing artists and trailblazers in their fields."

Trumpeter and composer Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah(Christian Scott) and vocalist Somi Kakoma received awards in the jazz category this year.

Other recipients for 2023 include director Charlotte Brathwaite, choreographer and performer Ayodele Casel, choreographer and performer Rosy Simas, and playwright and performer Kristina Wong.

“When artists thrive, we all thrive,” said the Foundation's President and CEO Sam Gill in his remarks at Jazz at Lincoln Center on Monday. “Tonight we evolve the Doris Duke Artist Award from an award to a platform—a platform to advocate and fight for the future of artists.”

The Doris Duke Artists Award is also one of the first grant programs to offer a unique matching feature for up to $25,000 of the award, to encourage artists to invest in late-career savings, since there are limited retirement-type benefit programs available to most performing artists.

“What a decade of this award has revealed to us is that if you trust extraordinary artists like the ones here tonight and give them the conditions to thrive, they will go beyond the boundaries and expectations that you or anyone else could set for them,” said Maurine Knighton, chief program officer at the Doris Duke Foundation.

“They will open doors to worlds previously unimagined and unlock new levels of creativity.”

Updated: February 13, 2023 at 4:06 PM PST
Editor's note: KNKX Public Radio is a member of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's Jazz Media Lab. As a participating station, KNKX receives grant funding, a peer network and training.
Originally from Detroit, Robin Lloyd has been presenting jazz, blues and Latin jazz on public radio for nearly 40 years. She's a member of the Jazz Education Network and the Jazz Journalists Association.