Chicago, IL (November 10, 2008) – Five Yaddo artists are among the 51 recipients of the United States Artists Fellowships for 2008 who will split $2.5 million in awards, it was announced today in Chicago.
Installation artist Terry Adkins (Brooklyn, New York), novelist Tayari Jones (Atlanta, Georgia), poet and novelist Laura Kasischke (Chelsea, Michigan), poet, novelist, and translator Forrest Gander (Barrington, Rhode Island), and theatrical lighting designer Jennifer Tipton (New York City) and the other 2008 USA Fellows will be honored tonight in a celebration at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. The event will be hosted by United States Artists (USA), a national artists’ advocacy organization which provides direct support for creative professionals by annually giving away at least 50 unrestricted grants of $50,000.
This year’s USA Fellows hail from 21 states and range in age from 31 to 82. They were selected by panels of experts in 8 fields in recognition of the caliber and impact of their work. The fields represented are architecture and design, crafts and traditional arts, dance, literature, media, music, theater arts, and visual arts. The winners were selected from a group of 362 nominated applicants from 44 states. USA Fellowships are awarded to artists who demonstrate artistic excellence, unique artistic vision, and significant contributions to their fields.
An Urban Institute study which found that 96% of Americans appreciate the arts but only 27% believe that artists contribute to the good of society prompted the founding of the Los Angeles-based USA in 2005. The Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and Rasmuson Foundation contributed a total of $20 million to establish USA as a structure through which private philanthropists, corporate donors, and other foundations can support individual artists.
Mr. Adkins is a Member of The Corporation of Yaddo. Ms. Tipton also recently was honored with a MacArthur Fellowship. To read more about that honor, click here. More information about USA is available here.