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The Doris Duke Foundation believes that the most effective illustration of the power of the performing arts to positively impact our society is found in the vital work of artists themselves.

The Doris Duke Artist Award was established in 2012 to unlock the power of creativity and to shape our society for the better, recognizing artists for their established record of achievement within the disciplines of contemporary dance, jazz and theater. The award and associated programming are designed to create conditions in which artists can thrive. In addition to providing a cash prize of $525,000 in unrestricted funds and an incentive of up to $25,000 to save for retirement, the foundation also gives the Award winners support including professional development, financial planning and management services, enhanced networking and performance opportunities.

From left to right: esperanza spalding, Miguel Zenón, Acosia Red Elk, Nataki Garrett, Shamel Pitts, Chay Yew.

Including the 2024 recipients, the foundation to date has provided 135 artists with $38.8 million through the Doris Duke Artist Award. The unrestricted nature of the award allows artists to use the funds for either personal or professional needs and enjoy the freedom to pursue projects of their choosing. Last year, the foundation doubled the amount of the award to signal the power of sustained support for individual performing artists and to celebrate the immense shared benefits to society when artists are invested in as whole people and as creative laborers.

To learn more, read our announcement of the six performing artists who received this year's Doris Duke Artist Awards.

Meet the 2024 Doris Duke Artists

Hear from Doris Duke Artists about how the Doris Duke Artist Award has unlocked the conditions for creativity and allowed them to achieve their visions. In the video below, Nora Chipaumire, David Henry Hwang, Dael Orlandersmith, Kyle Abraham, Peggy Shaw, Terri Lyne Carrington and Darcy James Argue talk about what artists need to thrive and the powerful effects of unrestricted funding to artists.

To view previous recipients of the Doris Duke Artist Award, please explore the What We’ve Funded section of our site.