Provided to honorees through a process of peer review—no applications are accepted—the grants are not tied to any specific project, but are made as investments in the artists' personal and professional development and future work. To qualify for consideration, all of the Doris Duke Artists must have won grants, prizes or awards on a national level for at least three different projects over the past ten years, with at least one project having received support from a DDCF-funded program.
The first class of artists were chosen based on "demonstrated evidence of exceptional creativity, ongoing self-challenge and the continuing potential to make significant contributions to their fields in the future."
The 2012 inaugural award recipients are Anne Bogart, theatre (New York, NY); Don Byron, jazz (New York, NY); Wally Cardona, dance (Brooklyn, NY); Rinde Eckert, multidisciplinary performance (Upper Nyack, NY); Bill Frisell, jazz (Seattle, WA); Deborah Hay, dance (Austin, TX); John Hollenbeck, jazz (Binghamton, NY); Vijay Iyer, jazz (New York, NY); Marc Bamuthi Joseph, multidisciplinary performance (Oakland, CA); Elizabeth LeCompte, theatre (New York, NY); Young Jean Lee, theatre (Brooklyn, NY); Ralph Lemon, dance (New York, NY); Richard Maxwell, theatre (Brooklyn, NY); Sarah Michelson, dance (Brooklyn, NY); Bebe Miller, dance (New York, NY and Columbus, OH); Nicole Mitchell, jazz (Long Beach, CA and Chicago, IL); Meredith Monk, multidisciplinary performance (New York, NY); Eiko Otake, dance (New York, NY); Takashi Koma Otake, dance (New York, NY); Basil Twist, theatre (New York, NY); and Reggie Wilson, dance (Brooklyn, NY).
The Doris Duke Artists will also receive as much as $50,000 more in targeted support for retirement savings and audience development. Creative Capital, DDCF's primary partner in the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards, will also offer the artists the opportunity to take part in professional development activities, financial and legal counseling, and grantee gatherings—all designed to help them maximize the use of their grants.
"We established the Doris Duke Performing Artists Initiative in recognition of the fact that individual artists—however celebrated and accomplished—too often struggle to piece together a life of economic dignity," said Ben Cameron, program director for the arts at DDCF, in a statement. "We hope these awards allow artists to step off the project treadmill, should that be their desire, and offer them freedom to experiment, to reflect and to try something new without fear of failure or other negative consequences." DDCF is granting these awards as part of a $50 million, ten-year commitment over and above its existing funding for the performing arts. By the end of the ten years, DDCF will have offered a total of at least 200 artists greatly expanded freedom to create, through an initiative that makes available the largest allocation of unrestricted cash grants ever given to individuals in contemporary dance, jazz, theatre and related fields.
DDCF will also offer Doris Duke Impact Awards to at least 100 jazz, theatre, contemporary dance and multidisciplinary artists. Unlike the Doris Duke Artists, these individuals may not yet have received significant national support. The Doris Duke Artist Awards and the Doris Duke Impact Awards will be announced in classes of approximately 20 between 2012 and 2016, and 2014 and 2018, respectively.