Anderson will be presented with a silver medallion and approximately $300,000 at an awards ceremony to be held Nov. 13 at the Hudson Theatre, within the Millennium Hotel in Manhattan.
The Gish Prize, which was specified in the will of Lillian Gish, 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."
Dorothy and Lillian Gish made their 1912 film debut in D.W. Griffith's "An Unseen Enemy." Their careers, including over 100 films each, would include extensive television and stage work. With the establishment of the Gish Prize in 1994, their legacy as artistic trailblazers lives on.
"I feel very honored to be part of this wonderful tradition," Anderson said in a statement. "The Gish Prize represents values I aspire to as an artist — innovation, beauty and exploration. I have tried to make work that speaks directly and soulfully to the challenges of living in a highly technological culture. I hope to use this prize to continue my work and to make it as sharp, accessible and beautiful as possible."
Laurie Anderson combines her skills as a visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, electronics aficionado, vocalist and instrumentalist to create multimedia performance art. She was named NASA's first artist-in-residence in 2002, creating the solo piece The End of the Moon. Anderson rose to fame with her song "O Superman" in 1980, which appeared on the album "Big Science." Her stage work includes United States I-V, Empty Places, The Nerve Bible; and Songs and Stories for Moby Dick, based on the Herman Melville novel.
Her work as a composer has led to collaborations with choreographers Bill T. Jones, Trisha Brown, Molissa Fenley and filmmakers Jonathan Demme and Wim Wenders.
Anderson's work as a visual artist has been on display at museums both in the U.S. and throughout Europe.
Previous Gish Prize winners include Peter Sellers, Arthur Miller, Bill T. Jones, Merce Cunningham, Bob Dylan and Lloyd Richards.