The Doris Duke Artist Awards invest in exemplary individual artists in contemporary dance, jazz, theater and related interdisciplinary work who have demonstrated their artistic vitality and commitment to their field. The award is not a lifetime achievement award. Instead, it is a deep investment in the potential of dedicated performing artists, empowering them through the freedom of unrestricted support to take creative risks, explore new ideas, and pay for important professional and personal needs not typically funded by project-related grants. Each Doris Duke Artist receives an award of $275,000. A total of $250,000 of the prize is completely unrestricted, and $25,000 is dedicated to encouraging retirement savings.
As one of many ways the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is increasing its support to individual artists in response to the impacts of Covid-19 on the performing arts sector, the foundation is expanding the number of artists receiving Doris Duke Artist Awards to a total of eight for 2020, up from six the previous year – resulting in a collective $2.2 million investment in this year’s award winners. While the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation initially conceived the Doris Duke Artists Awards as part of a larger $50 million special initiative that finished in 2017, recognition of the program’s importance in helping artists thrive spurred the foundation to cement a place for the flexible awards in its core strategy to support the performing arts. With the 2020 class, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation will have awarded nearly $33.5 million to 122 noteworthy artists through the Doris Duke Artist Awards since May 2012.