Richard Serra, Vicki & Roger Sant, P.S. ARTS, American Legion Auxiliary, Madeleine H. Berman and David Hallberg to be Honored on October 20th

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Americans for the Arts, the leading organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America, announces its annual National Arts Awards honorees. The awards recognize artists and arts leaders who exhibit exemplary national leadership and whose work demonstrates extraordinary achievement. They are individuals who share a common belief in the power of the arts and arts education to enrich individual lives and communities alike.

This year’s National Arts awards recipients are:

  • Richard Serra Lifetime Achievement Award
  • David HallbergBell Family Foundation Young Artist Award
  • American Legion AuxiliaryOutstanding Contributions to the Arts Award
  • P.S. ARTS Arts Education Award
  • Vicki & Roger Sant Eli & Edythe Broad Award for Philanthropy in the Arts
  • Madeleine H. Berman Legacy Award

The 2014 National Arts Awards will be presented on Monday, October 20th at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City as part of National Arts and Humanities Month. Americans for the Arts Board Member Maria Bell will serve her 10th consecutive and final year as Event Chair – alongside co-chairs Edythe and Eli Broad, Sarah Arison, Julie and Edward J. Minskoff, and former National Arts Awards honoree Agnes Gund.

The evening will feature artwork by visual artist Shepard Fairey and a special musical performance by YoungArts. This year’s award presenters include actor Ben Stiller, Director & Curator of Performa RoseLee Goldberg, Associate Director for Exhibitions of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Jennifer Russell, President & CEO of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Anne Parsons, former United States Senator The Honorable Christopher J. Dodd, and Chairman of the National Leadership Advisory Council of the National Initiative for Arts and Health in the Military Nolen V. Bivens, Brigadier General, U.S. Army (Ret). The National Arts Award itself was designed in 2009 by Americans for the Arts Artist Committee member and international art world figure Jeff Koons—who himself received the National Arts Award for Artistic Achievement in 2006.

Americans for the Arts President & CEO Robert L. Lynch comments, “At Americans for the Arts we are thrilled to be honoring such a tremendous group of artistic visionaries and leaders. P.S. ARTS, Richard Serra, Vicki and Roger Sant, Madeleine H. Berman, the American Legion Auxiliary, and David Hallberg have all contributed enormously to America’s artistic and cultural legacy. Their persistence and extraordinary achievements have already served as an inspiration, and their work will no doubt change the future of the arts in America for the better.”

Event Chair Maria Bell states, “I am so honored to be chairing my 10th National Arts Awards and to once again celebrate the greatest artistic and cultural achievements in America. I, alongside Americans for the Arts, congratulate all of this year’s honorees for the indelible mark they have left on the cultural fabric of our nation.”

The National Arts Awards have been presented by Americans for the Arts since 1996. Past honorees include (among others): Edward Albee, Herb Alpert, Marian Anderson, Dame Julie Andrews, Wallis Annenberg, Lin Arison, George Balanchine, John Baldessari, Alec Baldwin, Leonard Bernstein, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Chuck Close, Sofia Coppola, Dakota Fanning, Aretha Franklin, Martha Graham, Frank O. Gehry, Josh Groban, Agnes Gund, Jake Gyllenhaal, Helen Hayes, Martha Rivers Ingram, Judith Jamison, Sheila C. Johnson, Ellsworth Kelly, B.B. King, Jeff Koons, Angela Lansbury, Jacob Lawrence, John Legend, Gerald M. Levin, Wynton Marsalis, Kate and Laura Mulleavy (Rodarte), Yoko Ono, Joseph Papp, Natalie Portman, Phil Ramone, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Redford, Ed Ruscha, Salman Rushdie, Martin Scorsese, Joel Shapiro, Cindy Sherman, Beverly Sills, Anna Deavere Smith, Stephen Sondheim, David Rockefeller, Sr., Isaac Stern, Billy Taylor, Paul Taylor, Uma Thurman, Kerry Washington, Wendy Wasserstein, Sanford I. Weill and Kehinde Wiley.


2014 National Arts Awards Honorees

Richard Serra – Lifetime Achievement Award

Richard Serra was born in San Francisco in 1938.  He studied at the University of California (Berkeley and Santa Barbara), receiving a B.A. in English literature while working in steel mills to support himself.  He then trained as a painter at Yale University, completing his B.F.A. and M.F.A.  He has lived in New York since 1966.  His first solo exhibitions were held at the Galleria La Salita, Rome, 1966, and, in the United States, at the Leo Castelli Warehouse, New York, in 1969. His first solo museum exhibition was held at The Pasadena Art Museum in 1970. Mr. Serra has since participated in several Documenta in Kassel (1972, 1977, 1982, and 1987) and in the Venice Biennales of 1984, 2001, and 2013. His work has been shown in numerous museum solo exhibitions such as in Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1977; Centre Pompidou, Paris, 1984; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1986, and again in 2007, and in other museums in Europe, the United States, and Latin America. In 2005, eight large-scale works were installed permanently at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. A traveling survey of Mr. Serra’s drawings was on view in 2011-12 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Menil Collection, Houston. In April of this year, Mr. Serra installed a major permanent landscape sculpture in the desert of the Brouq Nature Reserve in western Qatar. Among his many honors are receiving a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 1970, the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture in 1975, and the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2001 Venice Biennale.  Mr. Serra has produced large-scale, site-specific sculptures for architectural, urban, and landscape settings spanning the globe, from Iceland to New Zealand. 

David Hallberg – Bell Family Foundation Young Artist Award

Born in South Dakota, David Hallberg began his formal ballet training at the age of 13 with Kee Juan Han at the Arizona Ballet School, then continued his studies at the Paris Opera Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre’s New York Summer Intensives. He became a member of ABT's studio company in 2000, joined American Ballet Theatre in the Corps de Ballet in 2001, and was promoted to soloist in 2004 and principal dancer in 2005. In 2011, Mr. Hallberg was the first American to be named a Premier Dancer at Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet, dancing the role of the prince in The Sleeping Beauty for the company's inaugural performance in its newly renovated theatre. In addition to worldwide touring with both ABT and Bolshoi Ballet, he has also been a guest artist with The Mariinsky Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, La Scala di Milano, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Kiev Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Opera di Roma, Georgian State Ballet, The Tokyo Ballet, and The Australian Ballet. He has two scholarship programs under his name; a program to mentor young aspiring male students for a career in dance at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of American Ballet Theatre and a scholarship of the same title at the School of Ballet Arizona. He has created The Innovation Initiative at ABT, which facilitates emerging choreographers in the field of dance. Mr. Hallberg recently received the 2014 Princess Grace Statue Award, an honor given to those with a desire to sustain artistic excellence in America. Mr. Hallberg is committed to pushing the art of dance through means of collaboration with other forms of artistic outlets. He continues to search out positive ways in which audiences can experience dance in its best and purest form, while pushing the preconceived boundaries of where the art form lies.

P.S. ARTS – Arts Education Award

P.S. ARTS was founded in 1991 in response to significant education budget cuts that resulted in the reduction and elimination of arts programs in California public schools. Despite evidence that children living in economically depressed communities particularly benefit from participation in the arts, the impact of public education cuts on these most vulnerable youth has been disproportionate. Now in its 24th year of service, P.S. ARTS has grown from serving 285 students in one school to providing yearlong in-school arts education to approximately 20,000 students in 51 public schools across Los Angeles County and California’s Central Valley. In addition, P.S. ARTS contributes to the development of the arts education field on a national level, serving as a partner to the Turnaround Arts initiative, a program of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, and an expert advisor on policy and advocacy councils. A recent two-year study of the impact of P.S. ARTS programs on student success conducted by leading arts education researcher, Dr. James Catterall, found that P.S. ARTS students made statistically significant gains in their creative and critical thinking skills, their ability to problem-solve and collaborate with others, and their self-confidence. In addition to these habits of mind essential for success in a 21st Century economy, P.S. ARTS students also demonstrated measurable gains in literacy, including improved writing mechanics and fluency. In the last three years alone, P.S. ARTS has nearly doubled its service population and was recognized as an exemplar model for arts education by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.  Further, P.S. ARTS programs were recently featured in the PBS documentary Arts & The Mind, and its 4th grade students and a teaching artist were invited to present an integrated art and science project at the White House STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) Fair hosted by the First Lady and attended by the President.

American Legion Auxiliary – Outstanding Contributions to the Arts Award

The American Legion Auxiliary is the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization. For nearly a century, its members have dedicated themselves to meeting the needs of our nation’s veterans, servicemen and women, and their families, both at home and abroad. Auxiliary volunteers step up for veterans in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities across the country, providing comfort items, healing art therapy, and much more. Members also honor veterans and military through annual scholarships. The American Legion Auxiliary recognizes that art can be powerful therapy. VA medical facilities use the creative arts as one form of rehabilitative treatment to help veterans recover from and cope with physical and emotional disabilities. In 2000, the American Legion Auxiliary partnered with the VA’s National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, an event that assists veterans in healing from both their physical and psychological wounds through visual and performing arts, and has become its presenting sponsor. The Auxiliary helps fund the event and provides volunteers who assist with everything from punching meal tickets to assembling programs to ironing costumes for the stage show. Best of all, the opportunity affords Auxiliary members life-changing moments through interaction with the participating veterans. The key purposes of the National Veterans Creative Arts competition and festival are to recognize veterans for their creative accomplishments, and educate and demonstrate to communities throughout the country the therapeutic benefits of the arts. In addition to the national festival, American Legion Auxiliary members in their own communities help plan, sponsor, and implement healing arts activities and local Veterans Creative Arts Festivals. All told, American Legion Auxiliary members have volunteered millions of hours in mission service.

Vicki & Roger Sant – Eli & Edythe Broad Award for Philanthropy in the Arts

Victoria P. Sant (Vicki)

Vicki Sant has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Gallery of Art since 2000 and served as president from 2003 to 2014.  She is also on the boards of The Phillips Collection and Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE) and serves on the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art and the Director’s Advisory Board of the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University. Beyond the arts, she is the co-founder and president of The Summit Foundation and The Summit Fund of Washington.  The Summit Foundation provides support for international empowerment of girls and reproductive health initiatives, the conservation of the Mesoamerican Reef ecosystem, and sustainable cities. The Summit Fund of Washington focuses its efforts on improving the health and sustainability of the Anacostia River and preventing teen pregnancy in the District of Columbia.  She is chair of the Stanford in Washington Council and also serves on the World Wildlife Fund National Council and the National Geographic Council of Advisors. Mrs. Sant completed a ten-year term on the Stanford University Board of Trustees in 2007.  Mrs. Sant received a B.A. in history from Stanford University and did graduate work there in speech pathology and audiology. 

Roger W. Sant

Roger W. Sant is co-founder and chairman emeritus of The AES Corporation, a Fortune 200 corporation that produces and distributes electricity worldwide.  Prior to starting AES in 1981, Mr. Sant was assistant administrator for energy conservation and the environment at the Federal Energy Administration.  He was also the director of the Energy Productivity Center, an energy research organization affiliated with the Mellon Institute at Carnegie-Mellon University.  Mr. Sant served as a regent of the Smithsonian Institution from 2001 to 2013 during which he served as its first board chair. He is vice chairman of the board of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and is on the board of the World Wildlife Fund-U.S., which he previously chaired (1994-2000) and later co-chaired (2009-2011).  Mr. Sant co-founded the Summit Foundation and the Summit Fund of Washington with his wife Vicki and is Chair of the Board of both institutions. He is a member of the boards of the National Symphony Orchestra and the D.C. College Access Program, and served on the Marriott International Board of Directors from 1994-2006.  Mr. Sant received a B.S. from Brigham Young University and an M.B.A. with distinction from the Harvard Business School.  He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and co-author of Creating Abundance – America’s Least-Cost Energy Strategy (1982).

Madeleine H. Berman – Legacy Award

Madeleine Berman was born in Detroit and received a B.A. in music from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in speech, communication, and theatre from Wayne State University.  She has been married to Mandell L. Berman for 62 years and they have two children and three grandchildren. Ms. Berman’s early career in the arts included serving as the theater and music critic for the Birmingham Eccentric newspaper and as a special projects director for the Detroit Central Business District Association, planning public performances of theater, music, and dance in the city's public parks. She pioneered auction activities to raise funds for the public television station, WTVS, and helped create the Friends of WDET for public radio. She is a past member of New Detroit's Arts Committee and one of the seven original members of the first Detroit Arts Council. She was also appointed by Governor William Milliken in 1981 to the Michigan Council of the Arts, and in 1983, was appointed Vice Chair by Governor James Blanchard. Ms. Berman has served on the boards of the Detroit Community Music School, the Archives of American Art, and the Music Hall for the Performing Arts, and as an early board member of Concerned Citizens for the Arts in Michigan (CCAM), she originated the idea of Michigan’s Governors Arts Awards. More recently, her arts service has included two terms on the President’s Committee for the Arts and Humanities, appointed by President Clinton in 1994, and again in 2009, appointed by President Obama. She is a major benefactor of the Michigan Opera Theater and a long-term supporter of the Berman Woodwind Youth Orchestra Group at the Detroit Symphony, and serves on the boards of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Ringling Museum of Arts in Sarasota, Florida. She envisioned, built, and continues to support the Berman Center for the Performing Arts in West Bloomfield, Michigan, and she remains a strong supporter of the Detroit Institute of Arts and through the Berman Foundation, part of the current rescue plan for that institution’s irreplaceable collection. She has served on the board of Americans for the Arts since 1989.

The National Arts Awards has garnered the support of individuals, foundations and corporations across the country. Americans for the Arts extends special gratitude to: The Bell Family Foundation, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, Julie and Edward J. Minskoff, Debra and Leon Black, Agnes Gund, Larry Gagosian, The Herb Alpert Foundation, and the National YoungArts Foundation. The board and staff would also like to thank Delta Air Lines, official airline of the 2014 National Arts Awards, for its generous support.

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at


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