About us

What is the Herb Alpert Award?

The Herb Alpert Award in the Arts is an unrestricted prize of $75,000 given annually to risk-taking mid-career artists working in the fields of dance, film/video, music, theatre and the visual arts.

The prize was initiated and funded by the Herb Alpert Foundation and has been administered by California Institute of the Arts since 1994. The Herb Alpert Award honors and supports artists respected for their creativity, ingenuity, and bodies of work, at a moment in their lives when they are poised to propel their art in new and unpredictable directions. The Herb Alpert Award recognizes experimenters who are making something that matters within and beyond their field.


Jul 8, 2021
Watch the full and highlighted versions of the 2021 Herb Alpert Awards Virtual Ceremony, honoring ten artists in the fields of Dance, Film/Video, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts    
May 20, 2021
Interview with Banning Eyre for Afropop Worldwide, May 19 2021 photo by: Frederick V. Nielson
Left to right, top to bottom: Adam Kahlil, Beth Gill, David Virelles, Kahlil Joseph, Kaneza Schaal, Kimber Lee, Steffani Jemison, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Toshi Reagon, Will Rawls.
May 18, 2021
The 10 artists, from such fields as dance, music, film/video, theater and visual arts, receive an unrestricted $75,000 prize and a residency at California Institute of the Arts. By Chris Gardner for The Hollywood Reporter May 18, 2021

2021 Panelists

nora chipaumire
Alma Guillermoprieto
Gideon Lester
choreographer, dancer, Herb Alpert Award winner
New York
Bogotá, Colombia
artistic director, Fisher Center, Bard College and senior curator, Open Society University Network’s Center for the Arts and Human Rights
Annandale-on-Hudson and Brooklyn, NY
Alexandra Juhasz
Almudena Escobar López
Renee Tajima-Peña
scholar, maker, and teacher of activist media, Distinguished Professor of Film, Brooklyn College, CUNY
Brooklyn, NY
independent curator, scholar, archivist, and researcher, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester
Rochester, NY
filmmaker, Herb Alpert Award winner, Professor of Asian American Studies, director of the Center for EthnoCommunications, UCLA
Los Angeles
Courtney Bryan
Vijay Iyer
Miya Masaoka
composer-pianist, Herb Alpert Award Artist, The Albert and Linda Mintz Professor of Music, Newcomb College in the School of Liberal Arts, Tulane University
New Orleans
composer-pianist, Herb Alpert Award Artist, Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts, Harvard University
New York
composer, sound artist, Herb Alpert Award Artist, Associate Professor, Director, Sound Art Program, Columbia University
New York
Eisa Davis
Dan Hurlin
Naomi Iizuka
playwright, singer, composer, actor, Herb Alpert Award Artist
Brooklyn, New York
theater maker, Herb Alpert Award Artist
New York
playwright, professor, head of graduate playwriting, University of California, San Diego, Herb Alpert Award Artist
San Diego, CA
Visual Arts
Valerie Cassel Oliver
Emily Jacir
Michael Rakowitz
Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Richmond, VA
artist, Herb Alpert Award Artist, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Dar Jacir for Art and Research
artist, Herb Alpert Award Artist, Professor of Art and Director of Graduate Studies, Northwestern University