Hermitage Artist Retreat and the Philadelphia-based Greenfield Foundation have presented Nilo Cruz with the 2014 Greenfield Prize in drama at a celebration dinner in Sarasota, FL.

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April 16, 2014
Contact Lisa Rubinstein, LDR Creative Inc., 941-373-3803 or [email protected]
The Hermitage Artist Retreat and the Philadelphia-based Greenfield Foundation have
presented Nilo Cruz with the 2014 Greenfield Prize in drama at a celebration dinner in
Sarasota, FL. The prize, represented by an original Malcolm Robertson stainless steel
sculpture, includes a $30,000 commission for a new play, a Hermitage Artist Retreat
residency to be used during the play’s two-year development period, a presentation of the
piece with a professional arts organization (Asolo Repertory Theatre will stage a reading in
2016) and assistance to have the play presented in other venues upon its completion. Cruz is
the third playwright to receive the award, along with Craig Lucas (2009) and John Guare
(2011). Lucas’s play Ode to Joy, currently running at NYC’s Cherry Lane Theatre, is his
Greenfield Prize commissioned play.
In his eloquent acceptance speech, thanking the Foundation and the Hermitage, Cruz
told the crowd of over 200 arts patrons why the prize was so special to him. “This is inspiring
recognition,” Cruz remarked, “because this Prize is not for work that has already been done,
but for trust in work that lies ahead.”
Earlier in the evening, Bruce Rodgers, executive director of the Hermitage Artist
Retreat, which administers the Greenfield Prize, spoke of how the Prize has helped to change
the lives of artists. “The money is only part of it,” he shared. “Maybe even more meaningful,
is the time and support that comes along with the Prize. The partnership between the
Foundation and our artist retreat allows us to be part of the process, in that we provide
uninterrupted time in an inspiring location in which to work. These artists become part of our
Hermitage family and we make it our business to help them in any way that they need to
accomplish their goal. We are not aware of any other award that includes this type of
Another highlight of the evening’s program was the keynote address by Academy
Award-winning actress Olympia Dukakis. Rodgers shared that Ms. Dukakis was asked to
speak at the Greenfield Prize award dinner because she was considered a true woman of the
theater. Not only as an actress but also as a teacher, a theater producer and founder, and an
advocate of new work. During his time as resident playwright at Princeton’s McCarter
Theatre in the late 1980s, Rodgers noted it was the play Bozeman and Lena that he saw at
Dukakis’ Whole Theater Company, which left an indelible impression on him.
As Ms. Dukakis shared her experiences and observations about American theater
with the audience, she said she felt the original quality in American playwriting was
disappearing. “Those who write stories must be supported,” Dukakis said thanking the
Hermitage Artist Retreat and the Greenfield Prize for encouraging artists to “take a risk, to do
something more ambitious than they’ve done before, breaking their own rules while
maintaining ties to the past.”
The Greenfield Prize dinner is the final event in a three-day schedule of performances
and creative conversations involving art. This year included the world premiere of the 2012
Greenfield Prize commission, given in music, to award-winning pianist/composer Vijay
Iyer. His commission, entitled Bruits, was presented during the La Musica International
Chamber Music Festival by the Imani Winds and Pianist Cory Smythe. Free, non-ticketed,
public events included open rehearsals, composer talks about music, Nilo Cruz discussing his
process and a panel with Dukakis, Cruz, Asolo Rep Producing Artistic Director Michael
Donald Edwards, U of Miami Latin Studies Professor Lillian Manzor, Playwright Carlyle
Brown and Music-Theatre Group Producing Director Diane Wondisford addressing minority
voices in the theater.
“The Greenfield Prize weekend is now bookended with a premiere and a new
challenge to an important American artist,” Rodgers explained. “In between we ask our
experts to explore the art of our time and invite the public to be part of that discussion. Stay
tuned for next year’s weekend when we unveil Trenton Doyle Hancock’s 2013 visual arts
commission at The Ringling Museum and award the 2015 Greenfield Prize in music.”
About the Greenfield Prize: The Greenfield Prize at the Hermitage Artist Retreat is a
groundbreaking partnership between the Philadelphia-based Greenfield Foundation and the
Hermitage Artist Retreat. Pursuing the mission “to bring into the world works of art that will have a
significant impact on the broader or artistic culture,” the prize seeks to identify individuals whose
past work and future prospects position them to achieve this lofty and ambitious goal. The prize is
awarded annually and includes a $30,000 commission for a new piece of work to be created
within a two-year time frame. A residency at the Hermitage Artist Retreat on Manasota Key in
Englewood, FL, ensures time and space in which to do the work. The Greenfield Prize rotates
each year among three artistic areas: visual art, music, and drama. For more information visit the
website www.greenfieldprize.org.
About the Hermitage Artist Retreat: The Hermitage is a not-for-profit artist retreat located at
6660 Manasota Key Road in Englewood, FL. It invites accomplished painters, sculptors, writers,
playwrights, poets, composers and other artists from all over the world for residencies on its
beachfront historic campus. Artists are asked to contribute two services to the community during
their stay. So far, Hermitage artists have touched over 12,000 Gulf Coast community children and
adults with unique and inspiring programs. In addition, the Hermitage awards and administers the
prestigious Greenfield Prize, an annual $30,000 commission for a new work of art, rotating
among three disciplines: visual art, music and drama. The Hermitage also partners with the
Aspen Music Festival and School to award the annual Hermitage Prize to a composition student
during the Festival. For more information about The Hermitage Artist Retreat, call 941-475-2098
or visit the website at www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org.
About the Greenfield Foundation: The Greenfield Foundation is based in Philadelphia, PA, but
funds charitable initiatives across the country. Its president and most of its trustees are members
of the family of Louise and Bob Greenfield of Sarasota, Florida. Its net income, which exceeds
$500,000 a year, is devoted to improving quality of life through contributions to not-for-profit
institutions in the arts, education, health care and other services. The foundation originates and
participates in innovative projects, which have a ripple effect beyond the immediate impact of the

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