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Many thanks to Gary Tucker who forwarded this press release from the Princess Grace Foundation:


Jon M. Chu receives Princess Grace Statue Award

NEW YORK, NY – (August 15, 2011) The Board of Trustees of the Princess Grace Foundation-USA (PGF-USA) and its Chairman, Hon. John F. Lehman, announced today the winners of the 2011 Princess Grace Awards. The Awards for theater, dance and choreography, and film continue the legacy of Princess Grace (Kelly) of Monaco, who anonymously helped emerging artists pursue their artistic goals during Her lifetime. This year’s 21 Awards winners will travel to New York City as guests of the Princess Grace Foundation-USA, where they will receive their Awards at the annual black-tie Princess Grace Awards Gala, on November 1, 2011 at Cipriani 42nd Street. This year’s Awards Gala will be highlighted by the unveiling of a unique tribute to Princess Grace by Montblanc.

The Princess Grace Foundation-USA, a public charity, was formed after the death of Princess Grace in 1982. They present scholarships, apprenticeships, and fellowships to assist artists at the start of their careers. The Foundation has cultivated a diverse group of nearly 600 artists to date who continue to advance the spectrum of performing arts with innovative, cutting-edge, and vibrant theater, dance, choreography, film, playwriting and design. Since the Foundation’s inception, more than 700 Awards have been given to recipients, totaling more than $8.5 million.

At the Gala, The Montblanc Collection Princesse Grace de Monaco will be premiered in the U.S.- a spectacular, new tribute collection to one of the most remarkable individuals of all time, celebrated for Her iconic, timeless style; Her artistic talent as an Oscar©-winning actress and Her unrelenting commitment to helping others. The Montblanc Collection Princesse Grace de Monaco is a continuation of the privileged relationship the brand has enjoyed with the Principality of Monaco in recent years. Consisting of fine jewelry pieces, timepieces and writing instruments, the Montblanc Collection is true to Princess Grace’s enduring style and sophistication. Feminine and elegant, the pieces from this collection are some of the most exquisite ever crafted in Montblanc’s Ateliers, rich in details and inspired by this icon’s spirit and attention to style.

For the third year in a row, celebrated artist Alex Soldier, known for his mastery of precious miniatures, has created an objet d’art to symbolize the Princess Grace Awards. The Award symbolically combines the three art forms lauded by the Foundation: theater, dance, and film by using precious metals and Swarovski crystal accents. The sculpture is made for each recipient to wear as a pin, a special reminder of their Award for the world to see.


Past winners of the Awards who distinguish themselves in their artistic disciplines since receiving their initial Princess Grace Awards are eligible to win the coveted Princess Grace Statue Award. It includes a $25,000 unrestricted cash gift and a special Bronze Statue of Princess Grace created by Dutch artist Kees Verkade. This year’s Statue Award winner is Jon M. Chu.

Jon M. Chu won his original Princess Grace Award, a Film Scholarship at University of Southern California, in 2001. He is the director of Step Up 2 The Streets (2008), and Step Up 3D (2010). Combined, these two films have grossed over 300 million dollars theatrically. In 2011, his third film, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, garnered rave reviews and claimed the title as the highest grossing concert-themed film of all time in the U.S. and the third highest grossing documentary of all time. Jon M. Chu is the creator, writer and director of The League of Extraordinary Dancers (The LXD), which is the number one original program for Hulu. He is currently in production on the next film in the G.I. Joe franchise, to be released next summer.


Each year, the Foundation presents the Princess Grace Awards to artists who show excellence and promise in the areas of theater, dance, and film. Students are eligible for scholarships; emerging artists working in companies qualify for apprenticeships and fellowships. A playwriting fellowship is available for individual artists through a residency at New Dramatists in New York City, which includes the opportunity to have the winning play be licensed and published by Samuel French, Inc. In addition to these, the Foundation also gives honorable mention grants to applicants through Honoraria.

The 2011 Princess Grace Awards winners (listed below) represent 20 colleges, universities, and not-for-profit theater and dance companies throughout the United States. The Awards winners exemplify both classical and experimental artistic disciplines and, while still considered emerging talent, already show exceptional promise in their areas of expertise. The Foundation’s support assists their theater and dance studies, helps pay their artistic fees at non-profit theater and dance companies and helps support their thesis film projects. In addition to the Awards, the Princess Grace Foundation-USA extends general operating monies to companies hosting an Awards winner. This year’s Princess Grace Awards winners are:


Carlos Alexis Cruz

Theater Fellowship, Grace Le Vine Award

Miracle Theatre Group

Miriam Hyman

Theater Scholarship, George C. Wolfe Award

Yale School of Drama

Matthew Jones

Theater Apprenticeship, Robert & Gloria Hausman Award

Alternative Theater Ensemble

Hana Sooyeon Kim

Theater Scholarship, Fabergé Award

University of California, Los Angeles

Sarah Rasmussen

Theater Apprenticeship, Pierre Cardin Award

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Sadieh Rifai

Theater Fellowship, Gant Gaither Award

American Theater Company

Johnna Adams

Playwriting Fellowship

New Dramatists, Inc.


Alisa Alba

Dance Fellowship

The National Institute of Flamenco

Joseph Gorak

Dance Fellowship

American Ballet Theatre

Margaret Mullin

Dance Fellowship

Pacific Northwest Ballet

Jeffrey Van Sciver

Dance Scholarship, Chris Hellman Award

Dominican University/LINES Ballet

Casia Vengoechea

Dance Scholarship

The Julliard School-Dance Division

Frederick (Pete) Walker

Dance Fellowship

North Carolina Dance Theatre

Zoe Scofield

Choreography Fellowship

DiverseWorks ArtSpace

Olivier Wevers

Choreography Fellowship

Spectrum Dance Theater


Valerie Bischoff

Film Graduate Scholarship

Columbia University

Emily Hyde

Film Undergraduate Scholarship

Pacific Northwest College of Art

Gina Napolitan-Witz

Film Graduate Scholarship

California Institute of the Arts

Raul Paz Pastrana

Film Graduate Scholarship, Cary Grant Award

School of Visual Arts

Temra Pavlovic

Film Undergraduate Scholarship, John H. Johnson Award

California Institute of the Arts

Iva Radivojevic

Film Undergraduate Scholarship

CUNY Hunter College


R. Davis McCallum

Theater Honorarium

The Public Theater

Jacqueline Burnett

Dance Honorarium

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Nigel Campbell

Dance Honorarium

Luna Negra Dance Theater

Chanel DaSilva

Dance Honorarium

Trey McIntyre Project

Shreyasi Das

Film Honorarium

Rochester Institute of Technology

Nick Twemlow

Film Honorarium

University of Iowa


Special Project Awards and Works in Progress Residencies at the Baryshnikov Arts Center are grants available to past Princess Grace Awards winners and Honoraria recipients for uniquely significant projects that advance their artistic development. This year’s Special Project Awards and Works in Progress Residencies are:


Rose Bond

Regina Garcia

Alex Ketley

Rashaun Mitchell

Jimmy Orrante

Alice Reagan

Amie Siegel

Karolina Sobecka


Charlotte Brathwaite

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

David Neumann


The Princess Grace Foundation-USA is a not-for-profit, publicly-supported foundation, headquartered in New York City and founded more than 25 years ago by Prince Rainier III of Monaco in honor of his wife, Princess Grace [Kelly]. The Foundation's mission, that mirrors Princess Grace's in Her lifetime, is to support emerging artists in theater, dance and film through the awarding of scholarships, apprenticeships and fellowships. Since the Foundation’s inception, more than 700 Awards have been given to recipients, totaling more than $8.5 million. Some notable Princess Grace Awards recipients in Theater include: 2008 Tony® Award winner for Best Direction of a Play, Anna D. Shapiro; Pulitzer and Tony® Award winning playwright Tony Kushner; and Academy Award® winner Eric Simonson. Film recipients include: Stephen Hillenburg, creator of SpongeBob SquarePants; Greg Mottola, director of Paul, Adventureland and Superbad; and Cary Joji Fukunaga, writer and director of Sin Nombre and Jane Eyre. Dance/Choreography Awards recipients include: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Robert Battle; American Ballet Theatre’s Gillian Murphy, Ethan Stiefel and Sarah Lane; as well as choreographers Andrea Miller and Dominic Walsh.

For more information, please visit www.pgfusa.org.

For Gala ticket information contact Tamara Leuchtenburg at Event Associates at 212.245.6570, x15, Tamaral@eventassociatesinc.com.

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I believe that since approximately 1985, New York City Ballet has been awarded a scholarship by the Princess Grace Foundation every year. I wonder if it is in a different category. Each year one of the newer dancers has an asterisk by his or her name, indicating that they are the recipient of a Princess Grace Award. Hmmm.

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From the press release:

Dance/Choreography Awards recipients include: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Robert Battle; American Ballet Theatre's Gillian Murphy, Ethan Stiefel and Sarah Lane; as well as choreographers Andrea Miller and Dominic Walsh.

The recognition must be helpful on some level, like most high-profile arts prizes. It certainly can't hurt. :flowers:

The top award is an unrestricted cash gift of $25,000 Does anyone know the breakdown of the monetary awards for the other recipients? According to the press release:

Since the Foundation’s inception, more than 700 Awards have been given to recipients, totaling more than $8.5 million
That averages to something over $12,000 per recipient. I imagine, however, that the different categories of award carry different cash levels.
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Violin Concerto, I believe you are thinking of the Janice Levin Award for promising corps members. The asterisk is next to the current honoree's name. This started in 2000. See www.nycballet.com/news/press/pr112800b.html

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According to the Princess Grace Foundation-USA website, in order to be considered for dance, a dancer or choreographer must be nominated by the Artistic Director of a non-profit (with 501-c-3 charitable status) company:


If NYCB people are getting Princess Grace Awards, it's because NYCB has actively nominated its members. According to this "Dance Magazine" article on Fellowship winner Margaret Mullin,

Watching Mullin set a piece on some poised Professional Division students, one can see how already she is passing down some of what she appreciates so deeply from teachers like Boal and PNB’s Elaine Bauer (who coached her on her Princess Grace Award submission).

It's not just a nomination, but also an application. I wonder if, for dance, it's like the Emmy process, where a selection tape is produced and reviewed.

According to the website FAQ,

What is your review process?

Eligible applications are reviewed by specialists in relevant fields. Panels comprised of professional experts and practicing artists review application materials and make their determinations at panel meetings. Final notification is usually made in July of each year (with the exception of playwriting which is notified in September.)

I don't know if Russell and Stowell ever nominated anyone, but with the tradition that NYCB has, it's not surprising that Boal has continued it at PNB. There's financial incentive to make nominations.

The FAQ is interesting reading: the average grant is $5-$25 and "grant requests should be based up actual figures for annual salary (or artistic fee), tuition, or thesis project costs, whichever is applicable, and require substantiation (letter of verification from nominator)." Another answer states that the money is given to the school or company, which suggests that for salaries, the winner doesn't necessarily receive any additional money, but that the grant is really a salary subsidy.

For dance scholarships, the money goes to the school, and the school can take any or all of the grant to offset any scholarship the school is granting to the student. Only dance choreography grants are a set amount of $10K, with $8 having to go to the choreographer, and up to $2K used for production costs.

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Very interesting, Helene. Thank you. It sounds like the system is organization-based rather than individual-based, though the individual is of course the one being evaluated.

Another answer states that the money is given to the school or company, which suggests that for salaries, the winner doesn't necessarily receive any additional money, but that the grant is really a salary subsidy.
This is not what I would have expected, nor is it -- I suspect -- what most people assume about the award. Maybe that's why they avoid using the term "Prize."
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They don't event call the Statue Award a prize, even though the recipient gets the money directly. Statue Awards are given to former award recipients, and both Gillian Murphy and Ethan Stiefel received them.

Looking through the website, I found these dance recipients from NYCB/SAB:

1984: Runsheng Ying

1985: Carlo Merlo, Margaret Tracy (SAB)

1988: Santhe Tsetsilas, Elizabeth Walker (SAB)

1990: Pauline Golbin (listed as NYCB on the 1990 page, but Miami City Ballet on the dance page)

1991: Ethan Stiefel

1992: Jennie Somogyi (SAB)

1995: Miranda Weese

1997: Alexandra Ansanelli

2001: Jared Angle

2004: Tyler Peck (SAB)

ABT winners have been:

1986: Amanda McKerrow,

1987: Amanda McKerrow (Statue Award)

1990: Robert Conn

1998: Gillian Murphy, also Statue Award 2009

1999: Michelle Wiles, Ethan Stiefel (Statue Award)

2002: David Hallberg

2007: Sarah Lane

2009: Isabella Boylston

2011: Joseph Gorak

Judging from the number of recipients from the companies, the usual suspects -- Pennsylvania Ballet, Houston Ballet, Washington Ballet, Miami City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theater, Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet -- have a history of nominating their dancers and winning.

According to the FAQ winners, "Princess Grace Awards Winners may apply for Special Projects grants and the Works in Progress Residency. You may not apply for scholarships, apprenticeships or fellowships," which, if I'm reading this correctly, means scholarship winners from SAB could not get fellowship awards as members of NYCB (or other companies).

I had forgotten that Li Cunxin won one (1986). I also never realized that Amber Merkens, a fantastic dancer with Mark Morris, was in the Limon Company when she won hers. Carlos Acosta won in 1995 as a member of Houston Ballet.

There's no direct link. To view, click "Award Winners" from the left menu of the http://www.pgfusa.org/. The default is by year, but there are options to sort alphabetically by name or discipline.

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