Each year, the organization’s esteemed Curatorial Council selects artists of extraordinary ability across multiple disciplines for Hermitage Fellowships. The Hermitage Curatorial Council is comprised of visionary leaders from some of the most renowned cultural institutions in the world.
(August 10, 2021) The Hermitage Artist Retreat recently announced its 2021-2022 Curatorial Council, comprised of distinguished national arts leaders spanning the fields of theater, visual art, music, literature, and arts education. The newest additions to the Council include Oregon Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Nataki Garrett, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Mitchell Jackson, and celebrated WQXR radio host Terrance McKnight. (See capsule bios below.)
The full National Curatorial Council for the 2021-2022 season, comprised of 14 accomplished and diverse nominating members from across the country, includes:
- ● Eric Booth (arts education), international arts learning consultant with Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, LA Philharmonic, Juilliard, and more.
- Christopher Burney (theater and film), Artistic Director of New York Stage and Film
- Daniel Byers (visual art), Director of Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University
- ● Claire Chase (music) Flutist, Avery Fisher Prize winner, and MacArthur Fellow
- Jennifer Clement (literature), President, PEN International
- ● Kimberly Drew (visual art), Writer, activist, and curator of Black experiences
- Nataki Garrett* (theater), Artistic Director of Oregon Shakespeare Festival
- Mandy Greenfield (theater), Artistic Director of Williamstown Theater Festival
- Mitchell Jackson* (literature), Pulitzer Prize-winning author
- Terrance McKnight* (music) Host of WQXR Radio
- Christopher Merrill (international literature), Director of Creative Writing Program, University of Iowa
- Emily Nemens (literature), Writer and former editor of The Paris Review
- Valerie Cassel Oliver (visual art), Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
- Robert Spano (music), Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
(See more detailed descriptions of each artistic field below.)
*New to the Council as of 2021
“We are honored to welcome these visionary leaders to the Hermitage Curatorial Council,” says Andy Sandberg, Artistic Director and CEO of the Hermitage. “Nataki Garrett, Mitchell Jackson, and Terrance McKnight are forward-thinking creative minds with a finger on the pulse, each highly regarded for their unique contributions to their respective fields. The 14 members of this esteemed Curatorial Council share a collective passion for the development and creation of new work from bold and diverse voices, and we are incredibly fortunate to have them in the Hermitage family. With their breadth of experience, their vast networks, and their insightful ability to identify extraordinary talent, we know that the selection of our Fellows could not be in better hands.”
Members of the Curatorial Council are experts in their disciplines and connected to some of the world’s most renowned cultural institutions. Each year, the Council selects artists of extraordinary ability who are already making an impact in their field—artists who are eager to continue developing bold and impactful new works, and who may benefit creatively from a distinguished Hermitage Fellowship. *Since national and international Hermitage residencies are curated, there is no application; neither the Hermitage staff nor members of the Curatorial Council can accept applications or solicitations. However, Sarasota County artists and Florida public school teaching artists can find information on how to apply to select programs (JRT Fellowships and Hermitage STARs) through the Hermitage website.
The Hermitage hosts artists on its Gulf Coast Manasota Key campus for multi-week residencies, where diverse artists from around the world and across multiple disciplines create and develop new works of visual art, theater, music, literature, and more. As part of their residencies, Hermitage Fellows participate in free community programs, offering audiences throughout the Gulf Coast region a unique opportunity to engage with some of the world’s leading artists and to get an authentic “sneak peek” into extraordinary projects and artistic minds before their works go on to major galleries, concert halls, theaters, and museums around the world. These free and innovative programs include performances, lectures, interactive experiences, readings, open studios, school programs, teacher workshops, and more, serving thousands in our regional community each year. Past Hermitage Fellows have included thirteen Pulitzer Prize winners, MacArthur “Genius” Fellows, Poet Laureates, National Book Award recipients, and multiple Tony, Grammy, Oscar, and Emmy Award nominees and winners.
Nataki Garrett is the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s sixth artistic director. She previously served as a juror for the 2021 Hermitage Greenfield Prize. Garrett is currently leading the charge to mobilize theater organizations across the nation to procure long-term federal government support to ensure the theater industry’s reemergence post-pandemic. Garrett’s passion is fostering and developing new work, including those that adapt and devise new ways of performing the classics. She has directed and produced the world premieres of many well-known and important playwriting voices of our time, including Katori Hall, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Dominique Morriseau and Aziza Barnes.
Mitchell S. Jackson is the winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing and the 2021 National Magazine Award in Feature Writing. His debut novel, The Residue Years, received wide critical praise and won a Whiting Award and The Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence. A formerly incarcerated person, Jackson is also a social justice advocate who, as part of his outreach, visits prisons and youth facilities in the United States and abroad.
Terrance McKnight is the evening host on WQXR, an artistic advisor for the Harlem Chamber Players, and serves on the boards of the Bagby Foundation and the MacDowell Colony. He’s frequently sought out by major cultural organizations for his insight into the cultivation of diverse perspectives and voices in the cultural sphere. McKnight regularly curates concerts and talks at Merkin Concert Hall, Billie Holiday Theatre, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Museum of Modern Art.
For more information about the Hermitage and upcoming programs, visit HermitageArtistRetreat.org.
About the Hermitage Artist Retreat:
The Hermitage is a nonprofit artist retreat located in Manasota Key, Florida, inviting accomplished artists across multiple disciplines for residencies on its beachfront campus, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Hermitage artists are invited to interact with the local community, reaching thousands of Gulf Coast residents and visitors each year with unique and inspiring programs. Hermitage Fellows have included 13 Pulitzer Prize winners, Poets Laureate, MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellows, and multiple Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar winners and nominees. Works created at this beachside retreat by a diverse group of Hermitage alumni have gone on to renowned theaters, concert halls, and galleries throughout the world. Each year, the Hermitage awards the $30,000 Hermitage Greenfield Prize for a new work of art, the newly announced $35,000 Hermitage Major Theater Award for an original theater commission, and the Aspen Music Festival’s Hermitage Prize in Composition. For more information, visit HermitageArtistRetreat.org.
The Hermitage is supported by:
Hermitage programs are supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts; by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues; and by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida (Section 286.25 Florida Statutes), as well as the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.