A Celebration of Art and Dance, Commemorating the 15th Year of the Prize and 20th Anniversary Season of the Hermitage Live Events April 14-16
This year’s weekend of events includes the first public presentation of the Hermitage Greenfield Prize commission from acclaimed playwright and 2021 winner Aleshea Harris, a visual art conversation with 2023 HGP winner Sandy Rodriguez, joined by award-winning visual artist Anne Patterson and Christine Kuan (President of Creative Capital), plus a panel discussion with Lorenzo ‘Rennie’ Harris, the first-ever HGP recipient honored in the field of dance, in conversation with Joseph V. Melillo (Executive Prouder Emeritus, BAM) and Charmaine Warren (Black Dance Stories). The weekend concludes with the popular Hermitage Greenfield Prize Dinner, a gala that will feature a musical selection from last year’s HGP winner, composer Angélica Negrón.
February 14, 2023 (Sarasota County, Florida) — The Hermitage Artist Retreat (Andy Sandberg, Artistic Director and CEO) in collaboration with the Greenfield Foundation, presents the 15th year of the Hermitage Greenfield Prize Weekend, April 14-16, 2023, culminating with the Hermitage Greenfield Prize Dinner on Sunday, April 16. This event – celebrating 2023 HGP winners Lorenzo ‘Rennie’ Harris (Dance & Choreography) and Sandy Rodriguez (Visual Art) – will also feature musical performances, including a selection from last year’s HGP recipient Angélica Negrón. Additional performers and guests will be announced at a later date. Tom and Sherry Koski serve as Co-Chairs for this year’s gala dinner, with Honorary Co-Chairs Steven High (Executive Director, The Ringling Museum of Art), Nate Jacobs (Founding Artistic Director, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe), Virginia Shearer (Executive Director, Sarasota Art Museum), and Iain Webb (Director, Sarasota Ballet). For information regarding tables and sponsorships, visit HermitageArtistRetreat.org, or contact Development Director Amy Wallace at Development@HermitageArtistRetreat.org or (941) 475-2098, Ext. 2.
This year’s weekend of events begins on Friday, April 14th at 5:30pm at the Asolo’s Cook Theater in the FSU Center for Performing Arts with “Aleshea Harris Presents,” featuring newly commissioned work from playwright, theater maker, and 2021 Hermitage Greenfield Prize winner Aleshea Harris. Her critically acclaimed plays include Is God Is, What to Send Up When It Goes Down, On Sugarland, and Brother, Brother. Described by The New York Times as “a rarefied theatrical intelligence,” Harris’ work seeks to honor the tragedies of the past and present while allowing for a potential hope to come.
Then, on Saturday, April 15th, the Hermitage presents two events on its Manasota Key campus honoring the distinguished recipients of this year’s prize. Both artists will receive six weeks of residency time as Hermitage Fellows to develop their projects, as well as a $30,000 prize to support the work. “Sandy Rodriguez: Putting Sarasota on the Map,” begins at 2pm in the Hermitage Palm House (indoors) and showcases the work of this year’s visual art recipient, Sandy Rodriguez. She will be joined by two jurors from this year’s selection process, renowned multidisciplinary artist and Hermitage alumna Anne Patterson and Creative Capital President Christine Kuan, Rodriguez will show examples of her work which often use topographical representations to merge societal issues past and present and discuss her process, including using hand-processed, locally sourced materials for pigments.
The celebration continues on the Hermitage Beach at 6pm with “Rennie Harris: Street Dance Pioneer,” a conversation with the first-ever Hermitage Greenfield Prize recipient in dance and choreography, Lorenzo ‘Rennie’ Harris, alongside jurors Joseph V. Melillo (Executive Director Emeritus, Brooklyn Academy of Music) and Charmaine Warren (founder of “Black Dance Stories”). Melillo has been a longtime friend of the Hermitage and was the first member of the Hermitage’s esteemed National Curatorial Council, and Warren is a celebrated dance writer and historian. Rennie Harris has dedicated his life and his company, Rennie Harris Puremovement, to preserving and celebrating hip-hop culture through workshops, demonstrations, and public performances and has revolutionized the relationship of this quintessentially American art form’s relationship to the broader dance community in the process.
“One of the most thrilling aspects of the Hermitage Greenfield Prize is bringing three cycles of winners to Sarasota in one exciting weekend of events and programming,” said Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg. “Considering we awarded two prizes this year to celebrate a milestone season, this means we have four unique disciplines of HGP recipients represented at once with the brilliant talents of Aleshea Harris in theater, Angélica Negrón in music, Sandy Rodriguez in visual art, and Rennie Harris in dance.”
Full program details and artist bios below. With the exception of the Hermitage Greenfield Dinner on April 16th, the events on April 14th and 15th – like all Hermitage community programs – are free and open to the members of the public (with a $5/person registration fee). Registration is required for all events at HermitageArtistRetreat.org.
The Hermitage Greenfield Prize – now celebrating its 15th year and rotating annually between music, theater, and visual art — includes a six-week Hermitage residency and a $30,000 commission to create and develop a new work, which culminates with a public presentation in Sarasota. The Hermitage Greenfield Prize Weekend is presented in partnership with the Greenfield Foundation, with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County serving as Lead Community Sponsor.
For more information, to register for one of the weekend programs, or to learn more about the Hermitage Greenfield Prize Dinner, visit HermitageArtistRetreat.org.
The Hermitage Greenfield Prize Weekend – Schedule of Events:
- “Aleshea Harris Presents” with Playwright & 2021 Hermitage Greenfield Prize Winner Aleshea Harris, Friday, April 14, 5:30pm: Winner of the 2021 Hermitage Greenfield Prize, genre-defying playwright and theater maker Aleshea Harris has also been honored with the OBIE, Relentless, and Helen Merrill Awards, as well as a special commendation from the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Her critically acclaimed works include Is God Is, What to Send Up When It Goes Down, On Sugarland, and Brother, Brother. Described by The New York Times as “a rarefied theatrical intelligence,” Harris’ work seeks to honor the tragedies of the past and present while allowing for a potential hope to come. Join the Hermitage on Friday, April 14th at 5:30pm to hear a presentation of this incredible theater-maker’s Hermitage Greenfield Prize commission. Presented in partnership with the Greenfield Foundation, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, and Asolo/FSU Conservatory. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org ($5/person registration fee). The Cook Theater (FSU Asolo Center for Performing Arts), 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida 34243.
- “Sandy Rodriguez: Putting Sarasota on the Map,” with 2023 Hermitage Greenfield Prize winner in Visual Art Sandy Rodriguez Saturday, April 15, 2pm: 2023 Hermitage Greenfield Prize Winner in Visual Art Sandy Rodriguez plans to use her commission to create a panoramic exhibition, the centerpiece of which will be a new large-scale map that depicts the southeastern topography and coastline of the U.S. marked by stories of resistance from the colonial period to the present. In this engaging visual conversation, Rodriguez will show examples of her work that resonate thematically and discuss her process, which includes using hand-processed, locally sourced materials for pigments. Joined by Hermitage Alum and Greenfield Prize juror for this year Anne Patterson, as well as fellow juror and Creative Capital President and Executive Director Christine Kuan, celebrate the 15th year of the prize with a sneak peek into this incredible artist’s vision of the world and concept for this storied commission. Presented in partnership with the Greenfield Foundation and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org ($5/household registration fee). Hermitage Campus, Palm House (Indoors), 6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood, Florida 34223.
- “Rennie Harris: Street Dance Pioneer” with 2023 Hermitage Greenfield Prize Winner in Dance and Choreography Lorenzo ‘Rennie’ Harris, Saturday, April 15, 6pm: 2023 Hermitage Greenfield Prize Winner in Dance & Choreography Rennie Harris believes that hip-hop is the most important original expression of a new generation. He has dedicated his life and his company, Rennie Harris Puremovement, to preserving and celebrating hip-hop culture through workshops, demonstrations, and public performances. Joined in conversation by dance historian Charmaine Warren and Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Executive Producer Emeritus and longtime friend of the Hermitage Joseph V. Melillo, Harris shares insights into his remarkable career bringing street dance to stages all around the world, and how being the first ever recipient of the Hermitage Greenfield Prize in dance will shape his new work “Losing my Religion.” Be among the first to hear about how this piece shifts away from what was to what is and what can be. Presented in partnership with the Greenfield Foundation and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org ($5/person registration fee). The Hermitage Beach, 6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood, Florida 34223.
- 2023 Hermitage Greenfield Prize Dinner: A Celebration of Art and Dance, Sunday, April 16, 6pm: The 2023 Hermitage Greenfield Prize Dinner recognizes this year’s recipients, visual artist Sandy Rodriguez and dancer-choreographer Lorenzo ‘Rennie’ Harris. This 15th year of the Prize in the 20th Anniversary Season of the Hermitage will feature live performances, including a selection from 2022 HGP recipient Angélica Negrón, whose commission is anticipated for a first public performance in April of next year. Additional guest artists will be announced at a later date. Presented in partnership with the Greenfield Foundation and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. The Ringling Museum’s Ca’ d’Zan (5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota, FL 34243). For tables and sponsorships ($1,250 to $10,000), visit HermitageArtistRetreat.org, or call (941) 475-2098, Ext. 2.
About the Hermitage Artist Retreat:
Now celebrating its 20th Anniversary Season, the Hermitage is a non-profit 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 15 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.
About the Hermitage Greenfield Prize:
The Hermitage Greenfield Prize is a fifteen-year partnership between the Hermitage Artist Retreat and the Greenfield Foundation. Rotating between the fields of music, theater, and visual art, this prestigious national prize seeks to bring into the world works of art that will have a significant impact on the broad as well as our artistic culture. The Hermitage Greenfield Prize is awarded annually and includes a Hermitage Fellowship, as well as 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 (Sarasota County, Florida), provides valuable time and space in which to conceive and complete the work. Past winners include Angélica Negrón, Music (2022); Aleshea Harris, Theater (2021); Helga Davis, Music (2019); Martyna Majok, Theater (2018); David Burnett, Photography (2017); Coco Fusco, Visual Art (2016); Bobby Previte, Music (2015); Nilo Cruz, Theater (2014); Trenton Doyle Hancock, Visual Art (2013); Vijay Iyer, Music (2012); John Guare, Theater (2011); Sanford Biggers, Visual Art (2010); Craig Lucas, Theater (2009) and Eve Beglarian, Music (2009).
The Hermitage is supported by:
Hermitage programs are supported, in part, by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts; as well as the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.
NEW AND PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED HERMITAGE PROGRAMS:
Thursday, Feb 23, 5pm, “Jazz and Theatre: Keeping the Beat” with Hermitage Fellows Fay Victor (Jazz Vocalist) and Stacey Rose (Playwright), Presented at Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center
Presented in partnership with Manasota ASALH
Friday, Mar 2, 5:30pm, “Tell and Show: Art and Performance Expressing Identity” with Hermitage Fellows Tamara Anderson & Lesley Mok, Hermitage Beach, Manasota Key
Friday, Mar 10, 5:30pm, “Comedy and Community” with Hermitage Major Theater Award Winner Madeleine George, Hermitage Beach, Manasota Key
Thursday, Mar 16, 6:30pm, Hermitage Sunsets @ Selby Gardens “Making Musical Waves” with 2022 winner of the Hermitage Prize in Composition at the Aspen Music Festival and School Sofía Rocha, Selby Gardens (Downtown Campus)
Presented in partnership with the Venice Symphony, the Pops Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, and Scene Magazine
Friday, Apr 14, 5:30pm, “Aleshea Harris Presents” featuring the first public presentation of acclaimed playwright and 2021 Hermitage Major Theater Award Winner Aleshea Harris’ commission
Presented in partnership with the Greenfield Foundation, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, and Asolo Rep/FSU Conservatory
Saturday, Apr 15, 2pm, “Sandy Rodriguez: Putting Sarasota on the Map,” with 2023 Hermitage Greenfield Prize winner in Visual Art Sandy Rodriguez, joined by Anne Patterson and Christine Kuan
Presented in partnership with the Greenfield Foundation and Community Foundation of Sarasota County
Saturday, Apr 15, 6pm, “Rennie Harris: Street Dance Pioneer,” with 2023 Hermitage Greenfield Prize winner in Dance and Choreography Lorenzo ‘Rennie’ Harris, joined by Joseph V. Melillo and Charmaine Warren
Presented in partnership with the Greenfield Foundation and Community Foundation of Sarasota County
SPECIAL EVENTS AND BENEFITS:
Monday, Mar 20, 7:30pm, “Hermitage Turns 20: Andy Sandberg and Broadway Friends in Concert” at The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, A Benefit for the Hermitage Tickets now on sale at HermitageArtistRetreat.org ($25, $50, $75, and $250); All proceeds support the Hermitage’s ongoing hurricane repair efforts.
Sunday, Apr 16, 6pm, 2023 Hermitage Greenfield Prize Dinner: “15 Years of New Work,” honoring Visual Artist Sandy Rodriguez and Dancer/Choreographer Lorenzo ‘Rennie’ Harris. This is the Hermitage’s annual spring gala, and sponsorship packages range from $1,250 to $10,000.
Presented in partnership with the Greenfield Foundation and Community Foundation of Sarasota County
HGP WINNER BIOS (2021-2023):
Aleshea Harris (2021)
Aleshea Harris is the 2021 recipient of the Hermitage Greenfield Prize, awarded in the discipline of theater. Her play Is God Is (directed by Taibi Magar at Soho Rep) won the 2016 Relentless Award, an OBIE Award for playwriting in 2017, and the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award in 2019. It was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and made The Kilroys’ List of “the most recommended un and underproduced plays by trans and female authors of color” for 2017. What to Send Up When It Goes Down (directed by Whitney White, produced by The Movement Theatre Company), a play-pageant-ritual response to anti-Blackness, had its critically acclaimed New York City premiere in 2018, and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award, with additional productions in 2021 at BAM and Playwrights Horizons. Her play On Sugarland recently premiered at New York Theater Workshop (Lortel nomination for Best Play). Harris was awarded the Windham-Campbell Literary Prize and the Steinberg Playwriting Award in 2020. She has performed her own work at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; Orlando Fringe Festival; REDCAT, as part of La Fête du Livre at La Comèdie de Saint-Étienne; and Skirball Center in Los Angeles. In addition to being a Hermitage Fellow, she is a two-time MacDowell Fellow and has enjoyed residencies at Hedgebrook and Djerassi.
Angélica Negrón (2022)
Puerto Rican-born composer and multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón is the winner of the 2022 Hermitage Greenfield Prize. She writes music for accordions, robotic instruments, toys, and electronics as well as for chamber ensembles, orchestras, choir, and film. Her music has been described as “wistfully idiosyncratic and contemplative” (WQXR/Q2), while The New York Times noted her “capacity to surprise.” Negrón has been commissioned by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Kronos Quartet, loadbang, Prototype Festival, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Sō Percussion, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, and the New York Botanical Garden, among others. Negrón received an early education in piano and violin at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico where she later studied composition under the guidance of composer Alfonso Fuentes. She holds a master’s degree in music composition from New York University where she studied with Pedro da Silva and pursued doctoral studies at The Graduate Center (CUNY), where she studied composition with Tania León. Also active as an educator, Negrón is currently a teaching artist for New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers program. She has collaborated with artists like Sō Percussion, Lido Pimienta, Mathew Placek, Sasha Velour, Cecilia Aldarondo, Mariela Pabón, Adrienne Westwood, Tiffany Mills and has written music for films, theater and modern dance. She was recently an Artist-in-Residence at WNYC’s The Greene Space working on El Living Room, a 4-part offbeat variety show and playful multimedia exploration of sound and story, of personal history and belonging. Recent and upcoming premieres include works for the Seattle Symphony, LA Philharmonic, Louisville Orchestra and NY Philharmonic Project 19 initiative and multiple performances at Big Ears Festival 2022. | AngelicaNegron.com
Lorenzo ‘Rennie’ Harris (2023)
Lorenzo ‘Rennie’ Harris, winner of the 2023 Hermitage Greenfield Prize in Dance and Choreography, was born and raised in an African American community in North Philadelphia. In 1992, Harris founded Rennie Harris Puremovement, a street dance theater company dedicated to preserving and disseminating hip-hop culture through workshops, classes, hip-hop history lecture demonstrations, long-term residencies, mentoring programs, and public performances. Harris founded his company based on the belief that hip-hop is the most important original expression of a new generation. With its roots in the inner-city African American and Latino communities, hip-hop can be characterized as a contemporary indigenous form, one that expresses universal themes that extend beyond racial, religious, and economic boundaries, and one that can help bridge these divisions. Harris’ work encompasses the diverse and rich African American traditions of the past, while simultaneously presenting the voice of a new generation through its ever-evolving interpretations of dance. Harris is committed to providing audiences with a sincere view of the essence and spirit of hip-hop. Harris was voted one of the most influential people in the last one hundred years of Philadelphia history. Among his awards are honorary doctorates from Bates College and Columbia College. The London Times wrote of Mr. Harris that he is “the Basquiat of the U.S. contemporary dance scene.”
Sandy Rodriguez (2023)
Sandy Rodriguez (b. 1975, National City, CA) is the recipient of the 2023 Hermitage Greenfield Prize in Visual Art. She is a Los Angeles-based artist and researcher, and first-generation Chicana raised on the US-Mexico border. Her Codex Rodriguez-Mondragón is made up of a collection of maps and paintings about the intersections of history, social memory, contemporary politics, and cultural production. Rodriguez earned her BFA from California Institute of Arts. She has exhibited her works at the Denver Art Museum, The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Garden, The Amon Carter Museum of American Art and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Busan, South Korea. Her work is in the permanent collections of Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX, The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Garden. San Marino, CA and others. She was awarded the Caltech-Huntington Art+Research Residency, Creative Capital Award and Migrations initiative from Mellon Foundation Just Futures Initiative and Global Cornell. Rodriguez and her work have been featured in BBC News: In the Studio, Hyperallergic, LA Weekly, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Spectrum News/NY1, and on several radio programs and podcasts.