NEW YORK — Anna Deavere Smith has won one of the largest and most prestigious awards in the arts.
The committee that awards the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize announced Friday that the actress and playwright known for pioneering a form of theatrical journalism is this year’s winner.
“Anna opens our eyes, ears and minds to some of the most challenging aspects of our lives, and in so doing helps give others the courage to do the same,” said Darren Walker, of the Ford Foundation, who was on the selection committee.
The Gish Prize, now in its 19th year, recognizes leading artists in such fields as drama, music and dance, as well as literature. Smith joins past winners including Bob Dylan, Arthur Miller, Chinua Achebe and Robert Redford. The prize, from silent film stars Dorothy and Lillian Gish, comes with $300,000.