Lincoln Center Announces 2017 Emerging Artists

Theatre artists Michael R. Jackson, Grace McLean, and Ben West will be recognized in a ceremony next month.

NEW YORK CITY: Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has announced the second class of Emerging Artists. The 12 recipients were each nominated by one of Lincoln Center’s eleven resident organizations, and some will receive special awards with cash prizes. The artists recognized represent a variety of disciplines, including musicians, filmmakers, and Broadway performers. An awards presentation, hosted by Sigourney Weaver, will take place on March 1 in New York City.

Grace McLean

“Since its inception, Lincoln Center has been a venue for the greatest artists of our day, and to continue that legacy it’s crucial to invest in the artists of tomorrow,” said Peter L. Malkin, co-chair of the emeritus board at Lincoln Center, in a statement. “The Emerging Artist Awards provide both recognition and funding for the future essential voices of our community, to nurture their talents and support them as they chart their careers.”

The theatre recipients include playwright Michael R. Jackson, whose projects have been performed at Merkin Concert Hall, the Barrington Stage Company, Laurie Beechman Theatre, the Triad, Ars Nova, Joe’s Pub, the Metropolitan Room, the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, and at A Contemoray Theatre in Seattle. Jackson is also a 2017 recipient of the Jonathan Larson Grant. He holds a BFA in playwriting and a MFA in musical theatre writing from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Performer, writer, and teacher Grace McLean is the recipient of the Hunt Family Award and will receive a cash prize of $7,500. She is currently performing on  Broadway in Natasha, Pierre  & the Great Comet of 1812. Off-Broadway, she appeared in Sleep No More, Brooklynite, and Bed Bugs!!! Her band Grace McLean & Them Apples has performed as part of Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series and toured Pakistan with the U.S. State Department. Her pop opera has been developed at CAP21, SPACE on Ryder Farm, the Johnny Mercer Writer’s Colony at Goodspeed, the Orchard Project, and has been commissioned by LCT3.

Ben West, a director, performer, producer, and musical theatre historian, is the recipient of the Martin E. Segal Award; it comes with $7,500. He is currently working on Show Time! The First 100 Years of the American Musical and 45 Minutes from Coontown. His directing credits include Unsung Carolyn Leigh for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series, Gatsby: The Songs in Concert, and Make Mine Manhattan by Arnold B. Horwitt and Richard Lewine, among others. On Broadway, he was the assistant director and dramaturg for Old Acquaintance, assistant producer for August: Osage County and The Homecoming, and served as production assistant for Talk Radio.

The Emerging Artists Awards were established in 1986 to honor Martin E. Segal.

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