Audra McDonald Receives MIT’s 2018 Eugene McDermott Award

The prize comes with $100,000.

Audra McDonald. (Photo by Autumn de-Wilde.)

CAMBRIDGE, MASS.: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has awarded the 2018 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts to Audra McDonald. Established in 1974, the award is presented annually to individuals who have achieved highly in their field. McDonald will also receive a $100,000 cash prize and a campus residency.

McDonald will be presented with the award on the same day. Recipients of the McDermott Award also have the chance to research at MIT with both faculty and students.

McDonald is a celebrated actress and singer who has received six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, and an Emmy Award. In 2015 she was awarded the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama and was also named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people. Appearing both on Broadway and London’s West End, her Tony-winning performances include Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, The Gershwins’ Porgy and BessRagtime, and A Raisin in the Sun. This coming spring, McDonald joins the cast of The Good Fight on CBS All Access and embarks on a North American concert tour.

“My greatest hope is that art helps us as a society to find common ground, to create dialogue, and to understand each other in new and meaningful ways,” said McDonald in a statement. “I am therefore so humbled and honored to receive the McDermott Award in the Arts and look forward to exploring these topics during my residency at MIT, an institution that embodies innovation, creativity, and, above all, humanity.”

The Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT hopes that the award will inspire recipients to pursue future creative work. Previous recipients of the award include David Adjaye, Olafur Eliasson, Robert Lepage, Gustavo Dudamel, Bill Viola, Suzan-Lori Parks and Santiago Calatrava, among others.

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