WASHINGTON, May 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE), the leading non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the United States image abroad through American art, announced today that it will honor Agnes Gund with the organization's third annual Leonore and Walter Annenberg Award for Diplomacy through the Arts. Artist Ellsworth Kelly designed the official award, which FAPE Chairman, Jo Carole Lauder, will present to Ms. Gund on Thursday, May 19, 2011, at a dinner hosted by the Trustees of the National Gallery of Art in honor of FAPE and its 25th Anniversary.
The Annenberg Award was established in 2008 to honor FAPE's founder, Leonore Annenberg, and her husband, Walter. It recognizes American individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to the arts. Honorees must exhibit long-term excellence and innovation in the exchange of creativity and ideas that represent the rich and diverse culture of the United States.
"For a quarter century now, FAPE has brought focus on the arts as a 'diplomatic language' that spans all cultures and countries. I am honored to be receiving the Annenberg Award. Both Leonore and Walter were such wonderful visionaries and significant emissaries for our nation and for the arts," said Ms. Gund.
For more than 30 years, Ms. Gund has committed a lifetime to the exploration, support and advocacy of international art and artists. As President Emerita of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and Chairman of MoMA's International Council, Ms. Gund has built and sustained relationships between the Museum and a diverse network of modern and contemporary art communities across the globe. Additionally, Ms. Gund actively promotes cross-cultural dialogue through collecting and lending her art collection, including works from artists in China, Iceland, Japan, Latin America, West Africa, among others. She has loaned her art to over 300 international exhibitions and institutions, including several U.S. embassies.
Ms. Gund was selected not only for her longstanding patronage of the arts, but also for her unyielding dedication to providing arts education programming for children. As both Founder and Trustee of Studio in a School, Ms. Gund has worked to provide arts education to over 600,000 children, primarily from low income neighborhoods in New York City, giving them the opportunity to learn directly from professional working artists from around the world.
"There are few people who have done more for the arts, whether in the U.S. or internationally, than Agnes Gund. A dedicated advocate for arts education and for cultural diplomacy, Aggie's commitment to the arts inspires us all," said Jo Carole Lauder, FAPE Chairman. "We are honored to have her invaluable guidance to call upon as a member of FAPE's Board, and we are thrilled to present her with this year's Leonore and Walter Annenberg Award for Diplomacy through the Arts."
Ms. Gund was selected by the members of FAPE's Award jury, including Richard Parsons, Chairman, Citigroup; Earl A. Powell III, Director, National Gallery of Art; Sharon Rockefeller, President and CEO, WETA, Public Television & Radio; Anna Deavere Smith, Actress, Playwright; and John C. Whitehead, former United States Deputy Secretary of State. Past award winners include Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Stephen G. Breyer, and Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg.
In the spirit of the Annenberg Award's mission, the National Gallery of Art will host a symposium on "The Role of Art in Diplomacy" at 11:00 am on Friday, May 20. The panel will discuss FAPE's landmark project at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York. FAPE contributed the art collection for this important post, including three site-specific installations, and more than 200 works by more than 50 American artists. The discussion will be moderated by Harry Cooper, head of the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Gallery, and will include Robert Storr, Curator of the USUN Collection, Chairman of FAPE's Professional Fine Arts Committee and Dean of the Yale School of Art, as well as artists Odili Donald Odita, Joel Shapiro and Carrie Mae Weems.
Held in the East Building Large Auditorium, the program is coordinated with the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies, and the event is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit http://www.nga.gov/programs/lectures/.
About The Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies
The Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE) is the leading non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the United States image abroad through American art. Founded as a public-private, non-partisan partnership in 1986, FAPE works with the U.S. Department of State to contribute fine art to U.S. embassies around the world. FAPE's donations include works by more than 200 preeminent American artists placed in more than 140 countries. Headquartered in Washington D.C., FAPE has raised over $60 million in art and monetary contributions to date. For more information, please visit www.fapeglobal.org.
For The Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies:
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Note to the Press: News media planning to cover the panel discussion should contact Larissa Trociuk in the Office of Press and Public Information at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, (202) 842-6358,
SOURCE The Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies