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2019 Harman/Eisner Artists in Residence

  • June 10th 2019

The Aspen Institute Arts Program is happy to announce that Rita Moreno and Edmund de Waal will serve as its 2019 Harman/Eisner Artists in Residence. The two iconic artists will appear at Aspen Institute events nationwide, beginning with the Aspen Ideas Festival.

During the 2019 Aspen Ideas Festival, Edmund de Waal will appear in conversation with New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik. Rita Moreno will speak with Michael D. Eisner, Institute Trustee and Chair of its Committee on the Arts and Culture.

“Rita Moreno and Edmund de Waal are two extraordinary global figures in their respective art disciplines and their creative and passionate work does so much to spark our imagination and inspire us to be active citizens," said Eisner. "I couldn’t be more excited to have them join us at the Aspen Institute this year.”

“Now more than ever, we need artists’ voices and to recognize their unique contribution not just to our cultural landscape, but also our shared humanity,” said Jane Harman, Director, President and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson Center, Aspen Institute Trustee and member of its Committee on the Arts and Culture. “Rita Moreno is a globally beloved actress, and throughout an unparalleled career spanning more than 70 years, has never been afraid to stand up and speak out for the issues closest to her heart. Edmund de Waal is a singular talent; whether reinvigorating historic spaces through ceramics, or bringing fresh vitality to the memoir, his thoughtfulness and passion is beautifully mirrored in his work.”  

“I am honored and thrilled to be joining the ranks of distinguished individuals who have been Harman/Eisner Artists in Residence at the Aspen Institute,” said Rita Moreno. “I look forward to participating and engaging with so many great thinkers at Aspen Ideas Festival. See you there!”

“I have long appreciated the work of the Aspen Institute and the talented individuals devoted to its mission,” Edmund de Waal said. “It is a huge honour to now - through the Harman/Eisner Artist in Residence program - be counted amongst them.”

Through the Harman/Eisner Residency, leading artists from a variety of disciplines introduce their ideas and perspectives into the Aspen Institute's ongoing "Great Conversation." Drawing upon the Institute's long-established convening power and association with ideas, values and leadership, the Arts Program features its Artists in Residence in discussions rooted in arts and culture and how we face our society’s most critical issues. Previous Harman-Eisner Artists in Residence have included Ava DuVernay, Frank Gehry, Renée Fleming, Alfre Woodard, Yo-Yo Ma, Julie Taymor, Robert Spano, Damian Woetzel, Tobias Wolff, Chuck Close, Anna Deavere Smith, and Jessye Norman.

“Our mission to elevate artists and their work dates back to the founding of the Aspen Institute,” said Dan Porterfield, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute. “Artistic expression is fundamental to a free, just, and equitable society and, thanks to the Harman/Eisner Artist in Residence program, we are fortunate to have Rita Moreno and Edmund de Waal sharing their talent and wisdom with the Institute. Both figures are multi-talented icons, and I look forward to exploring with them how art can address some of the great challenges of our time.”

About Rita Moreno

Rita Moreno has won all four of the most prestigious awards in show business: an Oscar, a Tony, two Emmys, and a Grammy. Her countless credits span more than six decades, beginning with her Broadway debut at age 13. Moreno has starred on Broadway and London's West End; appeared in more than 40 feature films, and countless television shows; and has performed in numerous regional theaters including her one woman show, Life Without Makeup at Berkeley Rep.

For three seasons, Moreno starred in the widely popular Latino remake of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom, One Day at a Time on Netflix. Recently, she signed on to be an executive producer on the Steven Spielberg remake of West Side Story, a film in which she is also co-starring. When she is not shooting a TV show or film, Rita lectures and/or performs as a guest artist with symphony orchestras across the country. 

Moreno received the Kennedy Center Honor for her lifetime contributions to American culture and was honored by her peers as the 50th recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. In 2015 she released her first ever all-Spanish language album, Una Vez Más, produced by Emilio Estefan. Moreno is also a New York Times bestselling author with her first book, Rita Moreno: A Memoir published by Celebra Books.

Moreno was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush, the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama and last month received the Peabody Career Achievement Award.   

About Edmund de Waal

Edmund de Waal is an internationally acclaimed artist and writer. He is best known for his large-scale installations of porcelain vessels often created in response to collections and archives or the history of a particular place. Both his written and artistic practice have broken new ground through their critical engagement with the history and potential of ceramics, as well as with architecture, music and poetry. His interventions and artworks, exploring themes from diaspora and memorial to anxiety and the color white, have been made for diverse historic spaces and museums worldwide, including the Schindler House, Los Angeles; the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; and the National Museums and Galleries of Wales, Cardiff. Beginning May 30, The Frick Collection will present a temporary installation, Elective Affinities: Edmund de Waal at The Frick Collection

De Waal is also renowned for his family memoir, The Hare with Amber Eyes, which has won many literary prizes, including the Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje Prize and the Costa Biography Award, and has been translated into over 30 languages. Other books include The White Road, The Pot Book, 20th Century Ceramics and a study on Bernard Leach for Tate.

He was made Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his services to art in 2011. In 2015 he was awarded the Windham-Campbell Prize for non-fiction by Yale University. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of the Arts London, Nottingham, Sheffield, York and Canterbury Christ Church universities and is an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge.

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