Featuring: NYFA Hall of Fame Honoree Anna Deavere Smith

Featuring: NYFA Hall of Fame Honoree Anna Deavere Smith

On April 12, 2016 NYFA is honoring Anna Deavere Smith at the annual NYFA Hall of Fame Benefit

This year’s honorees are NYFA affiliated artists James Casebere (Fellow in Sculpture ’89, Photography ’85, ’94), Anna Deavere Smith (Fiscally Sponsored Artist ’16), Faith Ringgold (Fellow in Painting ’88), and Zhou Long (Fellow in Music Composition ’00).

Anna Deavere Smith, Current Fiscally Sponsored Artist
Smith is a playwright, actress, professor and activist. She received the National Humanities Medal, presented to her by President Obama in 2013 and was the 2015 Jefferson Lecturer for the National Endowment for the Humanities. Smith is a MacArthur Fellow and recipient of The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, two Tony nominations and two Obie awards. She was a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize for her play Fires in the Mirror. Smith has created over 15 one-person shows based on hundreds of interviews, most of which deal with social issues. Her current work-in-progress, the Anna Deavere Smith Pipeline Project, examines the school to prison pipeline. In popular culture you have seen her in Nurse Jackie, Black-ish, The West Wing, The American President, Rachel Getting Married, and Philadelphia. Books include Letters to a Young Artist and Talk to Me: Listening Between the Lines.


In January 2016 the Tony-Award winning actress and playwright sat down with author and producer Susan Fales-Hill for a conversation exploring the creative process and what happens when theater and activism intersect. The evening was hosted by WNYC at The Greene Space.

You can watch the full video On Theater and Activism: A Conversation with Anna Deavere Smith here:

Smith is credited with developing a new form of theatre. You can watch this signature style during her performance for TED of excerpts from On the Road: A Search for American Character. Click here to learn more about the latest iteration of her currently fiscally sponsored project, the Anna Deavere Smith Pipeline Project, which includes interviews about the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, MD.  

Find out more about the NYFA Hall of Fame Benefit and buy tickets by clicking here.

Images, from top: Anna Deavere Smith; Anna Deavere Smith Rehearsing the Pipeline Project, Photo credit: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post

Amy Aronoff
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