NYFA congratulates Spike Lee

NYFA congratulates Spike Lee

Back in 1985 Spike Lee was amongst the first artists to ever receive a NYFA Fellowship. Now, for the 30th anniversary of NYFA’s Fellowship program, we are more than excited to announce that Spike Lee has been awarded the Honorary Award at the Academy’s 2015 Governors Awards.

Two years after graduating from grad school at NYU Tisch with his successful thesis film, Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads, Spike Lee started working on his first feature film She’s Gotta Have It.

“While their file says that I used the no-strings attached money from NYFA to finish editing She’s Gotta Have It, it makes no mention of the recognition I felt at that crucial point in my career — recognition that I was a filmmaker, that I had something important to say. I can’t begin to describe how much that meant to me as a young artist.”

  • Spike Lee (Fellow in Film ‘85)

Spike Lee has always been an advocate of diversity and advised the audience of the 2015 Governors Awards to “better get smart” and create films representing all groups of the country’s population.

Congratulations Spike!

Are you an emerging artist and interested in becoming a 2016 Fellow? Applications are open now and more details can be found here.

We award fellowships in 15 different categories, which rotate in a three-year cycle. Other disciplines in 2016 are Architecture/Environmental Structures/ Design, Choreography, Music/Sound, Photography, and Playwriting/Screenwriting.

NYFA’s Artists’ Fellowships are administered with leadership support from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency.

– Charlotte Jansen

Image: The director Spike Lee, center, accepts an honorary Oscar with presenters Wesley Snipes, left, and Denzel Washington in Hollywood on Saturday. Credit: Monica Almeida/The New York Times

Amy Aronoff
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