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Herb Alpert Award in the Arts Announces 2022 Winners

Herb Alpert Award in the Arts Announces 2022 Winners

Celebrating 28 Years and Ten Awardees for 2022

The ten artists we celebrate this year are explorers, unafraid of the unknown.
-Herb Alpert

May 4, 2022 will mark the 28th annual celebration of the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts (HAAIA) and as in 2021, doubling of awardees, from five to ten risk-taking, mid-career artists – experimenters - who are challenging and transforming art, their respective disciplines, and society. Fifteen highly regarded leaders in the arts made up the panels reviewing the candidates and selecting two award recipients in each of five disciplines: dance, film/video, music, theatre and visual arts.

The 2022 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts winners

  • DANCE: Yanira Castro, nia love
  • FILM/VIDEO: Bani Khoshnoudi, Terence Nance
  • MUSIC: Tomeka Reid, Cory Smythe
  • THEATRE: Aleshea Harris, Virginia Grise
  • VISUAL ARTS: Guadalupe Maravilla, Martine Syms

The awards were founded and conceived by legendary musicianphilanthropist and artist Herb Alpert, and his Grammy-winning vocalist wife, Lani Hall. Now in its 28th year, the HAAIA has to date been awarded to 140 artists. Each awardee receives a $75,000 unrestricted prize and residency at CalArts (California Institute of the Arts) which administers the prize on behalf of the Herb Alpert Foundation.

Herb Alpert and Lani Hall created the Herb Alpert Foundation in 1985 and over thirty years and more than $200 million dollars later, Herb Alpert remains one of America’s most important and loyal advocates for the arts and arts education.

Among the 140 past HAAIA winners are noted artists: Carrie Mae Weems, Taylor Mac, Suzan-Lori Parks, Julia Wolfe, Michelle Dorrance, Tania Bruguera, Kerry James Marshall, Lisa Kron, Sharon Lockhart, Ralph Lemon, Arthur Jafa, Cai Guo-Qiang, Okwui Okpokwasili and Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah to name a few.

Rona Sebastian, President of the Herb Alpert Foundation describes what drives the Alperts tireless commitment to the arts. "Support to artists, whose voices are the heart and soul of our democracy, has always been important to Herb and Lani. It led them to start the Herb Alpert Award 28 years ago. And now, as art makers and performing artists return fully to their creative lives, the Herb Alpert Foundation is delighted to champion ten of them.”

Ravi Rajan, president of CalArts, which administers the award, adds, “The generosity of Herb and Lani is legendary, and their work supporting artists to take risks, through The Alpert Awards, has propelled artmaking in this country for decades, " said CalArts President Ravi Rajan. "The list of past honorees is testament to how the award gives artists the space and time to create work that transforms the world.” 

Irene Borger, Director of HAAIA since its inception, reflects on this year’s Award: “All ten artists, each with their singular voice, share a number of factors: they work across genres; they view audiences as participants; they provocatively connect the past to the present to imagine a new future.”

The following summaries highlight why the 2022 panelists chose these ten extraordinary artists:


  • The Dance Panel has selected choreographer, director, and educator nia love for her resilience, commitment and determination to make performances that tell urgent stories of human capacity, her innovative ways of moving, and an artistic practice that is looking back to imagine forward.
  • The Dance Panel has selected interdisciplinary artist and choreographer Yanira Castro for her abundant intelligence imbued with humanity, commitment to progressive values, fierce advocacy for others and redefining the function of what an audience member brings to a performance.


  • Roya Amirsoleymani - artistic director & curator of public engagement, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, OR
  • Thomas F. DeFrantz - performer, professor of theatre and performance studies, Northwestern University, Chicago
  • Olga Garay-English - international arts consultant, Los Angeles


  • The Film/Video Panel honors filmmaker and artist Bani Khoshnoudi for her distinctive ability to speak to the conditions of transience and exile, to consider complex ethical relationships, for her pursuit of the unspoken and under-represented, and her invigorating, empathetic, essential body of work.
  • The Film/Video Panel honors artist Terence Nance for his omnivorous curiosity, for his vision of cinema as portal, channel, cosmic material, divination tool, decolonizing work and experimental vernacular and for making radical insertions into the pop universe. 


  • Romi Crawford - art historian, professor of Visual and Critical Studies, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
  • Beatriz Santiago Muñoz - artist, Herb Alpert Award Winner, San Juan, PR
  • Deborah Stratman - filmmaker/artist, professor of Art, University of Illinois at Chicago, Herb Alpert Award Winner, Chicago


  • The Music Panel celebrates cellist, improvisor, composer and organizer Tomeka Reid for her tremendous drive, perspicacity, and broad expressive capabilities. As a composer, her rigorous, dazzling music spans many idioms; as a performer she expands what the cello can do. 
  • The Music Panel celebrates pianist, improviser, and composer Cory Smythe for his conceptual audacity, intellectual curiosity, fecundity of imagination, virtuosic performances, sonic innovations and diversity of expressive means, all of which extend ones notion of musicality.


  • George Lewis - composer, Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music, Composition & Historical Musicology - Columbia University, Herb Alpert Award winner, New York
  • Gustavo Matamoros - composer, interdisciplinary artist, founder, Subtropics Festival, Miami
  • Myra Melford - pianist, composer, improvisor, professor, UC Berkeley, Herb Alpert Award winner, Berkeley, CA


  • Interdisciplinary artist Virginia Grise was chosen by the Theatre Panel for her urgent and probing drama, fluid poetic forms, mammoth undertakings; for her generous, spirit-fueled practice, and, as a cause and creature of community, for converting craft to kinship, wish to mandate, and verse to plan of action. 
  • The Theatre Panel chose playwright Aleshea Harris for her furious and playful vision, intense intellectual rigor and experimentations with form, her celebrations of Black life in the midst of historic, systemic, and present-day Black death, and for constructing a theatre that challenges not just the art of playwriting, but the cultural conversation it confronts.


  • Erik Ehn - playwright, educator, Herb Alpert Award winner, Albuquerque, NM
  • Maria Manuela Goyanes - Artistic Director, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Washington, D.C.
  • Lloyd Suh - playwright, Herb Alpert Award winner, South Orange, NJ


  • Artist and healer Guadalupe Maravilla was named Visual Arts prizewinner for his captivating practice and its dynamic sense of ethics and purpose. Through his sculpture, performance, and sound baths, he has transformed his personal understanding of trauma into a path of healing and service. The generosity embodied in his work upsets hierarchical relationships between artist and viewer, and unlocks the potential of the imagination.
  • Artist and filmmaker Martine Syms was named Visual Arts prizewinner for the resolutely unforgiving ways in which her work – contending with central issues of our time - combines profound ethical questioning with challenging aesthetic codes as she exercises command over bold image-making, birthing the radical imagination of the imminent future. 


  • Cecilia Fajardo-Hill - independent curator, art historian, writer, Los Angeles
  • Eungie Joo - Curator of Contemporary Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
  • Claire Tancons - curator, writer, researcher, Paris, works in situ


About the Winners 

(Please click on the awardee name for additional information)

DANCE: Yanira Castronia love

FILM/VIDEO: Bani KhoshnoudiTerence Nance

MUSIC: Tomeka ReidCory Smythe

THEATRE: Aleshea HarrisVirginia Grise

VISUAL ARTS: Guadalupe MaravillaMartine Syms


The 28th HAAIA awards celebration will be held virtually on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at 2pm PST.


Short film on the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts

2022 Winner Headshots

Credit: Courtesy of the artist