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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Atlanta dance-maker Lauri Stallings is a finalist for Rome Prize

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Atlanta-based choreographer and gloATL founder Lauri Stallings has been nominated for the Rome Prize, one of the art world's most prestigious awards. Each year, the American Academy in Rome, Italy, awards the prize to thirty emerging artists and scholars in the early or middle stages of their careers. Each winner is provided with a stipend, meals, a bedroom, and a study or studio at the American Academy's headquarters in a villa on the Janiculum hill in Rome for six to eleven months. Stallings heard last week via an email from the President of the American Academy that she was being considered. “I thought it was a joke,” she says.

Atlanta artist Lauri Stallings
  • Atlanta artist Lauri Stallings
It's no joke, though Stallings' initial astonishment is understandable. According to the American Academy's website: “Each year, artists and scholars working in ancient, medieval, Renaissance and early modern; modern Italian studies; architecture, landscape architecture, design, historic preservation and conservation; literature; musical composition; and visual arts are chosen by juries of experts in those fields.” Dance is notably absent from the list: The prize has been awarded to some of the world's great artists, writers, and academics but has never been given in dance, which makes Stallings' nomination and consideration a special honor.

Stallings will interview in New York this fall with the jury, and the Academy's Board of Trustees announces the winners in late April. The list of past winners of the award includes such illustrious names as Frank Stella, Louis Kahn, William Styron, Richard Wilbur, Chuck Close, Joseph Brodsky, Michael Graves, Alfred Kazin, Richard Meier, Nadine Gordimer, Mary McCarthy, Robert Venturi, Archibald Macleish, Aaron Copeland, Samuel Barber and many others.

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