Gustavo Dudamel 2018 Recipient

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From the United Nations to humble town squares to the great concert halls of the world, Gustavo Dudamel is driven by the belief that access to the arts is an essential catalyst for learning, integration and social change. Whether at home with his Los Angeles Philharmonic or touring to orchestras of the Americas, Europe or Asia, Dudamel continues to encourage projects that demonstrate the extraordinary capacity of art to transform the lives of children worldwide.

This commitment is fueled by his own transformative experience in Venezuela’s El Sistema, a program initiated in 1975 by José Antonio Abreu with the goal of promoting social development through music education. Over forty years later, programs modeled on Maestro Abreu’s vision are active in over 100 countries, providing millions of young people around the world with free access to quality, intensive music education.

Inspired by these examples, Dudamel has made it his central mission to expand access to art for young people while providing opportunities for individual empowerment and social integration. Working with international musical, educational and philanthropic partners through the projects of the Gustavo Dudamel Foundation, he continues to expand the reach and relevance of music and the arts as forces for positive societal transformation – for today and for future generations.

For these efforts, Maestro Gustavo Dudamel has been recognized with honors and awards including: 2018 Art of Change Fellow of the Ford Foundation; Pablo Neruda Order of Artistic & Cultural Merit; Americas Society Cultural Achievement Award; 2014 Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society; Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts; Glenn Gould Prize; French Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres; Spain’s Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts (along with his mentor José Antonio Abreu); and the “Q Prize”  from Harvard University for extraordinary service to children.

For further information on the activities of the Gustavo Dudamel Foundation, please visit

For more details on Dudamel’s professional engagements, please visit

photo: Vern Evans

Selection Committee

Richard Armstrong (Chair) – Richard Armstrong has served as director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation since November 2008. As head of the Guggenheim’s executive staff, he focuses on the pivotal role of the New York museum and its collection while also providing leadership and management for the other institutions in the global Guggenheim network and for the foundation’s international programs. Prior to his appointment at the Guggenheim, Armstrong served at Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, as curator of contemporary art, chief curator, and Henry J. Heinz II Director. From 1981 to 1992, Armstrong was a curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where he organized four Whitney Biennials, as well as important exhibitions on subjects such as the work of Richard Artschwager and The New Sculpture 1965–75. In 1980, he served on the Artists Committee to organize the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. He began his curatorial career at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art in California. Armstrong serves in an advisory capacity on a number of foundation boards, including the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, Kiev, Ukraine; the Artistic Council, Fondation Beyeler, Basel; the Al Held Foundation, New York; the Judd Foundation; and as Director, Fine Family Foundation, Pittsburgh. Armstrong is also a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors. A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Armstrong graduated from Lake Forest College with a BA in art history and studied at the Université de Dijon and the Université de Paris, Sorbonne.

Oskar Eustis – Oskar Eustis has served as the Artistic Director of The Public Theater since 2005.  He came to The Public from Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, RI where he served as Artistic Director from 1994 to 2005.  Eustis served as Associate Artistic Director at Los Angeles’ Mark Taper Forum from 1989 to 1994, and prior to that he was with the Eureka Theatre Company in San Francisco, serving as Resident Director and Dramaturg from 1981 to 1986 and Artistic Director from 1986 to1994.  Eustis is currently a Professor of Dramatic Writing and Arts and Public Policy at New York University, and has held professorships at UCLA, Middlebury College, and Brown University, where he founded and chaired the Trinity Rep/Brown University Consortium for professional theater training.  Throughout his career, Eustis has been dedicated to the development of new plays as a director, dramaturg, and producer.  At The Public, Eustis directed the New York premieres of Rinne Groff’s Compulsion and The Ruby Sunrise, and Larry Wright’s The Human Scale.  At Trinity Rep, he directed the world premiere of Paula Vogel’s The Long Christmas Ride Home and Tony Kushner’s Homebody/Kabul, both recipients of the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Production.  While at the Eureka Theatre, he commissioned Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, and directed its world premiere at the Mark Taper Forum.  Eustis has also directed the world premieres of plays by Philip Kan Gotanda, David Henry Hwang, Emily Mann, Suzan-Lori Parks, Ellen McLaughlin, and Eduardo Machado, among many others.

Amy Hobby – Academy Award-Nominated and Emmy Award-Winning producer Amy Hobby co-founded Tangerine Entertainment in 2013. Tangerine is the first production company to produce and cultivate audiences solely for content created and directed by women.  In addition to the content production, Hobby oversees The Tangerine Juice Fund which awards and mentors 1st and 2nd time female directors through festival partnerships across the U.S. An active member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Ms. Hobby has been producing award-winning scripted and documentary films for the past 20 years. 13 of her films premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, with additional films at Berlin, Cannes, Karlovy Vary, Toronto and Telluride. She has worked with Tim Burton, David Lynch, Steven Soderbergh, and her films have starred Ethan Hawke, Bill Murray, Sam Shepard, Toni Collette, Maggie Gyllenhall, Liev Shreiber and Casey Affleck (to name a few).  Accomplishments include Academy, Grammy and Independent Spirit Award nominations and Peabody and Emmy Awards. Ms. Hobby is currently the Executive Director of the Tribeca Film Institute, a year round non profit supporting racial and gender equity in the film space.   She works closely with Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal who founded TFI after 9/11.

Zeyba Rahman – Zeyba Rahman joined the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, an extension of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, in 2013 as senior program officer for the Building Bridges Program. Rahman manages the Building Bridges Program’s national grant making to support projects that advance relationships, increase understanding and reduce bias between Muslim and non-Muslim communities.  Before joining the foundation, Rahman led internationally and nationally recognized projects as a creative director/producer to promote understanding between diverse communities. The roles she has performed  include: director, Asia and North America, Fes Festival of World Sacred Music in Morocco; artistic director, Arts Midwest’s Caravanserai: A Place Where Cultures Meet; curator, BAM’s Mic Check Hip Hop; creative consultant, Public Programs, Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Later South Asia Galleries; chief curator, Alliance Francaise’s World Nomads Morocco Festival; project director, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation/National Endowment for the Arts’ Global Cultural Connections; and senior advisor, Muslim Voices Festival.  She is the advisor to Artworks for Freedom, on the nominating committee of the Civitella Foundation in Italy and an advisor to PBS’s “Sacred,” a documentary series. Twice honored by New York City’s government, Rahman is the subject of two television profiles as a global arts leader.

Linda Shelton – Presently the Executive Director and a Trustee of The Joyce Theater Foundation, Inc. Prior to her current position, she served as General Manager of The Joffrey Ballet. A Dance/USA Board member for over ten years, Ms. Shelton served as Chair from 2000-2002 and was also Chair of their 1996 National Roundtable.  In 1999, Ms. Shelton was appointed Chevalier of France’s Order of Arts and Letters for her contribution to furthering the arts. In 2004, she received the Documents of Dance Award from the Dance Library of Israel honoring her contributions to the New York dance community. Ms. Shelton has taught at Marymount Manhattan College and in the graduate program of arts administration at New York University. She has also served on panels for the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project.