Three School of the Arts Affiliates Win American Academy of Arts and Letters Awards

April 6, 2017

Two School of the Arts faculty members, Paul Beatty and Lynn Nottage, and an alumnus, Ayad Akhtar ’02, are among the recipients of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Awards, which were announced Thursday. Beatty, an associate professor in the Writing Program, and Akhtar, an alumnus of the Film Program, each received an Arts and Letters Award in Literature, while Nottage, an assistant professor in the Theater Program, received the Award of Merit Medal.
 
Candidates for the awards are proposed by the academy’s 250 members and winners are selected by a committee of writers. This year’s committee comprised academy chairman John Guare, Thomas McGuane, Anne Tyler, Rosanna Warren, and Joy Williams. The prizes given out this year total $265,000.
 
Beatty and Akhtar were two of eight recipients of the Arts and Letters Award in Literature, which is given for work in all genres and which carries a monetary prize of $10,000. Beatty recently became the first American writer to receive the Man Booker Prize, for his novel The Sellout. Akhtar won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Drama for his play Disgraced.
 
Nottage’s prize, the Award of Merit Medal, is given each year to one outstanding playwright and comes with a monetary prize of $25,000. Nottage’s past honors include a MacArthur “Genius Grant” fellowship and a Steinberg “Mimi” Distinguished Playwright Award.
 
This year’s winners will be featured in the 2017 Exhibition of Work by Newly Elected Members and Recipients of Honors and Awards, which will be held at the academy’s galleries on Audubon Terrace, in New York, from mid-May to mid-June. They’ll also be honored at the academy’s annual Ceremonial in New York in May.