By: Jamie Rager | Published:  

Newswise — Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, a Lawton Distinguished Professor at Florida State University and the founder of New York-based dance company Urban Bush Women, has been awarded the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize — one of the most prestigious awards in the American arts.

Zollar will receive a cash award of approximately $250,000 for her groundbreaking work as a dancer and choreographer and her contributions to social change.

Established in 1994, the Gish Prize is given annually to an individual who has “made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life.” Past winners of the Gish Prize include Spike Lee, Bob Dylan and Ava DuVernay.

“Professor Zollar has made a profound impact on the world of dance,” said James Frazier, dean of the College of Fine Arts. “This most recent recognition in her incredible career is well-deserved, and we are thrilled for her.”

Zollar is also a 2021 MacArthur Fellow, a recipient of the Award of Merit for Achievement in the Performing Arts from the Association of Performing Arts Professionals and a winner of the NY Dance and Performance Award for Lifetime Achievement in Dance.

From the New York Times: “Jawole Willa Jo Zollar Wins Gish Prize”

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