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The Hermitage Artist Retreat, along with the Greenfield Foundation, are pleased to announce a schedule of events during what has become the Greenfield Prize Weekend. FREE talks and panel discussions include time for the public to meet and interact with prizewinners, as well as internationally known arts leaders.

The weekend, beginning on Friday, March 30st and culminating on Sunday, April 1st, includes a talk by 2010 Greenfield Prize winner visual artist Sanford Biggers; a discussion of music and art with Brooklyn Academy of Music’s (BAM) Executive Producer Joe Melillo, Designer Anne Patterson and Robert Spano, conductor of the Atlanta Symphony and Artistic Director of the Aspen Music Festival and School; the award presentation dinner featuring the 2012 Greenfield Prize winner Vijay Iyer and keynote speaker Robert Spano. Biggers talk and the arts discussion are free; tickets to the dinner are $150.

“In only four short years, we have transformed our Greenfield Prize Celebration from a wonderful dinner where we present the prestigious Greenfield Prize,” explained Bruce E. Rodgers, Hermitage executive director, “to an entire weekend of interesting events, many of which are free to the public. Just as we share our artists who are in residence, we are now able to share amazing producers, creators and other arts leaders who come from near and far to participate in honoring the Greenfield Prize winner.”

The Greenfield Prize Weekend begins on Friday, March 30 when Sanford Biggers’ 2010 Greenfield Prize Commission is first available to be seen by the public. The work will be on display in the Ulla Searing wing at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, available to all museum visitors. At 3:30 pm, Sanford Biggers will present “Speaking of My Work,” in the Ringling College Auditorium. This talk is FREE and open to the public.

Sunday, April 1st offers another opportunity to hear renowned arts leaders share their experience and expertise. “A Creative Conversation: Music and Art—Blurring the Boundaries” will be an exchange among Joseph V. Melillo, executive producer of Brooklyn Academy of Music, Anne Patterson, Designer and Robert Spano, music director Atlanta Symphony and Aspen Music Festival and School. Linda Golding, former president and CEO of Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers, will moderate. This event takes place from 2:00 to 3:00 pm in Holley Hall at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. It is also FREE.

The final event of the weekend is the much-anticipated Greenfield Prize Award Dinner on Sunday evening. The 2012 winner is Vijay Iyer, a Grammy-nominated composer/pianist described by Pitchfork as "one of the most interesting and vital young pianists in jazz today," by The New Yorker as one of "today's most important pianists...extravagantly gifted...brilliantly eclectic," and by the Los Angeles Weekly as "a boundless and deeply important young star." He was voted the 2010 Musician of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association, and named one of the "50 Most Influential Global Indians" by GQ India. Iyer will play a short piece, as well as speak about his work and the opportunity the award gives to him. In addition, this year’s keynote speaker will be Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony and the Aspen Music Festival and School Robert Spano. Mr. Spano has been called one of the brightest and most imaginative conductors of his generation. The evening promises to be one to remember. Tickets are $150 for individuals and $250 for patrons. Reservations can be made online at

“The Greenfield Prize is one of the most important arts award in the country,” continued Rodgers, “and it happens here is Sarasota. Our list of winners includes some of the most exciting artists working today. The Hermitage Artist Retreat could not be more proud or excited about this endeavor. We look forward to an amazing weekend and we hope the community will take advantage of this incredible opportunity to meet and hear these extraordinary people.”

The Greenfield Prize was established in 2009 by longtime Sarasota residents Bob and Louise Greenfield through the Philadelphia-based Greenfield Foundation. The prize is a means by which a groundbreaking, enduring work of art will be created each year at the Hermitage Artist Retreat. The Prize consists of a $30,000 commission of an original work of art, a six-week residency at the Hermitage, and a partnership with a professional arts organization to develop the work and assistance in moving the work forward into the American arts world. A distinguished seven-person panel consisting of some of the most highly respected authorities in American art select each Greenfield Prize recipient. Three voting members on each jury are joined by a producing partner representative, Joni Greenfield of the Greenfield Foundation, Hermitage Greenfield Prize Director Patricia Caswell and Hermitage Executive Director Bruce Rodgers who facilitates. Since its inception, past prizewinners include playwrights Craig Lucas and John Guare, composer Eve Beglarian and visual artist Sanford Biggers.

For more information on the Greenfield Prize, visit the website at For more information on the Hermitage Artist Retreat, visit the website at or contact Executive Director Bruce E. Rodgers at 941-475-2098.

The following links might be helpful if you are looking for more information on our Greenfield Prize weekend artists:

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