School of Art, Media, and Technology

Three New School Professors Awarded 2020 Guggenheim Fellowships

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Bassist Reggie Workman, artist Angel Nevarez, and writer Sigrid Nunez are among an exclusive group of artists and scholars chosen based on prior achievement and exceptional promise

New York, April 14, 2020 — On Wednesday, April 9, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announced its list of 2020 Guggenheim Fellows. Among those honored with the prestigious fellowship are three professors at The New School: Reggie Workman, Associate Professor of Jazz in the College of Performing Arts’ School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, Angel Nevarez, a faculty member in the School of Art, Media, and Technology at Parsons School of Design, and Sigrid Nunez, a faculty member in the Creative Writing program in The New School’s Schools of Public Engagement.

Guggenheim Fellowships are awarded to individuals who have demonstrated an exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts. Workman was recognized for music composition, Nevarez for fine arts, and Nunez for fiction.

Workman, a “Sound Scientist” is a composer, educator extraordinaire, and a jazz advocate whose style ranges from Bop, Post Bop and beyond. He is recognized as one of the most technically gifted American avant-garde jazz and hard bop double bassists. He is a 2020 recipient for the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowship. Workman is best known for his work with John Coltrane, Art Blakey Jazz Messengers, Eric Dolphy, Lee Morgan, Booker Little, Yusef Lateef, Alice Coltrane, Freddy Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, Cecil Taylor, Mal Waldron, Abby Lincoln, Jeanne Lee, Marilyn Crispell, Max Roach, David Murray, Oliver Lake, Cecil Taylor, Black Swan String Quartet, Ernie Watts, Sonny Simmons, and many others. He leads Top Shelf, The Reggie Workman Ensemble, Groove Ship and Workman Workz. He is collaborating with Brooklyn Raga Masters, Trio Three, and records with trio Brew. In the 80’s he started composing for dance and theater. The latest was music for DOS WORLDS. His recordings “Summit Conference,” “Cerebral Caverns” and “Great Friends Project” are sure to become classics. The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and the African-American Historical and Cultural Museum of Philadelphia named him a Living Legend.

After 20 years of hiatus, Reggie and Maya Mileovic Workman started collaborating on DOS WORLDS, a film, and a book. They share the Guggenheim award for the project OPHELIA To be created in 2020/21. Maya Workman found a junction across impulse produced by jazz music and theater. In collaboration with Reggie Workman, she created Come and Go, HP Madame, Jus Al’ Mae, Mother Courage, Closed Door, Tristan and Isolda, First Day 47, Ogun’s Ardor, Footfalls, Abstractions, Streams, produced at Carnegie Recital Hall, Cathedral of Saint John The Divine, Washington Square Church, Cooper Union Great Hall, Gowanus Arts Exchange, Theaters in Slovenia, Serbia, UK, and Italy. She earned a BA in Liberal Arts and an MA in Media from The New School, and studied with Howard Gardner at Project Zero. She co-founded Montclair Academy & Laboratory of Dance, Drum, and Drama: www.madlom.org. Recent collaboration with live music original story DOS WORLDS, www.dosworlds.com, and children’s book Ms. G Clef’s Party.

“All of us at the School of Jazz & Contemporary Music and the College of Performing Arts are thrilled that Reggie has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship,” said Keller Coker, Dean of School of Jazz and Contemporary Music. “This, coupled with his recent installation as a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, recognizes that the incredible work he’s been bringing to the world for decades continues to this very day. The New School community sees his dedication to the art each day in his deep and caring engagement with his students and colleagues, and we couldn’t be happier as we now see these prestigious institutions bestow their honors upon him.”

Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere are interdisciplinary artists whose practice spans over eighteen years of projects that actuate music and sound, radio, dissent, and the cultural complexities of the public sphere. The artists have produced works in video installation, lyric writing, and performance. Their research interests lie in the intersection between music, civic action, and historical moments that resonate through distinct musical instrumentation and sonorous traditions. Nevarez and Tevere have exhibited and screened their work at Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim Museum, Creative Time, and New Museum in New York; Manifesta 8/Spain; Casino Luxembourg; Henie Onstad Art Centre, Høvikodden, Norway; Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria, and elsewhere. The first US survey of their work was exhibited at Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia in 2016. They have received awards from Creative Capital, Harpo Foundation, Art Matters, National Endowment for the Arts, and Franklin Furnace. Both were artists-in-residence at the International Artists Studio Program in Sweden, and recently at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, and Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana, California. Nevarez was a Studio Fellow of the Whitney Independent Study Program and currently teaches at Parsons School of Design, New York.

“The Fine Arts program is proud to count Angel Nevarez amongst our faculty,” said Rit Premnath, BFA Fine Arts Director at Parsons. “We are thrilled that his collaborative work with Valerie Tevere has received the recognition and support of the Guggenheim Foundation, allowing them to delve deeper into the role of music and sound in giving voice to those who need it most.”

Sigrid Nunez has published seven novels, including A Feather on the Breath of God, The Last of Her Kind, Salvation City, and, most recently, The Friend. She is also the author of Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag. The Friend, a New York Times bestseller, won the 2018 National Book Award and was a finalist for the 2019 Simpson/Joyce Carol Oates Prize. In France, it was longlisted for the 2019 Prix Femina and named a finalist for the 2019 Prix du Meilleure Livre. It has also been longlisted for the 2020 International Dublin Literary Award. Nunez’s other honors and awards include a Whiting Writer’s Award, a Berlin Prize Fellowship, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award, the Rome Prize in Literature, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Among the journals to which she has contributed are The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Paris Review, Threepenny Review, Harper’s, McSweeney’s, Tin House, The Believer and newyorker.com. Her work has also appeared in several anthologies, including four Pushcart Prize volumes and four anthologies of Asian-American literature. One of her short stories was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2019. Her work has either been or is being translated into more than twenty languages. Nunez has taught at Columbia, Princeton, and the New School, and has been a visiting writer or writer in residence at Amherst, Smith, Baruch, Vassar, Syracuse, and the University of California, Irvine, among others. Currently teaching at Boston University, she has also been on the faculty of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and of several other writers’ conferences across the country. She lives in New York City.

“The Creative Writing Program is thrilled that long-time faculty member Sigrid Nunez has received this well-deserved recognition from the Guggenheim Foundation,” said Luis Jamarillo, Director of the MFA Creative Writing program. “Sigrid is a writer of rare intelligence, warmth, and humor. She is a master prose stylist, and her novels and nonfiction show a stunning range of subject matter. Sigrid is a national treasure.”

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