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Tere O’Connor Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Tere O'ConnorTere O’Connor will join the 2014 class of American Academy of Arts and Sciences members. A professor with Dance at Illinois, O’Connor is also a 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award winner, a 2009 United States Artist Rockefeller Fellow, and a 1999 Guggenheim Fellow. Established in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is a research center and collection of leaders from academia, government, and business who seek to “cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people.” Members address issues of the deepest cultural and societal import as they work to inform public policy and encourage decisive action. The society includes winners of the Nobel Prize, the National Medal of Science, the Pulitzer Prize, the Fields Medal, and other awards and grants of highest distinction. O’Connor’s groundbreaking work deconstructs the notions of narrative and representational dance to investigate ideas of the ephemeral, erasure, inference, and essence. His award-winning and collaborative dances include BLEED, Heaven Up North, and the solo Indoor Man for Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Meet the other new Academy of Arts and Sciences members

Jennifer Monson Earns Doris Duke Impact Award

Jennifer MonsonJennifer Monson of Dance at Illinois has received a 2014 Doris Duke Impact Award. Nominations for this prestigious honor come from dance, jazz, and theatre professionals who have been given Doris Duke Artist Awards in previous years. Impact Award winners are singled out as innovators who have profoundly influenced their fields. In her pioneering work, Monson situates movement as the focus for generating knowledge and meaning, and she blends scientific study with artistic practices to collapse boundaries and illuminate large-scale processes. Her Live Dancing Archive—which included live performance, a video installation, and a digital archive of dances—was named by TimeOut New York as the best work of 2013, and she has obtained numerous grants and honors for her dance research. Doris Duke Impact Award winners receive grants of $60,000 plus support for audience expansion, professional development, and financial and legal counseling. The founder of iLAND (Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature, and Dance), Monson is one of just 100 artists in total who will be presented with Impact Awards when the program ends in 2022.

Learn more about the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards

Stephen Andrew Taylor and Deke Weaver Named Guggenheim Fellows

Stephen Andrew Taylor and Deke Weaver
(Photo of Stephen Andrew Taylor by Chris Brown)

Faculty members Stephen Andrew Taylor and Deke Weaver have earned 2014 fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Taylor’s opera Paradises Lost, based on Ursula K. Le Guin’s novella about the inhabitants of a spaceship traveling toward Earth, had its world premiere at Krannert Center in 2012, and many of his other compositions are inspired by scientific explorations such as the documentation of the universe by the Hubble Space Telescope, creating artificial intelligence, and the search for life on other planets. He has received commissions from ensembles including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, and the band Pink Martini and has awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the College Band Directors National Association, the Illinois Arts Council, and ASCAP. Taylor serves as the director of the Illinois Modern Ensemble and is an associate professor in the School of Music. Weaver is continuing his work on The Unreliable Bestiary, a collection of tales about animals and our relationship with them that incorporate video, projections, history, live performance, science, current political debates, books, and web-based content. He has presented his work on four continents and at venues including the Sundance Film Festival, the New York Video Festival at Lincoln Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Many of his theatre pieces are crafted as immersive experiences for locations such as livestock pavilions, barns, and night clubs. He has been a resident artist at both Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. Weaver is currently an associate professor in the New Media Program.

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