Zoukak Wins the 2017 Praemium Imperial Award, Grant for Young Artists by the Japan Art Association

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Japan Art Association proudly announced the recipients of the 29th Praemium Imperiale as follows:
Shirin Neshat (Iran/U.S.A.) in Painting
El Anatsui (Ghana) in Sculpture
Rafael Moneo (Spain) in Architecture
Youssou N’Dour (Senegal) in Music
Mikhail Baryshnikov (U.S.A./Latvia) in Theatre/Film

The Grant for Young Artists has been given to Zoukak Theatre Company and Cultural Association (Lebanon)

Praemium Imperiale Award

The artists are recognized and awarded for their achievements, for the impact they have had internationally on the arts, and for their role in enriching the global community.

The Præmium Imperiale was created in 1988 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Japan Art Association and to honor the late Prince Takamatsu, who was the association’s honorary patron for almost six decades. The Præmium Imperiale—the world’s most prestigious international prize in the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and theatre/film—recognizes lifetime achievement. Now in its 29th year, the Praemium Imperiale has grown to become a powerful voice for the importance of the arts in today’s world. The 2017 Laureates join a roster of 144 artists, including Ingmar Bergman, Peter Brook, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Jean-Luc Godard, David Hockney, Willem de Kooning, Akira Kurosawa, Renzo Piano, Robert Rauschenberg, and Ravi Shankar…

Winners are chosen by the association based on the recommendations of nominating committees, chaired by statesmen and business leaders, in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The 2017 Grant for Young Artists

The Grant for Young Artists has been given to Zoukak Theatre Company and Cultural Association (Lebanon)

The Grant was announced on September 12 at a press conference in New York, presided over by American International Advisor, M. William Luers. Ms. Maya Zbib co-founder of Zoukak Theatre Company received the diploma and grant of 5 million yen ($44,600) at the press conference.

In addition to the Praemium Imperiale awards in 5 categories, the Japan Art Association gives an annual grant of 5 million yen to a group or institution that encourages the involvement of young people in the arts.

Zoukak Theatre Company and Cultural Association

In 2006, just before the Israeli attacks on Lebanon, six theatre makers founded the Zoukak Theatre Company in Beirut and began using the tools of drama therapy and psychosocial intervention, working in schools with displaced children and women from the south of Lebanon. The company offers drama therapy workshops to enhance the psychological well-being of various marginalized communities in Lebanon. At the creative heart of this small but dynamic organization are Maya Zbib, Lamia Abi Azar, Junaid Sarieddine, Omar Abi Azar, Hashem Adnan, Mohamad Hamdan and Soumaya Berri. Recently, Zoukak entered a new phase that will focus on reaching out to young people by sharing the company’s approach to making theatre, and by developing a young audience. In November, the company will open a 100-seat theatre, an expansion made possible by financial aid from Drosos foundation.

Grantees to date are:
2016 Five Arts Centre, Malaysia
2015 Yangon Film School, Myanmar
2014 The Zinsou Foundation, Benin
2013 JuniOrchesrtra of Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Italy
2012 Sphinx Organization, USA
2011 Southbank Sinfonia and Royal Court Young Writers Programme, UK
2010 Asian Youth Orchestra
2009 Kremetara Baltica (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia)
2008 Italian Youth Orchestra
2007 West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
2006 The State Foundation for the National System of Youth and Children Orchestras of Venezuela (FESNOJIV)
2005 Kusatsu Internation Summer Music Academy, Japan
2004 The Young Sound Forum of Central Europe
2003 De Sono Associazione per la Musica, Italy
2002 European Union Youth Orchestra
2001 Résidence du Festival
2000 Ulster Youth Orchestra, Northern Ireland
1999 Instituto Superior de Arte, Cuba
1998 The Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School in Lodz
1997 Hanoi Conservatory of Music, Vietnam

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