Visionary Leadership Award Luncheon

Honoring Claudia Rankine

Join us on Thursday, March 8th for the 8th annual Visionary Leadership Award Luncheon and Conversation. The Award Luncheon, which draws over 400 attendees from across the region, raises money for the Festival's diverse roster of programming presented in June each year. The award, established in 2010 in honor of Festival co-Founder Jean M. Handley, is awarded to a Visionary Leader whose trailblazing work is impacting the world.

See a list of past awardees here.

This year's award will be presented to New York Times bestselling poet, MacArthur “Genius”, and National Book Critics Circle award winner, Claudia Rankine.

Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry, including Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; two plays including Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; numerous video collaborations, and is the editor of several anthologies including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. For Citizen, Rankine won the Forward Prize for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry (Citizen was also nominated in the criticism category, making it the first book in the award’s history to be a double nominee), the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the PEN Open Book Award, and the NAACP Image Award. A finalist for the National Book Award, Citizen also holds the distinction of being the only poetry book to be a New York Times bestseller in the nonfiction category. Among her numerous awards and honors, Rankine is the recipient of the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, United States Artists, and the National Endowment of the Arts. She is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and teaches at Yale University as the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry.

All proceeds from the Award Luncheon support The Jean Handley Fund for the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. This fund supports programming at the Festival that follows the passions and interests of our co-Founder, Jean. In the past this Fund has supported world and U.S. premieres, free programming, and Festival-commissioned works.