John Conklin, adjunct teacher in New York University’s Department of Design for Stage & Film at the Tisch School of the Arts and the recipient of a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Opera Honors, will be celebrated in an awards ceremony and concert in Washington, DC at the Sidney Harman Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, October 27, 2011. Conklin is the first designer to receive the recognition by the NEA.
Conklin is one of four recipients of this year’s NEA Opera Honors. Now in its fourth year, the NEA Opera Honors is the highest award the United States bestows in opera. “These artists represent the highest level of artistic mastery and we are proud to recognize their achievements,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. “Through their contributions, we have been challenged, enlightened, and charmed, and we thank them for devoting their careers to expanding and supporting their art forms.”
Conklin's conceptual design style has had an enormous influence. He is one of the principal figures in American stage design, both for opera and for theater, and his set and costume designs are seen in opera houses, theaters, and ballet companies around the world. Concurrent with his work as a stage designer, Conklin has taught many aspiring designers through his courses in design for stage and film at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
The four honorees each will receive a one-time award of $25,000 in recognition of their significant lifetime contributions to opera in the United States. NEA Opera Honors recipients are nominated by the public and chosen by an NEA-convened panel of opera experts.
The Oct. 27 award ceremony will be webcast live from the Kennedy Center in Washington via webstream at the NEA web site at www.arts.gov. The webcast will also be archived shortly after the event and available for later access.