Doris Duke Impact Awards

Previous Doris Duke Artist Award recipients nominated multiple artists for the Doris Duke Impact Award. Nominators were required to identify artists who had influenced and were helping to move forward the fields of dance, jazz, and/or theatre—but may or may not have been artists in one of these particular fields. In addition to these criteria, nominators were encouraged to consider more interpretive artists, including dancers, actors, and non-composing musicians, or artists of regional significance, who were not eligible for the Doris Duke Artist Awards. Nominators could also select artists at any stage of their careers. A separate, anonymous panel of artists then selected recipients from the nomination pool.

Impact Award grantees were entitled to two kinds of funds: unrestricted/flexible funds and restricted project funds.  Recipients received an unrestricted grant of $60,000 over a two- to three-year period, as set through a schedule determined by the artist recipient. An additional $10,000 of unrestricted funds was made available to artists who could demonstrate that they have started or increased resources (whether IRA’s, SEP’s 401(K)’s, etc.) that would allow them to continue their creative exploration in their later years when other resources were likely to be unpredictable and difficult to obtain.  Restricted project funds of up to $10,000 were available to the artist specifically to support work around audience connections or development, bringing the program’s potential investment to $80,000 per artist.

Awardees had access to Creative Capital’s goal assessment tools; financial and legal counseling; and conferences with peer-to-peer learning opportunities. Impact Award recipients were also able to allocate a portion of their funding to cover costs of professional development services including workshops to help artists expand their skills and practices (from strategic planning to fundraising to promotion); phone-in clinics that offered support for the business areas of artistic practices (legal, financial, tech, PR and business advice); memberships that provided opportunities for crowdfunding and fiscal sponsorship partners, as well as pro-rated fees for insurance and other services.

Nomination & Selection

After nominations were submitted by past Doris Duke Artist Award recipients, a separate, anonymous panel of peers selected the recipients based on evidence of exceptional creativity, self-challenge, and the potential to make significant contributions to the fields of jazz, contemporary dance, and theatre in the future. In total, there were 40 Doris Duke Impact Award recipients selected between 2014 and 2015.

In 2016, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation chose to make a significant change to the Doris Duke Impact Awards, of which the next group was scheduled to be awarded in 2017. In place of the Impact Awards, future DDCF-supported awards will now become part of the United States Artists unrestricted fellowship awards. For more information about this, please see the following letter from the president of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.