Art:21 Wins Prestigious 2007 Peabody Award!

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Season Four of Art:21–Art in the Twenty-First Century has been honored with a George Foster Peabody Award – the premiere international prize in electronic media – in the 67th Annual Peabody Awards Competition.

The Art:21 series was recognized for providing “a unique forum for the display, analysis and appreciation of myriad forms of contemporary visual art” by the University of Georgia’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, which has administered the Peabody Award program since its inception in 1940. The Season Four episode Protest, featuring the contemporary artists Jenny Holzer, Alfredo Jaar, An-My Lê , and Nancy Spero, was singled out for its examination of the ways in which contemporary artists picture and question war, express outrage, and empathize with the suffering of others.

Selected from over 1,000 entries, Art:21 is the first visual art series to win a Peabody since 2002, and among only a handful of visual art programs to claim such an honor in the Peabody’s history. Art:21 is one of thirty-five recipients honored from the world of news, entertainment and radio, including such high profile programs as 60 Minutes, NOVA, Frontline, Planet Earth, Project Runway, The Colbert Report, 30 Rock, and Mad Men.

“The latest Peabody recipients reflect great diversity in content, genre and source of origination,” said Horace Newcomb, director of the Peabody Awards, at the announcement ceremony. “The Peabody Awards, in all their diverse and innovative examples, are models for what can and should be done across the board.” The Peabody Awards, the oldest honor in electronic media, recognizes distinguished achievement and meritorious public service.

The Peabody Awards will be presented on June 16 at a luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. Brian Williams, the distinguished anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, will be the master of ceremonies.

The Peabody Awards, the oldest honor in electronic media, recognizes distinguished achievement and meritorious public service; the awards do not recognize categories nor are there a set number of awards given each year. The Peabody Board is a 16-member group, comprised of television critics, broadcast and cable industry executives and experts in culture and the arts, that judges the entries. Winning entires become a permanent part of the Peabody Archive in the University of Georgia Libraries — one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most respected moving-image archives.

A special screening of Protest, followed by a discussion with featured artist An-My Lê , will be held May 5, 6:30pm at the Mid-Manhattan branch of the The New York Public Library. This event is free and open to the public.