Senator John Heinz

RELATED NEWS

  • Leila Janah spoke at Forbes' inaugural Under 30 Summit on her crowdfunding effort, Samahope go >>
  • Hugh Herr receives the 2014 American Ingenuity Award in Tech from The Smithsonian Institution go >>
  • Bernice Johnson Reagon headlines Baylor University panel on preserving black sacred music go >>
  • The Harlem Children's Zone headquarters will be renamed the Geoffrey Canada Community Center go >>
  • Rita Dove returns to her hometown of Akron for a literacy event go >>
  • Dave Eggers interviewed by Detroit-based Model D Media go >>
  • Paul Farmer writes about his first-hand experiences surveying the Ebola outbreaks in Africa go >>
  • Harvard Gazette writes about Paul Farmer's Partners In Health confronting ebola in Liberia and Sierra Leone go >>
  • Brenda Eheart's Generations of Hope part of article by Newsweek on multigenerational communities go >>
  • James Balog, 3rd recipient of Dickinson College’s Rose-Walters prize, is profiled by The Sentinel go >>
  • Freeman Hrabowski speaks about his personal history and issues of diversity at Colorado State University go >>
  • TIME celebrates 30 years of James Nachtwey's photography for the magazine go >>
  • Rick Lowe is awarded a 2014 MacArthur fellowship go >>
  • Paul Farmer working on care facility in Liberia to aid ebola patients go >>
  • Abraham Verghese gives TEDMED talk on how he draws from the language of metaphors as a doctor and author go >>
  • Marian Wright Edelman urges states to do more for rural poor children in Huffington Post piece go >>
  • Mason Bates' orchestral piece, Alternative Energy, is reviewed in the San Francisco Chronicle go >>
  • Sidney Drell co-authors new book on nuclear security go >>
  • Sam Nunn co-authors new book on nuclear security go >>
  • Robert Berkebile selected as 2014 recipient of The Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainability go >>
  • President of The World Bank, Jim Kim, posts thoughts on a conversation with Salman Khan go >>
  • Sanjeev Arora brings Project ECHO to India go >>
  • Amory Lovins argues that we can reduce fossil fuel use 80 percent with existing technology go >>
  • Scientists You Must Know, from the Chemical Heritage Foundation, presents a short documentary on Robert Langer's life and work go >>
  • Salman Khan writes for Huffington Post on the importance of struggle and mistakes in learning go >>
  • Business Insider profiles Hugh Herr and his evolution from rock climber to bionics inventor go >>
  • Katie Couric talks to Dean Kamen about his 'Luke' prosthetic arm, for Yahoo! News go >>
  • Nancy Knowlton shares her views on the health and future of coral reefs on the Diane Rehm Show go >>
  • Kirk Smith pens editorial for Science on bringing electricity to those who do not have it go >>
  • The premiere of John Luther Adams' "Sila - The Breath of the World" is reviewed in The New York Times go >>
  • Dean Kamen talks to ZD Net about FIRST, turning innovation into a competition, and why failure is a critical part of the formula for success go >>
  • Leila Janah is interviewed about Samasource on ReadWrite.com go >>
  • Forbes takes a look at Dean Kamen’s Stirling Engine go >>
  • Christopher Field to receive the Roger Revelle Medal from the American Geophysical Union go >>
  • Robert Langer receives $500,000 Kyoto Prize for Advanced Technology from the Inamori Foundation go >>
  • Curt Ellis is interviewed by NationSwell about FoodCorps go >>
  • Sal Khan is interviewed by Katie Couric go >>
  • Sanjeev Arora and Project ECHO are profiled by David Bornstein at The New York Times go >>
  • A recent in-depth interview with Peter Matthiessen is published in The Believer go >>
  • Jay Keasling receives one of four 2014 Eni Awards, the 200,000 euro Renewable Energy Prize go >>
  • Joseph DeRisi collaborates on DNA technology that quickly diagnoses a lethal bacteria that put a young boy in a coma go >>
  • ECHO Care, modeled on Sanjeev Arora's Project ECHO, is profiled by the Albuquerque Journal go >>
  • The New York Times writes about John Luther Adams' love of baseball go >>
  • Elizabeth Kolbert examines work and leisure in her review of Brigid Schulte's new book, Overwhelmed go >>
  • Tom FitzGerald accepts presidential nomination to Ohio River commission, ORSANCO go >>
  • Richard Alley describes the impact of melting Antarctic glaciers on sea level rise for Mother Jones' Inquiring Minds podcast go >>
  • Abraham Verghese discusses his advocacy of medical humanism during a visit at the State University of New York at Buffalo go >>
  • Dee Boersma and her 30 years of penguin research is profiled in Audubon magazine go >>
  • Yale Environment 360 asks John Holdren five questions about the National Climate Assessment go >>
  • Joe DeRisi is profiled for the Bay Area Art and Science Interdisciplinary Sessions go >>
  • Sanjeev Arora's Project ECHO and the impact of telemedicine are profiled by the Council of State Governments go >>
  • Bernice Johnson Reagon on receiving the Domestic Human Rights Award from Global Exchange go >>
  • Carol Gilligan gives the inaugural lecture at the Carr Center for Reproductive Justice at NYU School of Law go >>
  • Dean Kamen's electrode-controlled prosthetic arm, named 'Luke' after Luke Skywalker, is approved by the FDA go >>
  • Popular Science profiles Dean Kamen's collaboration on an "eco-community center" which includes his Slingshot water purifier go >>
  • James Nachtwey discusses his experiences covering Afghanistan's civil war in the 90s at Dartmouth University go >>
  • Jane Lubchenco awarded the 2014 NatureServe Conservation Award go >>
  • Marian Wright Edelman's career in Washington fighting poverty is profiled by The Chronice of Philanthropy go >>
  • John Luther Adams profiled by The New York Times before premiere of 'Become Ocean' go >>
  • Richard Feely's work on the effects of ocean acidification on a key marine food source is profiled in Seattle Times go >>
  • Jonathan Foley to lead the California Academy of Sciences go >>
  • John Holdren is interviewed on NPR's Living On Earth go >>
  • Hugh Herr and his work with Boston Marathon victim Adrianne Haslet-Davis is profiled by the Christian Science Monitor go >>
  • CNN profiles Robert Langer's work to develop implanted microchips programmed to administer drugs at a given time, interval and dose go >>
  • Dean Kamen talks to the BBC about why he created a "robot superbowl" go >>
  • Paul Farmer interviewed about Rwanda's significant healthcare recovery over the last 20 years go >>
  • Jonathan Foley interviewed on NPR's Science Friday go >>
  • Geoffrey Canada to advise on New York's plan to spend $2 billion on school technology go >>
  • Jane Lubchenco returns to Oregon State University as Distinguished University Professor and Adviser in Marine Studies go >>
  • Leila Janah, Samasource and SamaUSA are profiled by BBC News go >>
  • Jonathan Foley is interviewed for Marketplace on NPR go >>
  • Jonathan Foley's Five Point Plan to Feed the World is the cover article for National Geographic go >>
  • James Balog awarded Duke University LEAF Award for fine arts contributions in the environment go >>
  • John Luther Adams is the 2014 recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music go >>
  • Richard Jackson pens article on healthy communities for the Idaho Statesman go >>
  • Mario Molina receives the Knight medal of the French Legion of Honor go >>
  • Dan Simpson, columnist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, writes Op-Ed on this year's Heinz Awards go >>
  • Salman Khan is named a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship go >>
  • Peter Matthiessen, renowned writer and naturalist, and 6th Heinz Award recipient for Arts and Humanities, dies at 86 go >>
  • Peter Matthiessen's extraordinary life is profiled in The New York Times Magazine go >>
  • Ralph Cavanagh writes piece on the progress of utility companies and energy efficiency go >>
  • Hugh Herr gives his 2014 TED talk including a dance finale by a survivor who lost her lower leg in the Boston Marathon bombing go >>
  • Ann Hamilton commisioned to create large-scale public art installation for Seattle’s new waterfront reconstruction project go >>
  • Leila Janah's SamaUSA is profiled at NationSwell.com go >>
  • Paul Famer interviewed by Ray Chambers at The Huffington Post about ending tuberculosis go >>
  • Hugh Herr and his lab help Boston Marathon victim to dance again at TED go >>
  • The new documentary about Cary Fowler's work, Seeds of Time, is profiled at Grist.org go >>
  • Mario Molina and other AAAS scientists sound the alarm on climate change go >>
  • William Thomas is interviewed by Next Avenue on his new book on aging: Second Wind go >>
  • James Balog recipient of $100,000 Rose-Walters Prize from Dickinson College for Global Environmental Activism go >>

The Heinz Awards

2004

August Wilson

Playwright August Wilson receives the Heinz Award in the category of the Arts and Humanities for a body of dramatic work that poignantly and honestly captures the 20th-century African-American experience.

A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Wilson's sharply hewn characters and lyrical voice embody a century-long struggle against racism and injustice. He was born and reared in Pittsburgh where, as an African-American, he was confronted with the reality of prejudice and bigotry that would become a constant and powerful theme of his work.

Growing up in the Hill District of the city, Mr. Wilson dropped out of school at age 15, turning instead to the local library and its shelves. He consumed books of literature, sociology, theology and philosophy, and by the late 1960s, discovered cultural nationalism. He was intent on using his plays to increase self-awareness and self-determination among African-Americans, and soon the first seeds of his dramatic expression began to spring forth. He and friend Rob Penny founded Black Horizons Theater, a local community theater aimed at raising social consciousness within the black community.

In 1978, he moved to St. Paul, Minn., and wrote and produced his first production, the musical satire, Black Bart and the Sacred Hills, based on a series of his poems. Six years later, his critically acclaimed play, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, announced his arrival as a major new voice in American theater. He since has become one of this country's most produced playwrights, and at one time, thrilled audiences with two of his works on Broadway simultaneously.

Mr. Wilson's plays explore the heritage and experience of African-Americans throughout the 20th century. All but one of the plays are set in Pittsburgh and are marked by true-to-life dialogue. Each of his plays represents a decade within that 100-year time frame, chronicling his characters' confrontations with racism within the context of the era. Collectively, they form a timeline that traces the development of modern-day African-American culture, a dramatic recounting of the nation's racial history. His plays are populated with complex characters, the most noble of which are often the poor.

Mr. Wilson has written two Pulitzer Prize-winning dramas, The Piano Lesson (1990) and Fences (1987). His eighth installment in the series, King Hedley II, premiered in 1999 to critical acclaim. Taking place in the 1980s, it examined the breakdown of an African-American family. The play garnered several Tony nominations. In fact, he has won every major award the theater has to offer.

His newest play, Gem of the Ocean, set in 1904, premiered this past year and is making its way to Broadway. During 2003, Wilson took the stage himself for the first time. He performed his autobiographical one-man show, How I Learned What I Learned, at the Seattle Repertory Theatre to sold-out audiences, a performance he has been invited to reprise by theaters across the country.

August Wilson is among the most widely produced and critically acclaimed playwrights of his generation. Through hundreds of professional productions of his plays, black artists have been able to develop their talents. His body of work has found a home in America's theaters and in America's heart, stirring us with passion and challenging us to recognize the truths about ourselves.

Note: This profile is excerpted from the commemorative brochure published at the time of the awards' presentation.


REMEMBERING

August Wilson passed away on October 2, 2005.

Teresa Heinz Reflects on the Life of August Wilson


HONORS SINCE HIS DEATH

January 2006 - Off-Broadway's Signature Theatre selects Wilson and his work as its playwright to honor by producing his play for an entire season. - Hartford Courant

February 2006 - Pittsburgh's African American Cultural Center is to be renamed the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, as a tribute to Wilson who loved his native Pittsburgh. - The Los Angeles Times

October 2005 - Wilson is honored and remembered by 450 guests at Soldier's and Sailors National Military Museum Memorial in his hometown of Pittsburgh. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

October 2005 - Broadway's Virginia Theater is renamed the August Wilson Theater in a dedication ceremony two weeks after Wilson's death. - Chicago Tribune


UPDATES SINCE RECEIVING THE HEINZ AWARD

April 2005 - Wilson's play, Radio Golf, the final installment in his 10-play series depicting African-American experience in the 20th century, premieres at the Yale Repertory Theatre to strong reviews. - The Associated Press

November 2004 - Wilson's ninth play, Gem of the Ocean, opens on Broadway. The play is about a 200-year-old soothsayer, set in 1904 Pittsburgh. - The Baltimore Sun

June 2003 - Wilson is honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the New Dramatists 54th Annual Benefit Luncheon in New York City. The New Dramatists is a non-profit organization "dedicated to the development of new playwrights." - Jet

Speech

12/4/2003 - Acceptance Speech

Thank you. I would like to first publicly acknowledge and thank my wife, Constanza Romero, without whom my life would not be the occasion of poetry that her presence demands. Unfortunately, she cannot be here tonight. She is at home in Seattle taking care of our six-year-old daughter, Azula Carmen. But I am fortunate to have members of my family here and friends - all of whom have supported me throughout my life and my career. My sister, Freda Ellis who gave me the money to buy my first typewriter, my sister, Linda Jean, who typed my early poems and manuscripts, my brother, Richard, who was my first critic. A lot of the suggestions he's made about the plays in their early incarnations or added got on stage in the later productions and I thank him for his insights. My nephew, Paul Ellis, my niece, Kim Ellis, my adopted niece, Nikki Porter, my mother's best friend and the woman who can remember me when I was in diapers, Julia Burly, wife of the great Pittsburgh prize fighter, Charlie Burly, I thank you all for your support.

This platform is but a few steps from the Carnegie Library where as a 15-year-old high school dropout, I sought refuge from the school system which had failed me. I dropped out of school, but I didn-t drop out of life. And when I left the library at 20, I went out into the streets of the Hill District of Pittsburgh, and there I met lifelong friends who have nurtured me, who sanctioned my life and who ultimately provided it with meaning. It would be remiss of me to stand here among this cascade of coin and blessing and not acknowledge them.

There comes a moment in a man's life where he has to ask himself, the question, how did I get here? If he looks up to find himself thrashing about in the fires of hell's damnation, he must ask the question, how did I get here? Or if, like myself, he looks up and finds himself by God's grace in a landscape rich with welcome, bright beckoning, temperate climate, sweet water and all the possibilities of life exalted, he must ask the question, how did I get here?

To arrive at this moment in my life, I have traveled many roads, some circuitous, some brambled and rough, some sharp and straight, and all of them have led as if by some grand design to the one that burnished with art and small irrevocable tragedies. I've carried in my pocket, to bargain my passage, memory and a wild heart that plies its trade with considerate and sometimes alarming passion.

Some roads have opened to me. Other roads have bred landscapes of severe wolves to blunt and discourage my advance. Still, others closed for repair shall remain closed in one thing forever. In my 35th year, I came to a road marked theater, a road which has welcomed me with fresh endearments and sprouted yams and bolls of cotton at my footfall. And it is that road which I have taken to be here with you this evening.

Now, these many years later, I am older, wiser, back in the saddle, riding an old warhorse, searching for the fuel for all the howls and whispers and songs that I might uncover while storming the barricade. This adds to that fuel. It empowers me in my search for the limitations of my art. And for that most precious of gifts, I thank you.

And now as I did my introductions, I remember the director Lloyd Richards told me that when you start naming someone you are going to forget someone. I realize that I forgot what is for me actually the most important acknowledgment and that is my daughter, Sakina Ansari, who 33 years ago burst upon the world clothed in the light of angelic grace. She has been my first inspiration, and that is the inspiration to live a full and productive life as gift and example to her and Sakina - I love you, I thank you for your love and your understanding.

Thank you all.
August Wilson