Past News

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12.31.15

An exciting 2015 for our Vilcek Foundation alumni

Happy New Year from everyone at the Vilcek Foundation! In the last 12 months, our alumni have helped treat Ebola, released award-winning films, and shared their knowledge through TED Talks—and that’s just the beginning.

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12.01.15

Meet our newest board member: Titia de Lange

We’re pleased to welcome to Dr. Titia de Lange to the Vilcek Foundation’s board of directors!

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11.30.15

Zoë Bell: If He Was a She

Zoë Bell has been on-screen countless times, although you might not have known it was her. The New Zealand-born actress and producer started her career as a stunt double for Lucy Lawless in Xena: Warrior Princess, where her training in gymnastics and martial arts allowed her to perform the kicks, flips, and other moves that helped turn the television show into a popular hit.

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11.24.15

Benson Lee: A director does some Seoul Searching

Like many immigrants, Benson Lee’s parents arrived in their new country with no jobs and few friends. They had decided to leave Seoul, where Benson’s father was a patternmaker for women’s clothing, for Toronto, where finding a job was difficult.

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11.23.15

New American Filmmakers Go into the Classroom

Delegates from the New American Filmmakers program visited classrooms in Oahu to talk with young aspiring filmmakers last week.

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11.18.15

Shonali Bose: Activism, with a Film

While Shonali is driven by political activism, her movies remain personal and heartfelt. Margarita, with a Straw was inspired by her cousin Mali, who has cerebral palsy.

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11.16.15

Gabrielle Demeestere: A Novel Approach

Gabrielle Demeestere was born and raised in France, and her filmmaking is definitely informed by French culture. As with most Parisians, she has always been a vociferous consumer of films.

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11.14.15

Dai Sil Kim-Gibson: There’s No Place Like Home

For Dai Sil Kim-Gibson, as it is for many immigrants, the definition of “home” was not a straightforward one.

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11.12.15

Aloha from the Hawaii International Film Festival!

Once again, the Vilcek Foundation is pleased to present the annual New American Filmmakers showcase at the Hawaii International Film Festival! NAF presents the best independent films from immigrant artists in American cinema, representing an exciting mix of genres and influences from around the world.

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11.09.15

Fresh on the Screen: Immigrants take the prime time

Immigrants have always been an integral part of the American film and television industry.

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10.16.15

Marica Vilcek Becomes Board Chair of the NYU Institute of Fine Arts

Earlier this month, our vice president and co-founder Marica Vilcek became the new chair of the Institute of Fine Arts Board of Trustees at New York University. She follows in the footsteps of previous chairs Judy Steinhardt and Stephen Lash.

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10.05.15

Going Home: Pen + Brush Reopens with “Domesticity Revisited”

Pen + Brush, a organization that addresses gender-based inequality in art and literature, will celebrate the grand opening of its new headquarters and gallery space with Domesticity Revisited, an exhibition curated by our own executive director, Rick Kinsel.

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09.23.15

Masterworks of American Modernism has finally reached New Mexico!

From New York to New Mexico: Masterworks of American Modernism from the Vilcek Foundation Collection is making its final stop on a tour across the United States.

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09.14.15

Immigrant Nation, American Success: Entrepreneurs and the Economy

Happy National Welcoming Week! Our last infographic falls during a weeklong celebration of immigrant contributions, and we can’t think of a better way to conclude our “Immigrant Nation, American Success” series.

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09.08.15

Immigrant Nation, American Success: Achievements in STEM

Admittedly, we’re a little crazy about prizes. Our own Vilcek Prizes are bestowed annually upon iconic immigrant artists and brilliant foreign-born scientists. Even when we examined prizes not devoted to immigrants, however, foreign-born scientists still made a strong showing across the board.

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08.31.15

Immigrant Nation, American Success: PhDs and Patents

We’ve always believed that immigrants are vital to American progress, but now we’ve got the numbers to back it up!

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08.17.15

“Through the Looking Glass” goes through the roof

Attendance numbers for "China: Through the Looking Glass" are set to go through the roof. Curated by British-born Andrew Bolton, who received the Vilcek Prize in Fashion earlier this year, the popular exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art received over 635,000 visitors as of mid-August.

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07.28.15

From Erhu to Electro: Jing Wang Scores Residency at the MacDowell Colony

“The older generation in China still considers the erhu the sound of the native land,” says Chinese-born composer and musician Jing Wang — while in the U.S., the erhu is “a symbolic representation of Chinese music.” However, thanks to Jing, an innovator in the electroacoustic field, the folk instrument is getting a remake with her smart and original compositions that mix tradition with modern electronic sound.

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07.17.15

KEXP curates performances by immigrant musicians

"Immigrant Songs," a new video and radio series produced by KEXP 90.3 FM Seattle, in partnership with the Vilcek Foundation, searches for the diverse sounds of the immigrant experience.

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07.08.15

Grantee Spotlight: ProjectArt

Adarsh Alphons founded ProjectArt in 2011 with a simple goal: “to put paintbrushes in the hands of as many children that don’t have adequate access to arts education [as possible].”

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07.02.15

Vilcek Prizewinners for Creative Promise Named “Great Immigrants”

Frequent readers of the current news section are no doubt already aware that the winners of the Vilcek Prizes are truly great immigrants. Fittingly, the Carnegie Corporation has made it official for many of our prizewinners.

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06.12.15

“From New York to New Mexico” Lands in Phoenix

From New York to New Mexico Masterworks of American Modernism from the Vilcek Foundation Collection kicked off the second leg of its journey at Phoenix Art Museum with a members’ opening on June 4.

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06.02.15

Raking in the Recognitions: Immigrants in the Sciences

The 2015 Vilcek Prize season may have ended, but immigrants are still raking in the recognitions. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute just announced the 2015 HHMI investigators, a prestigious honor that provides generous funding to biomedical researchers over five years.

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05.13.15

Grantee Spotlight: New York African Film Festival

In honor of the United Nation’s International Decade for People of African Descent, starting this year and running through 2024, the New York African Film Festival dedicated this year’s focus to stories of “displacement, emigration, and personal journeys.”

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05.05.15

Grantee Spotlight: CodeNow

Since 2011, CodeNow has been working to expand access to education and training for careers in technology. The organization offers free workshops in computer programming to high school students, with an emphasis on reaching individuals who might not otherwise have the opportunity to learn about computer science.

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04.10.15

The 2015 Vilcek Foundation Prizes Gala

Fashion and science mingled in more ways than one on April 2, 2015. Leaders in both fields gathered at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City to celebrate the winners of the 2015 Vilcek Prizes, recognizing immigrants in fashion and biomedical science.

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04.01.15

Applications open for the 2016 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Theatre and Biomedical Science

Applications are now open for the 2016 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise! The eighth annual Creative Promise Prizes will be awarded in the fields of theatre and biomedical science. Three selected winners in each field will receive a $50,000 cash award.

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03.23.15

Vilcek Prizewinner Spotlight: Peter Walter

German-born Peter Walter is interested in how things work. This has long been the focus of his research at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, where he is a professor in the departments of biochemistry and biophysics, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.

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03.16.15

Vilcek Prizewinner Spotlight: Tuyen Tran

Unlike many aspiring designers, Vietnamese-born Tuyen Tran was first drawn to fashion through her interest in the complex, technical processes that go into the construction of garments. She enrolled in a fashion design course offered by the theater department of her high school in Twin Falls, Idaho, but found that it was “not accurate,” she says. “You would learn to use a hot glue gun here, a staple there.”

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03.11.15

Vilcek Prizewinner Spotlight: Rob Knight

According to New Zealand-born Rob Knight, scientific endeavors in his native country tend to gravitate toward applied research, especially around agriculturally important issues. “I think that’s possibly what led me to be more open to the idea of applied topics,” he says.

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03.02.15

Vilcek Prizewinner Spotlight: Natallia Pilipenka

Designer Natallia Pilipenka was born in Ukraine and raised in Belarus before she moved to New York in her twenties. She does not, however, feel particularly Ukrainian, Belarusian, or American; rather, she sees herself as a combination of all her experiences.

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02.23.15

Vilcek Prizewinner Spotlight: Sun Hur

South Korean-born Sun Hur has been on a lifelong quest to apply theory to reality, order to chaos. It is a quest that has brought her from painting to physics, physics to computational chemistry, and from there, to structural biology, biochemistry, and finally, immunology.

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02.17.15

Vilcek Prizewinner Spotlight: Siki Im

Designer Siki Im believes he is who he is today because of his parents. His parents emigrated from South Korea to Germany on work visas; his father was a chemist, and his mother was a nurse. And although they did not work in the arts, “they didn’t say no,” Siki says. “They let me try things out. I think that was the biggest blessing.”

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02.10.15

Vilcek Prizewinner Spotlight: Franziska Michor

When the stakes are life and death, as they so often are with cancer, one would hope for a rigorous analysis of all available options. Until recently, this was not the case with the disease. That’s where Austrian-born Franziska Michor comes in. Franziska is a professor of computational biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard School of Public Health.

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02.04.15

From New York to New Mexico: Masterworks of American Modernism from the Vilcek Foundation Collection to open at Philbrook Museum of Art

A selection of 65 works from the Vilcek Collection are going on a three-stop cross-country tour. From New York to New Mexico: Masterworks of American Modernism from the Vilcek Foundation Collection will open on February 8, 2015, at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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02.02.15

Vilcek Prizewinner Spotlight: Andrew Bolton

To hear his praises sung is to believe that Andrew Bolton elevated fashion from a commercial enterprise to an integral field of the arts; they are not without merit. Prior to assuming the role of curator at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2006, there were murmured doubts about the legitimacy of fashion as an art form amongst critics and curators. Thanks to Andrew’s academic rigor and anthropological curiosity, the Costume Institute is now one of the most popular and well-respected departments at the museum.

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01.26.15

Announcing the 2015 Vilcek Prizewinners

It’s awards season again! While Los Angeles is gearing up for the Oscars and the Grammys, we’re pleased to present the 9th annual Vilcek Prizes, honoring notable immigrants in the arts and sciences.

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12.08.14

Grantee Spotlight: New York Youth Symphony

Now in its 52nd season, the New York Youth Symphony (NYYS) has been providing music education and performance opportunities to teenage and college-aged students in the tristate area for over 50 years.

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12.05.14

Rick Kinsel becomes a Visual Arts Curator

Executive Director Rick Kinsel is honored to serve as a visual arts curator for Pen and Brush, supporting the launch of the 120 year-old organization’s new programming.

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11.07.14

Antoine de Cazotte: NAF Featured Filmmaker

Antoine de Cazotte credits his success as a filmmaker to moving from his native Paris to America. “Coming to America was the smartest thing I’ve done in my life,” says Antoine. “You have to be in movement; if you’re still, nothing is going to happen.”

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11.06.14

Ana Lily Amirpour: A Girl Who Walks on Her Own

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night has been hailed as the “first feminist Iranian vampire Western film in history”, and it shows. The debut feature film of Ana Lily Amirpour, born in the UK to Iranian parents, is set in the fictional Bad City.

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11.05.14

Farzad Sangari: 10 points to Mudbloods

Quidditch may have originated from the fictional world of Harry Potter, but as a collegiate sport, it’s as real as it gets. Iranian-born Farzad Sangari’s documentary, Mudbloods, takes us into the world of muggle Quidditch as it follows the UCLA Bruins team to the 5th Annual World Cup in New York.

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11.04.14

New American Filmmakers in the Classroom

The New American Filmmakers program was pleased to bring delegates into local Hawaiian classrooms as a part of the Hawaii International Film Festival’s Guest Filmmaker Program.

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11.03.14

Minh Nguyen-Vo: A Return to Cinema

Growing up in South Vietnam, Minh Nguyễn-Võ was captivated by cinema from an early age. Minh followed other scientific endeavors to France and later the United States, becoming an accomplished physicist working in research and development.

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11.01.14

Ken Ochiai: Taking Up the Sword

Uzumasa Limelight is a work of love. The second feature film of Japanese-born Ken Ochiai, it focuses on the lives of kirare yaku, screen extras from the golden age of samurai epics who specialize in portraying theatrical deaths.

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10.31.14

Ayako Fujitani: International Woman of Mystery

In her latest film, Man from Reno, the multilingual and multitalented actress Ayako Fujitani plays a writer who suddenly leaves Japan for San Francisco in the midst of a publicity tour. Perhaps she was drawing upon her own teenaged years.

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10.28.14

A Sneak Peek at the 2014 New American Filmmakers

Aloha! The Hawaii International Film Festival is just around the corner, marking the eighth year that the Vilcek Foundation has partnered with the festival to present the New Americans Filmmakers (NAF) program.

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10.27.14

Iranian-born Pardis Sabeti leads the race against Ebola

Long before the first case of Ebola was confirmed in the current outbreak, biologist Pardis Sabeti and her colleagues suspected that infectious diseases were already circulating, undetected. Pardis, an associate professor at Harvard University and winner of the 2014 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise, had been working closely with the Kenema Government Hospital (KGH) in Sierra Leone to track and study another deadly hemorrhagic disease, Lassa fever, and Pardis was acutely aware of how difficult it would be to establish biologically secure environments to treat and control outbreaks of infectious diseases.

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10.22.14

I Learn America: Film Screenings and Community Conversations in Three Cities

"I Learn America: One High School, One School Year, Five New Americans," is a documentary that follows five immigrant teenagers over the course of one year as they strive to master English, adapt to families they haven’t seen in years, confront universal trials of adolescence, and search for a future they can claim as their own. French-born director Jean-Michel Dissard has ignited a national dialogue on immigration from New York to Honolulu through the film.

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10.10.14

Congrats to the 2014 Blavatnik Awardees!

In further evidence of immigrant successes in the STEM fields, foreign-born scientists accounted for a large percentage of the recently announced Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists.

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10.08.14

The Grand Design

On June 19, the Vilcek Foundation was pleased to partner with the Museum of Arts and Design to present “The Grand Design.” Hosted in The Theater at MAD, three winners of the 2014 Vilcek Prizes for Design — Neri Oxman, Mansour Ourasanah, and Quilian Riano — presented their works in a panel moderated by Glenn Adamson, Nanette L. Laitman Director at MAD.

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09.10.14

A Look at the 2015 Creative Promise Prize Applicants

The seventh annual call for Creative Promise Prize applications was open to professionals in the fields of biomedical science, and for the first time in arts — fashion. Two-hundred and fifty four scientists and fashion professionals answered the call, representing diverse fields in each respective industry and hailing from eighty different countries.

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09.02.14

Immigrants Win Big: Announcing the 2014 Simons Foundation Investigators and Fields Medalists

It’s been a tremendous couple of weeks for immigrants in the math and sciences! First, the 2014 Simons Foundation Investigators were announced on August 13. Of the 16 scientists and mathematicians selected for the prestigious five-year awards, 15 are based in the United States, and 12 are immigrants—that’s a whopping 75% of this year’s awardees!

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08.28.14

Marsden Hartley goes West!

The exhibition Marsden Hartley: The German Paintings 1913–1915, which opened in April at the Neue Nationalegalerie in Berlin, is now on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art! The show marks the California debut of “Portrait Arrangement No. 2,” 1912–13, and “Berlin Series No. 1,” 1913, from the Vilcek Collection.

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07.28.14

Grantee Spotlight: Lutheran Social Services of New York

For almost twenty years, the Immigration Legal Services Program of Lutheran Social Services of New York (LSSNY-ILP) has been providing professional legal services to thousands of clients across the five boroughs of New York City, regardless of religious affiliation. The program offers free or low-cost legal immigration services to clients from over one hundred countries, as well as connecting clients to services that help them become self-sufficient in their new communities.

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07.07.14

Vilcek Foundation Collections Expand with Pre-Columbian Artworks

Last spring, we launched an exciting new initiative by publishing three online art collections on Vilcek.org. Now we are proud to announce a new addition to the collections! The Vilcek Foundation Pre-Columbian Collection illustrates the wide range of artistic and cultural legacies that arose across the pre-Columbian world.

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06.04.14

Jan Vilcek, Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa

Yesterday, the Graduate Center, City University of New York bestowed the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, on Jan Vilcek, president and co-founder of the Vilcek Foundation. Jan was recognized in his capacity as a biomedical scientist, educator, inventor, and philanthropist.

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05.28.14

Vilcek Prizewinner Spotlight: Pardis Sabeti

Many children bristle at excessive instruction from older siblings, but growing up, Iranian-born Pardis Sabeti delighted in it. “As immigrants, my family and I weren’t very aware of the many educational and extracurricular opportunities in the U.S.,” Pardis says. “Instead, my parents improvised.” Pardis’ mother purchased a chalkboard and textbooks for her older sister Parisa to conduct an informal schoolhouse during the summer, and the result was a lifelong love of learning, especially in mathematics.

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05.21.14

Marsden Hartley hits the road!

In March, two Marsden Hartley paintings in the Vilcek Foundation’s American Modernist Collection earned quite a few frequent-flier miles, traveling from New York to Berlin for the exhibition Marsden Hartley: The German Paintings 1913–1915, at the Neue Nationalgalerie.

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05.07.14

Vilcek Prizewinner Spotlight: Stavros Lomvardas

It was only recently that Stavros Lomvardas’ family accepted the fact that he was not going to be a dentist; the realization came when Stavros called his father in Greece with the news that he had been selected as a winner of the 2014 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science. “He said, ‘Well, I guess you’re not becoming a dentist after all,’” Stavros remembers.

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04.28.14

Vilcek Prizewinner Spotlight: Antonio Giraldez

Spanish-born Antonio Giraldez is fascinated with beginnings. Specifically, the developmental biologist and geneticist is intent on uncovering the molecular mechanisms that initiate the development of embryos after fertilization — the first step in the making of every animal.

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04.21.14

Vilcek Prizewinner Spotlight: Thomas Jessell

“Sometimes you look back in life and think of the fortunate events that have happened that were beyond your control and design,” says British-born neuroscientist Thomas Jessell. For Tom, arriving at Harvard Medical School in 1978 for a Harkness postdoctoral fellowship with renowned scientist Gerald Fischbach was one such fortunate event.

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04.14.14

The Vilcek Foundation Celebrates the 2014 Vilcek Prizewinners

On Wednesday, April 2, the Vilcek Foundation hosted the winners of the 2014 Vilcek Prizes, members of the design and biomedical science communities, and other friends of the foundation at the 9th annual awards gala at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

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04.01.14

Vilcek Prizewinner Spotlight: Quilian Riano

“Being an immigrant is about being in flux,” Quilian Riano says. “If you take that as a given, it gives you a freedom, because things are going to change, and you can think about whether and how you can shape that change.”

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03.26.14

Vilcek Prizewinner Spotlight: Yasaman Hashemian

For Iranian-born interactive media designer Yasaman Hashemian, it’s all fun and games — but only at first glance. Currently a visiting scholar at the University of Southern California’s Creative Media & Behavioral Health Center, Yasaman designs and produces video and board games that educate users about health issues. It is vital to her, however, that her games are, above all, enjoyable. “It should be something fun,” Yasaman says. “If I design something people won’t play, then I will have completely failed.”

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03.10.14

Vilcek Prizewinner Spotlight: Mansour Ourasanah

Mansour Ourasanah is an industrial designer by trade, but at heart, he’s a storyteller. This is something he’s known since his childhood in the West African country of Togo, where he spent much of his time drawing and writing.

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03.04.14

Now open: the 2015 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Fashion and Biomedical Science

Applications are now open for the 2015 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise! As in the past, three winners will be selected in the field of biomedical science, and three in the arts, which this year will be awarded in the field of fashion. New this year, however, is the increased prize amount: Each winner will receive a $50,000 cash award with their prize.

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02.03.14

Vilcek Prizewinner Spotlight: Neri Oxman

The work of Israeli-born architect and designer Neri Oxman is so thoroughly creative that science foundations and world-renowned art and design collections alike embrace it for its imaginative and innovative qualities.

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01.27.14

Introducing the winners of the 2014 Vilcek Prizes

The Vilcek Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Vilcek Prizes! The prizes are awarded annually to immigrants in biomedical science and the arts and humanities, this year recognizing the field of design. The Vilcek Prizes honor immigrants with a record of groundbreaking contributions to their field. The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise are awarded to younger immigrants who have demonstrated exceptional achievement.

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01.24.14

A Homecoming for Jan Vilcek

Vilcek Foundation President Jan Vilcek returns to his hometown of Bratislava, Slovakia to accept the title of doctor honoris causa from Comenius University next week. He is being recognized for his pioneering research in immunology and microbiology, as well as his role in developing groundbreaking treatments for arthritis and other immunological diseases.

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01.06.14

Trio of Artists Unveiled in the Third Annual dARTboard

In our third annual dARTboard exhibition, we are excited to announce three winning artists chosen from an extremely competitive pool of applicants for the dARTboard Call for Entries this past fall.

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12.17.13

Jan and Marica Vilcek to be honored by the Rosalind Franklin Society

To close off the year, the Rosalind Franklin Society will be honoring Vilcek Foundation founders Jan and Marica Vilcek at their annual meeting of the board. Dedicated to recognizing, fostering, and advancing the contributions of women in the life sciences, the Society will be honoring Jan and Marica for their work in raising awareness of not only immigrant scientists, but women scientists as well, through the Vilcek Prizes.

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12.02.13

Christina Strassfield to join the Vilcek Foundation Board of Directors

The Vilcek Foundation is delighted to welcome Christina Mossaides Strassfield, museum director/chief curator of Guild Hall Museum, as the newest director on the board of the Vilcek Foundation.

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11.15.13

Executive Director Rick Kinsel’s Gone MAD!

Congratulations to Vilcek Foundation Executive Director Rick Kinsel! The Museum of Arts and Design has selected him as a 2013 recipient of the MAD Visionaries! Awards, which recognizes creativity and leadership in the fields of arts and design. Rick is being honored for his ongoing work with the Vilcek Foundation, seeking out and supporting talented foreign-born artists and designers.

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11.11.13

A Community Discussion About Learning America

We first got to know French-born filmmaker Jean-Michel Dissard at the 2013 Hawaii International Film Festival, where his latest documentary, I Learn America, was a selection in the New American Filmmakers program. The Vilcek Foundation is thrilled to partner with the I Learn America team again, this time closer to home, to co-present a screening and community discussion on immigration and education.

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11.07.13

Grantee Spotlight: Little Kids Rock

Last year, we were proud to support Little Kids Rock, a non-profit organization that brings musical education into underserved schools across the country. The result of our partnership was the production of five original compositions by immigrant or first generation children. Put on your headphones and take a listen!

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10.24.13

Breakthrough Moments in Filmmaking - Director Chad Hartigan Discusses "This is Martin Bonner"

Chad Hartigan, born in Cyprus to Irish parents, explores the stories of his past with his sophomore feature drama This is Martin Bonner. The winner of the Best of Next Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, the film features Australian-born Paul Eenhoorn as the title character, as he adjusts to a new life in Reno, Nevada, in his mid-fifties.

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10.23.13

The Power of Storytelling: An Extended Interview with Andrew Adamson

The Vilcek Foundation was honored to include New Zealand­–born director Andrew Adamson as one of the inaugural New American Filmmaker Featured Filmmakers. NAF Featured Filmmakers spotlights immigrant film professionals whose careers have long played an integral role in American cinema.

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10.22.13

On the Road with Junya Sakino

Junya Sakino's road trip comedy, Sake-Bomb, about two cousins on a quest through California to win back their ex-girlfriends, has us itching to get back on the road.

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10.21.13

Out of the Studio and Into the Classroom

This year, we were delighted to have three of our New American Filmmakers selected to participate in the Hawaii International Film Festival’s Youth Education Programs. Delegates participated in the Guest Filmmaker Program, which brings film and media professionals into local classrooms of Hawaii, and the Cultural & Visual Literacy Program, which provides free theater screenings to students for films not easily accessible in Hawaii.

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10.15.13

Junya Sakino Adds an Asian Spin to the American Road Trip

A sake bomb is a popular cocktail made by dropping a shot of sake into a glass of beer, the combination of which is then chugged as quickly as possible. It was a mystery to Japanese-born director Junya Sakino when he first arrived in the U.S. Although the drink was ubiquitous in the sushi restaurants of southern California, where he had moved to attend film school, he had never heard of it before in his native Hiroshima.

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10.14.13

A Night to Celebrate the New American Filmmakers

Moviemakers from around the world, members of the HIFF board and staff, and friends of the New American Filmmakers series came together last night to celebrate the 2013 NAF delegates at a reception hosted at the Halekulani Hotel.

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10.13.13

From Ogres to X-Men — Composer Harry Gregson-Williams Orchestrates to Great Success

British-born Harry Gregson-Williams is one of the most well-known film composers of our time. His music can be heard in a diverse range of movies, from the Shrek series to Prometheus to Cowboys and Aliens. Most recently, his compositions can be found in the film Mr. Pip.

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10.12.13

'I Learn America' Goes to the Front of the Class

French-born documentary filmmaker Jean-Michel Dissard trades places with us and sits in front of the camera for this interview about his latest film, I Learn America. It follows five immigrant teenagers over a year at the International High School at Lafayette in Brooklyn, New York, one of the few schools in the nation devoted exclusively to newly arrived students.

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10.11.13

Escape from Tomorrow – the Ultimate Guerrilla Movie

Escape from Tomorrow took members of the film industry by surprise when it premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival — not least of which were the filmmakers themselves. Produced and edited by South Korean–born Soojin Chung, the filmis a psychological thriller that depicts a man’s descent into paranoia and delusions during a family vacation at the happiest place on earth.

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10.10.13

Presenting the 2013 New American Filmmakers

Aloha from sunny Honolulu! The Vilcek Foundation, in partnership with the Hawaii International Film Festival, is pleased to present the delegates of the 2013 New American Filmmakers. Now in its seventh year, NAF is a showcase of independent immigrant filmmakers – directors, producers, editors, cinematographers, actors, and more – whose work expands and enriches American cinema in all genres.

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10.04.13

An Artist’s Quest to Discover Home

For Brian Doan, the idea of home is abstract: “Home is a place [where] you’re born, but home is [also] where you feel you belong to.” In his new exhibition hôme hôme hôme, Brian draws inspiration from his past growing up in Vietnam as he continues the journey to find home.

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10.01.13

A first night for My Last Day Without You

For Christoph Silber, falling in love was as easy as boy meets girl. On his first visit to New York City, the German-born filmmaker struck up a conversation with a stranger on the subway. One week later, they decided to spend the rest of their lives together.

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09.24.13

American Science Without Foreign-Born Scientists?

As the national debate on immigration reform continues, Dr. Jan Vilcek, President of the Vilcek Foundation, will be giving a presentation this Thursday on one of our favorite topics – the integral role immigrants have played in the American sciences.

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09.18.13

A snapshot of Creative Promise Prize applicants

A total of 299 applicants answered our annual open call for the Creative Promise Prizes in Biomedical Science and Design. As our largest pool of applications to date, hopeful recipients of the prize represent a wide spectrum of fields spanning from product design to cancer research.

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09.06.13

During a nationwide tour, a pit stop in New York

PIT STOP, a feature drama directed by Malaysian-born Yen Tan, will be making its New York premiere this Saturday as a selection of the 23rd annual NewFest, New York's premier LGBT film festival. Set in rural Texas, the film features two gay men who are approaching middle age and unsure of whether they will ever leave their small town, or find love within its confines.

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08.27.13

Sneak Peak: Interview with Artist Brian Doan

Following the installation of hôme hôme hôme, a new exhibition opening September 14th, a production crew from True Film Productions visited the Vilcek Foundation gallery to film a revealing interview with Vietnamese-born artist Brian Doan.

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06.26.13

Cheer New York Raises Both Spirits and Funds

As the co-founder of Cheer New York, a charitable LGBTS cheerleading squad, Felipe Hernandez fulfills a wide range of roles: non-profit director, business administrator, and event planner. “I used to be the Safety Coach and Artistic Director too,” he says, “but over the years, I had to learn how to delegate.”

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05.31.13

What’s better than good news? More good news!

While we usually try not to brag, sometimes it’s hard not to: Five of the 27 newly named Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators are former winners or finalists of the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science! A highly coveted honor, scientists appointed HHMI Investigators are provided generous, long-term flexible funding that allows them to pursue their studies without the constraints of more conventional grants.

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05.02.13

Launching into spring with an online art collection

Spring marks a very exciting time here at the Vilcek Foundation. In April, we celebrated with the recipients of the 2013 Vilcek Prizes at our annual gala. The Foundation’s anthology, American Odysseys: Writings by New Americans, was recently released in a paperback version and made available at Dalkey Press and Amazon. And in the next few days, applications for the 2014 Creative Promise Prizes in Biomedical Science and Design will open. As if this were not enough, we are extremely proud to announce that the Vilcek Foundation’s art collection has been published online for the first time ever at Vilcek.org!

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02.04.13

Between Sanrio and Disney

A quick glance through the portfolio of Taiwanese-born artist and illustrator Martin Hsu reveals that he is just as comfortable with Mickey Mouse as he is with Hello Kitty, deftly weaving the familiar characters and their cohorts into colorful scenes that draw heavily upon Asian art, from Chinese folk paintings to expressive manga styles.

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01.15.13

President Obama Awards Dr. Jan Vilcek the National Medal of Technology and Innovation

Congratulations to our very own Dr. Jan Vilcek who was named a recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by President Barack Obama.

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12.13.12

Superheroes “Shatter” Asian American Stereotypes

If you had a superpower, what would it be? What would you use it for? Tired of waiting patiently for a nuclear accident to propel them into the ranks of superheroes, Jeff Yang, Keith Chow, Jerry Ma, and Parry Shen decided to take matters into their own hands with "Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology".

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12.11.12

A Toast to Kick Off American Odysseys

On Monday, December 3, the Vilcek Foundation invited members of the New York literati to celebrate the upcoming publication of "American Odysseys: Writings by New Americans," an anthology of twenty-two contemporary immigrant writers from seventeen different countries.

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10.19.12

Celebrating the New American Filmmakers

On Monday, October 15, during the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF), the Vilcek Foundation hosted a reception on the Garden Terrace in the Halekulani Hotel. The event, which celebrated the talented filmmakers of the New American Filmmakers (NAF) program, was attended by the six NAF delegates, HIFF board members and staff, filmmakers, actors, festival sponsors, and members of local press. Here are some photos of the NAF delegates and local talent.

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10.18.12

Alexandre Philippe and His Psychic Friend Paul

Alexandre Philippe is the director, screenwriter, and co-producer of "The Life And Times of Paul the Psychic Octopus," a documentary featured in the New American Filmmakers program at the Hawaii International Film Festival.

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10.18.12

Radium Cheung: Good Karma

Radium Cheung, a native of Hong Kong, is the cinematographer and co-producer of the charming and poignant film Starlet. This dramatic feature film tells the story of an unexpected friendship between a 21-year old adult film actress and an elderly widow.

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10.17.12

Interview with Mridu Chandra, Director and Producer of “Indian Summer”

Mridu Chandra (born in New Delhi, India) is a writer/director based in New York CIty. She has produced many award-winning documentaries and narrative films over the past decade. In the following interview, Chandra shares her thoughts about the filming of "Indian Summer," the first in a series of documentary films that explore the lives of Indians in America.

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10.17.12

Songwriting with Goh at the Kainalu Elementary School

The Hawaii International Film Festival’s Guest Filmmaker Program connects professionals in the film industry with students to provide insights about working in front of and behind the camera. Japanese-born musician Goh Nakamura shared his experiences as a first-time actor with a sixth grade class at the Kainalu Elementary School as part of the Guest Filmmaker Program.

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10.16.12

Ronen Landa: The Other Guy in Dan, Dave, and the Other Guy

Ronen Landa is the composer for "Paraíso," an award-winning documentary short about Mexican immigrant window washers who clean the skyscrapers in Chicago. Born to Israeli parents, Landa is a delegate of the New American Filmmakers program at HIFF 32. Professionally, he is currently working on scoring two feature-length documentaries. In his personal life, he is expecting a baby with his wife Yael. The Vilcek Foundation talked with Landa about his immigrant background, his musical experiences and influences, and his work scoring "Paraíso".

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10.15.12

First Weekend in Review: New American Filmmakers at HIFF

The exciting first weekend of the New American Filmmakers program at the Hawaii International Film Festival offered audiences an intriguing mix of features and shorts about life, love, friendship, and a celebrity octopus. The festival continues through October 22.

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10.13.12

An Afternoon with Goh Nakamura

Japanese-born musician and filmmaker Goh Nakamura, a delegate of this year’s New American Filmmakers program at the Hawaii International Film Festival, sat down with Phuong Pham and Brian Cavanaugh of the Vilcek Foundation to talk about his background in music, filmmaking, and as an immigrant American.

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10.12.12

Aloha Spirit Fills Day One of HIFF 32

Greetings from Hawaii! We are very excited to report that the 32nd Hawaii International Film Festival has officially begun here in Honolulu!

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10.01.12

New American Filmmakers at HIFF32

The 32nd Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF), unspooling October 11-21 in Honolulu, marks the sixth year of the Vilcek Foundation’s partnership with HIFF on the New American Filmmakers (NAF) program. Originally called American Immigrant Filmmakers on Profile, NAF celebrates foreign-born filmmakers working in the United States.

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07.11.12

Work of Vilcek Foundation Commended by Others⎯Receives Three Awards

We take great pride in our mission, to raise awareness of the perseverance, hard work, and outstanding achievements of immigrants in the arts and sciences in the United States. We find it especially rewarding when others recognize our efforts, a clear signal that we are fulfilling our goals. In the past several months, three prestigious awards have been bestowed upon the Foundation, for which we are profoundly grateful.

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04.25.12

New American Filmmakers National Film Tour Launches With NYC Event

After five years of showcasing independent films by immigrants, in Honolulu, Hawaii, The Vilcek Foundation and The Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) are bringing New American Filmmakers to the mainland!

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02.14.12

Announcing the winners of the 2012 Vilcek Prizes…

At the heart of the Vilcek Foundation mission is our awards program; it is through the presentation of the Vilcek Prizes and the Creative Promise Prizes each spring that we most directly fulfill our guiding purpose, to raise public awareness of the outstanding contributions of foreign-born scientists and artists living and working in the United States.

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12.07.11

Immigrants: Saving American Lives

An article by Richard Herman, Esq., Co-Author, Immigrant, Inc. (Wiley, 2009), and member of Partnership for a New American Economy.

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10.24.11

The Artist behind the Art – Awai Reveals Her Process

On Saturday, October 15, visitors to the Vilcek Foundation gallery were given a personal tour of Almost Undone, the exhibition currently on view, by the artist, Nicole Awai, accompanied by art historian and exhibition essayist Courtney J. Martin.

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10.21.11

AIFP Filmmakers Visit O’ahu Schools

Through its Guest Filmmaker Program, the Hawaii International Film Festival connects industry professionals with film students, giving young talent a firsthand look at life in front of and behind the camera.

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10.19.11

A Special Evening to Honor Talented Filmmakers of AIFP

On Monday, October 17, the Vilcek Foundation hosted a reception to toast participants in the American Immigrant Filmmakers on Profile (AIFP) program at the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF). AIFP delegates, HIFF board members and staff, filmmakers, festival sponsors, and members of local press celebrated together on the Garden Terrace at the Halekulani Hotel.

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10.18.11

Interview with Ian Gamazon, writer, director, cinematographer, and editor of LIVING IN SEDUCED CIRCUMSTANCES

You won’t want to miss LIVING IN SEDUCED CIRCUMSTANCES, a visually striking film with many beautifully executed visual tricks. It is being screened tonight, October 18, at the Hawaii International Film Festival.

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10.17.11

ALMOST PERFECT was perfect!

Yesterday, ALMOST PERFECT had its Hawaii premiere screening at the largest theater at Dole Cannery Stadium at the HAWAII INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (HIFF). The sold-out screening brought an audience of more than 400 to support actresses Kelly Hu (Hawaiian born and raised), Tina Chen (former Golden Globe nominee), and director and writer Bertha Bay-Sa Pan.

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10.15.11

Fate? Or Just Love?

For the Vilcek Foundation, MY LAST DAY WITHOUT YOU chalked up many firsts at this year’s HIFF festival. It had a highly successful screening last night at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium. In attendance were Christoph Silber, AIFP delegate, co-writer, and co-producer; Stefan Schaefer, director, co-writer, and co-producer; and Nicole Beharie, actress.

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10.14.11

Press Conference Kicks Off HIFF 31

A press conference at the Rum Fire Restaurant & Bar marked the official start of the 31st Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF 31). In his statement to the media, Chuck Boller, Executive Director of HIFF, cited in particular the American Immigrant Filmmakers on Profile (AIFP) program, sponsored by the Vilcek Foundation, for its important role in turning a spotlight on the many talented immigrant filmmakers working today in independent cinema.

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10.13.11

American Immigrant Filmmakers on Profile at HIFF 31

Aloha! Arriving at the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) for the fifth year, the Vilcek Foundation is gratified to see how our partnership with HIFF grows as we continue to collaborate on the American Immigrant Filmmakers on Profile (AIFP) program.

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09.28.11

Mixed-Media Exhibit Rings in Fall at Vilcek Gallery

On Friday, September 16, the Vilcek Foundation unveiled Almost Undone, a mixed-media installation by Trinidadian-born artist Nicole Awai. Guests at the premiere’s reception were privy not only to a first look at the pieces in this most recent collection of works, but also had the opportunity to meet and talk with the artist about her inspiration and process.

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07.11.11

Celebrating the Pride of our Nation

The Carnegie Corporation of New York joins us in celebrating immigrants with their annual Fourth of July "Immigrants: The Pride of America" ad.

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05.16.11

Transcript of Francine Prose's speech

Francine Prose presents the recipients of the 2011 Vilcek Prize in Literature during the Vilcek Foundation's annual awards dinner.

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05.16.11

Transcript of Maria Freire's speech

Remarks by Maria Freire, Ph.D., at the 2011 Vilcek Foundation award ceremony.

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02.21.11

Vilcek Prizes Honor Excellence in Biomedical Science and the Arts: 2011 Recipients Announced

Awards season at the Vilcek Foundation is always an exciting time, especially after our hardworking selection juries, after months of research and deliberation, release the names of the recipients of our annual prizes - the Vilcek Prize for Biomedical Science, the Vilcek Prize for the Arts, this year given in Literature, and the Creative Promise prizes in the same categories.

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02.18.11

Vilcek Foundation grant supports NPR “From the Top” program

Congratulations to 17-year-old percussionist Marcelina Suchocka, Grand Prize Winner of Big Break, an online competition sponsored by From the Top and Carnegie Hall for America’s young classical musicians. Selected by the public from hundreds of entrants, Ms. Suchocka’s success earned her a spot on NPR’s “From the Top” national radio broadcast, to be taped Sunday, April 10, before a studio audience at the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, funded by a $20,000 project grant from the Vilcek Foundation.

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02.15.11

Caring and Advocating for Torture Survivors

Not even some of the worst winter weather in New York City history deterred the stalwart from attending a riveting lecture by Dr. Allen Keller, Founder and Director of the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture (PSOT), hosted by the Vilcek Foundation on January 26th at the Bohemian National Hall and Czech Center.

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12.01.10

The Vilcek Foundation Turns 10!

We are celebrating the Vilcek Foundation’s 10th birthday, and invite you to join us as we reminisce a little-admittedly with some pride-about a number of the events and exhibits of the recent past that symbolize both our ongoing mission and the decade of growth in our programs and outreach.

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04.07.10

Transcript of David Baltimore's Speech

David Baltimore, Nobel Laureate and President Emeritus of California Institute of Technology, introduces the 2010 Vilcek Foundation Prizes in Biomedical Science during the Vilcek Foundation’s fifth annual awards dinner.

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03.02.10

The Vilcek Foundation Announces the 2010 Vilcek Foundation Prize Recipients

The Vilcek Foundation Announces the 2010 Vilcek Foundation Prize Recipients

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11.23.09

The Vilcek Foundation Mourns Passing of Jeanne-Claude

The Vilcek Foundation Mourns Passing of Jeanne-Claude

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09.25.09

The Vilcek Foundation has a new commercial and a new Facebook page

The Vilcek Foundation has a new commercial and a new Facebook page

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03.27.08

Transcript of Ara Guzelimian’s speech

Ara Guzelimian, Provost and Dean of the Juilliard School, presents 2008 Vilcek Prize in the arts to Osvaldo Golijov during the Vilcek Foundation's third annual awards dinner

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03.27.08

Transcript of Ellis Rubinstein’s speech

Ellis Rubinstein, President and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences, presents 2008 Vilcek Prize in biomedical research to Dr. Inder Verma during the Vilcek Foundation's third annual awards dinner

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02.26.08

Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts honors the Vilcek Foundation

Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts honors the Vilcek Foundation

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01.08.08

American Immigrant Filmmakers Profiled at Hawaii International Film Festival

The Vilcek Foundation Supports 2007 Hawaiian International Film Festival

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  • A Message from Jan and Marica Vilcek

    Our founders arrived as penniless refugees over fifty years ago, but with the kindness and opportunity they received in the United States, they went on to accomplish great things in biomedical science and art history. Read their statement on the recent executive order imposing a travel ban.

     

    READ THEIR MESSAGE >