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An Exciting 2018 for the Vilcek Foundation and Our Alumni

This past year was eventful for the Vilcek Foundation: We moved into new headquarters on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, loaned works to museums around the U.S. and abroad, and prepared for our own upcoming program of exhibitions at our gallery space. The 2018 Vilcek Foundation Prizes recognized immigrants whose work pushes boundaries in architecture and biomedical science, while our alumni continued to make headlines and advances, worldwide.

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The Vilcek Foundation Collection at the Art Museum of South Texas

Friends in Texas, Masterpieces of American Modernism from the Vilcek Collection of American Art closes on January 5! If you haven’t seen the exhibition at the Art Museum of South Texas yet, this is your last chance.

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Jan and Marica Vilcek Receive Woodrow Wilson Award

Our founders, Jan and Marica Vilcek, received the Woodrow Wilson Award yesterday from the Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to the United States, Ivan Korčok.

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A snapshot of the 2019 Creative Promise Prizes applicant pool

From March 1st to June 11th we held an open call for applications for our Creative Promise Prizes in Biomedical Science and Culinary Arts. Established in 2009 as a complement to our Vilcek Prizes, the Creative Promise Prizes encourage and support early- to mid-career immigrant artists and scientists. The 268 individuals who applied this year represent only a tiny fraction of the United States’ foreign-born population. Yet, the applicants—who range from 20 to 38 years old, hail from 78 countries, and work in 23 fields—are a testament to the diversity of America’s immigrants and their significant accomplishments.

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We've moved!

After years of renovation, we’ve packed our bags and moved! Our brand-new headquarters are located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, at 21 East 70th Street, New York, NY 10021.

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"Masterpieces of American Modernism" opens in Texas

"Masterpieces of American Modernism from the Vilcek Collection of American Art" opens this week in Corpus Christi, at the Art Museum of South Texas. Assembled by the Vilcek Foundation’s curator, Emily Schuchardt Navratil, the exhibition features 50 works drawn from the American Modernism Collection.

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Summer 2018 Newsletter: Models, Moguls, and Muslims

We’re pleased to unveil our 2018 summer newsletter, "Models, Moguls, and Muslims: Artists Against Islamophobia," spotlighting Muslim Americans in the arts and media who are using their platform to challenge stereotypes and take action against Islamophobia.

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Grantee Spotlight: MacDowell Fellow Chin Chih Yang Mixes Cultures and Disciplines

Chin Chih Yang, the recipient of the 2017 Vilcek Foundation Fellowship at the MacDowell Colony, was making art before he even knew what art was. “When I was a child, I would take materials, like nails and stones, and put them together to make an object,” he says. “I didn’t know that was art.”

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Found in Translation: Jan Vilcek Speaks with Czech Journalist Emma Smetana

In this wide-ranging conversation with Czech DVTV journalist and actress Emma Smetana, Jan Vilcek speaks about growing up during World War II, his accomplished scientific career, the experience of immigrating to America, and much more.

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Happy birthday, America!

In celebration of July 4th, our friends at the Carnegie Corporation are launching their annual Great Immigrants campaign, honoring the foreign-born, naturalized citizens who “enrich the fabric of American culture and strengthen our democracy through their lives, their work, and their example.”

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Grantee Spotlight: Soho Rep Studio presents world premiere of “Fairview”

Fairview, the latest play by Jackie Sibblies Drury, officially opened at the Soho Repertory Theatre in New York City this past Sunday. The play begins as the Frasier family prepares for Grandma’s big birthday dinner, but soon outside forces start to upend their best-laid plans.

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Grantee Spotlight: "Maineland" sees America through eyes of Chinese teens

Filmmaker Miao Wang explores the fast-growing phenomenon of Chinese students attending American schools in her new documentary, Maineland. Filmed over three years, Maineland follows two Chinese students—Henry, a quiet, introspective gamer, and Stella, an outgoing cheerleader—through their high school education at Fryeberg Academy, a private boarding school in rural Maine.

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Jan Vilcek Receives Honoris Causa to Celebrate!

Jan Vilcek, our co-founder and CEO, returned to the city of Prague this week to receive the title of doctor of medical sciences, honoris causa, from Charles University in recognition of his lifelong scientific achievements.

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A Busy May for Social Practice Queens

Even though the school year is coming to an end, Social Practice Queens isn't slowing down its efforts to share socially engaged art. In the next month, the collaborative graduate program (run by Queens College in partnership with the Queens Museum) will showcase MFA students' art at its annual group exhibition, release a textbook on social practice, and share two students' work at a major conference.

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Immigrant Innovators Honored at 2018 Vilcek Prize Ceremony

On Thursday, April 5, notables from the architecture and biomedical science communities gathered at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City to celebrate the contributions of immigrants to their fields at an awards ceremony for the 2018 Vilcek Prizes.

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Jing Liu: The Generosity of Architecture

“My intention is to use architecture as a means to communicate and to create discourse on our collective values, whether on an intimate, domestic scale or a larger, cultural scale,” says Creative Promise Prizewinner Jing Liu.

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Feng Zhang: From ESL to Revolution

Credited with the development of transformative technologies such as CRISPR, the revolutionary genome editing tool, Feng Zhang’s resume is littered with the names of biomedical science’s top honors: He is the recipient of the Gairdner Award, the Albany Medical Center Prize, the Lemelson-MIT Prize, and the Blavatnik National Award for Young Scientists, to name just a few. Despite this proliferation, however, the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise holds a special place in Feng’s heart. “This prize is a recognition of all the Americans who welcomed an immigrant into their society with open arms,” he says.

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James Leng: Architectural Afterlives

“For our generation of designers, the notion of having a blank slate to design from is largely a myth,” says Creative Promise Prizewinner James Leng. “The reality is that there’s a great deal of existing building fabric that’s out there already. Things like preservation, resilience, renewal—these are instead the strategies that we have to work with.”

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Sergiu P. Pasca: Reaching for the Inaccessible

“This prize is a recognition that it is possible to do exciting research in the U.S.,” says Creative Promise Prizewinner Sergiu P. Pasca, “even if you start [somewhere] far away.”

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Now open: 2019 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise

Applications are now open for the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise! Awarded annually, the 2019 Creative Promise Prizes will be bestowed in the fields of biomedical science and culinary arts.

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Mona Ghandi: Between Dreams and Reality

Creative Promise Prizewinner Mona Ghandi can pinpoint the origins of her interest in architecture to one fateful flight delay during a family vacation. Unexpectedly stuck in the city of Yazd, a little over 300 miles away from their home city of Tehran, the family took the opportunity to explore.

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Polina Anikeeva: Born to be Wild

“What attracts me to the brain is its incredible complexity and beauty,” says Creative Promise Prizewinner Polina Anikeeva.

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Teddy Cruz: A Tale of Two Cities

When Vilcek Prizewinner Teddy Cruz first emigrated from Guatemala, he had no idea that San Diego was a border town. He did not speak English, and his relatives had warned him that going downtown would be risky and dangerous.

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Alexander Rudensky: A Life of Chance and Discovery

A scientific career as storied as Vilcek Prizewinner Alexander Rudensky’s requires discipline, dedication, and unwavering intellectual rigor. And yet, Sasha—as he’s known to his friends and close colleagues—maintains that his life and career has been largely shaped by random twists of fate and history.

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Meet the 2018 Vilcek Prizewinners!

The Vilcek Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Vilcek Prizes, this year awarded in biomedical science and architecture.

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A Look Back at 2017

From amazing scientific recognitions to renowned art exhibitions, Vilcek Prizewinners held the spotlight last year. Take a look back at our favorite moments of 2017.

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  • Announcing the 2018 Vilcek Prizewinners

    Congratulations to the remarkable biomedical scientists and professionals in the architecture field who have been awarded the 2018 Vilcek Prizes. Learn more about their incredible accomplishments:


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  • In Support of DACA

    2017 was a tumultuous year for immigration policy in the United States, with several controversial restrictions issued by the new administration. As former refugees and green card holders, our founders Jan and Marica Vilcek share their thoughts on these policies.