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Current News

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Great Immigrants, Great Americans

What do Nobel Prizewinning economist Angus Deaton, Hall of Fame baseball player Mariano Rivera, and acclaimed violinist Midori have in common? They were all born abroad but have since immigrated to the U.S.—and made a big impact on their adopted country.

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Grantee Spotlight: Las Fotos Project

At Las Fotos Project, teenage girls of Los Angeles explore their identities—their challenges, histories, and cultures—with one-on-one mentorship, weekly arts programming, and a free DSLR camera.

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Summer Saturdays at the Vilcek Foundation

Now that summer is around the corner, we’re pleased to announce Summer Saturdays at the Vilcek Foundation! In addition to Mondays and Wednesdays, our gallery will now be open on select Saturdays each month, from 11:30AM—3:00PM.

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A Choiceless Choice: Mona Hanna-Attisha on Standing Up and Speaking Out

For Flint whistleblower Mona Hanna-Attisha, speaking up for the city’s children was “a choiceless choice,” she says.

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Flint Whistleblower Wins Vilcek-Gold Award for Humanism in Healthcare

The Vilcek Foundation has teamed up with The Arnold P. Gold Foundation to create a new award recognizing immigrant contributions to humanism in American healthcare.

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Register Now to See "Ralston Crawford: Torn Signs"

On May 13, the Vilcek Foundation will open its new headquarters with its inaugural exhibition, "Ralston Crawford: Torn Signs."

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Rick Kinsel Joins NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts Board of Trustees

Vilcek Foundation President Rick Kinsel has joined the board of New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts.

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"Ralston Crawford: Torn Signs" in Stores Today!

To complement the Vilcek Foundation’s opening exhibition, "Ralston Crawford: Torn Signs," we are delighted to partner with Merrell Publishers to release an exhibition catalogue of the same name.

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Immigrant Accomplishments Celebrated at 2019 Vilcek Foundation Prizes Gala

On April 4th, the Vilcek Foundation celebrated the winners of the 2019 Vilcek Foundation Prizes, which this year honored immigrant achievements in culinary arts, biomedical science, and art scholarship.

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Renaissance Woman: Carmen C. Bambach

Chilean-born art historian and curator Carmen C. Bambach is the recipient of the inaugural Vilcek Prize for Excellence.

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Reserve "A Place at the Table" today!

The Vilcek Foundation is pleased to announce our forthcoming cookbook, A Place at the Table, to be published by Prestel this September.

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Where the Heart Is: Fabián von Hauske Valtierra Finds Home

Fabián von Hauske Valtierra still remembers seeing New York City for the first time at the age of 8.

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Amit Choudhary: Quantum Physics, Binge-Eating Snakes, and More

Creative Promise Prizewinner Amit Choudhary is used to crossing borders and breaking boundaries.

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From the Inside Out: Tejal Rao Writes the World through Food

Through food critic Tejal Rao, what is often invisible to others is seen with fresh eyes.

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Bust to Boom: Mikhail Shapiro Parlays Failure into Discovery

Creative Promise Prizewinner Mikhail Shapiro has the dot-com crash to thank for his exemplary scientific career.

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Call for Applications: 2020 Creative Promise Prizes

The Vilcek Foundation is now seeking applications for the 2020 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science and Literature!

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The Good Old Days: Nite Yun Revives Cambodia’s Golden Era

Nyum Bai, the bright, cheery restaurant founded by Creative Promise Prizewinner Nite Yun, is a testament to overcoming hardships.

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From Survivor to Healer: Jeanne T. Paz Fights for a Cure

Creative Promise Prizewinner Jeanne T. Paz first heard her calling to heal as a child in her native Georgia.

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Fists Up, Forks Up: Marcus Samuelsson and the Power of Food

Ethiopian-born and Swedish-raised, Marcus Samuelsson first won acclaim as the youngest chef to ever receive a three-star rating from the New York Times; he was then only 23, and already the executive chef of one of New York's finest restaurants, Aquavit.

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Mutations and Multiplication: Angelika Amon Unravels Cell Division

“We showed how the cell cycle is interconnected,” Angelika says, “and how one cell cycle phase sets up the next one.”

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Winners announced: $250,000 prizes to immigrants in the culinary arts

We are thrilled to announce the winners of $250,000 in Vilcek Foundation Prizes to immigrants in the culinary arts. Three rising stars—Fabián von Hauske Valtierra, Nite Yun, and Tejal Rao—will each receive a $50,000 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise. Chef Marcus Samuelsson will receive the $100,000 Vilcek Prize.

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And the winners are…

The Vilcek Foundation is pleased to present the winners of the 2019 Vilcek Foundation Prizes.

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Everyone was from Somewhere Else: An Interview with Martyna Majok

When Martyna Majok won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama last year for "Cost of Living," she quickly became known as a playwright who spotlights perspectives not often seen on American stages. But the Polish-born writer has long been telling stories about immigrants, women, the working class, and people with disabilities; to her, these stories are more than just that of marginalized voices, they are the experiences of her friends and family.

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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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  • Ralston Crawford: Torn Signs

    Our new exhibition, Ralston Crawford: Torn Signs, features paintings, drawings, and photography by a master of American Modernism that are rarely exhibited to the public.


    Free with advance registration!


    RSVP here >