The Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise

New York, April 1, 2008 - The Vilcek Foundation has announced the creation of two new annual prizes that will be awarded to young immigrants in the United States who have made outstanding contributions in the fields of biomedical research or the arts and humanities. To be called “Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise”, these awards have been established to call attention to the continuing role young immigrants play in sustaining the excellence and vibrancy of the sciences and the arts/humanities in the United States. The new Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise will be awarded each year in the field of biomedical research and in a category of the arts or humanities selected by the Foundation. The arts field selected for 2009 is filmmaking. To be eligible for the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise applicants must have been born outside the United States and be no more than 38 years old as of January 1, 2009. The deadline for receipt of the applications is July 11, 2008.

A $25,000 cash award and a certificate of recognition designed by Stefan Sagmeister will be presented to each winner of the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise during the Foundation’s annual awards ceremony and dinner in New York City in the spring of 2009.

“The Foundation is excited to add these prizes for early achievement to the existing Vilcek Prizes awarded to established artists and scientists. We felt it was appropriate to recognize the dedication, energy, and vision that young immigrants bring to the arts and sciences and honor the enormous contributions they make to their respective fields,” said Dr. Jan T. Vilcek, President of the Vilcek Foundation.

“Recognizing a new generation of immigrant scientists and artists is most appropriatebecause of the challenges they often face in their early careers. We hope these prizes will provide continued encouragement and support towards their artistic and scientific pursuits,” added Marica Vilcek, Vice-President of the Vilcek Foundation.

About the Vilcek Foundation

The Vilcek Foundation’s mission is to heighten public awareness of the contributions of immigrants to the sciences, arts and culture in the United States. The mission of the foundation was inspired by Jan and Marica Vilcek’s careers in biomedical science and art history, respectively, as well as their personal experiences and appreciation for the opportunities they received as newcomers to the United States.

The Foundation bestows annual prizes to prominent foreign-born biomedical scientists and artists, who make outstanding contributions to society in the United States. Former recipients of the Vilcek Prizes include: the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude; Dr. Rudolf Jaenisch, founding member of the Whitehead Institute at MIT; Dr. Joan Massagué, Chairman of the Cancer and Biology Genetics Program at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; acclaimed classical music composer Osvaldo Golijov; architect and urban planner Denise Scott Brown, and Dr. Inder Verma, American Cancer Society Professor of Molecular Biology at the Salk Institute. In addition to awarding annual prizes in the biomedical science and arts and humanities, the Vilcek Foundation will also showcase the work of innovative designers, filmmakers and other artists, many of them immigrants who have yet to achieve critical or financial success, at its new headquarters at 167 East 73rd Street in New York City.

For more information about the Vilcek Foundation or the Creative Promise Prizes please visit

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