Rosanne Cash Recipient of the 61st Edward MacDowell Medal
Composer and performer Rosanne Cash became the 61st Edward MacDowell Medal recipient during a New Hampshire PBS televised special that premiered on Medal Day, Sunday, August 8, 2021. Newly appointed Board of Directors Chair Nell Painter awarded Cash the Medal, which has been granted annually since 1960 to an individual artist who has made an outstanding contribution to their field.
The special 30-minute co-production with NHPBS offers viewers a front row seat to MacDowell’s Medal Day and extends the unique opportunity to see MacDowell through Rosanne Cash’s eyes. Scroll down to watch the full TV program and read Cash's full acceptance speech for the Medal, along with a speech about her contributions to American culture by author and Medal Day ceremony speaker Kurt Andersen, and remarks from MacDowell Executive Director Philip Himberg, MacDowell Board Chair Nell Painter, and poet and MacDowell Fellow Cheryl Savageau, who provided an Indigenous land acknowledgment.
Cash was the first woman to win the Medal in composition, working in Americana, rock, blues, folk, and pop, influencing American culture across musical genres. She joins an august group of other MacDowell Medal winners such as Thornton Wilder (1960), Georgia O’Keeffe (1972), Louise Bourgeois (1990), Toni Morrison (2016), and composers Aaron Copland (1961), David Diamond (1991), Sonny Rollins (2010), and Stephen Sondheim (2013).
(Michael Lavine photo)
Watch the Full Program
Read Fellow Cheryl Savageau’s land acknowledgement
Read Board Chair Nell Painter’s welcome to the audience
Read Kurt Andersen’s presentation speech on the achievements and legacy of Rosanne Cash
Read Rosanne Cash’s acceptance speech for the Edward MacDowell Medal in Composition
Scenes from 2021 Medal Day
Cash was chosen by a selection committee chaired by longtime music journalist, author, and critic Greil Marcus. Joining him on the selection panel were American music critic and arts administrator John Rockwell, musicologist, author, and professor Mary E. Davis, Yale University professor and cultural critic Daphne Brooks, and MacDowell Board member and WQXR radio host Terrance McKnight.
Listen to the recorded broadcast of the August 9, 2020, episode of NHPR’s The Folk Show when Cash and McKnight joined host Kate McNally on for a conversation about Cash’s career spanning several musical genres, her musical inspirations, and the Edward MacDowell Medal.
To learn more about this event or to become a sponsor to keep the annual MacDowell Medal Day free and open to the public, please contact Brett Evan Solomon or call 410-790-2140.
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About the Edward MacDowell Medal
The Edward MacDowell Medal has been awarded annually since 1960 to an individual artist who has made an outstanding contribution to their field. These artists include Leonard Bernstein, John Updike, Georgia O'Keeffe, I.M. Pei, Stephen Sondheim, and Toni Morrison. The artistic discipline in which the award is given rotates in order to celebrate all of the creative fields practiced at MacDowell. Following the ceremony, visitors enjoy a picnic lunch and tour open studios. Both the award ceremony and the open studios are free, and open to the public.