Yoko Ono Recipient of the 64th Edward MacDowell Medal

July 21, 2024

12:15 p.m. - Medal Day Ceremony
1:15 p.m. - Picnic (bring your own or purchase below)
2:00 - 4:00 p.m. - Open Studios

Please join us on Sunday, July 21 for MacDowell's annual Medal Day celebration, honoring interdisciplinary arts icon and activist Yoko Ono with the 64th Edward MacDowell Medal during a free and open-to-the-public celebration.

MacDowell Madam Chairman of the Board, Fellow, and best-selling author Nell Painter will present the Medal to Ono’s long-time music manager David Newgarden in a brief ceremony. The presentation will be followed by a picnic lunch and open studios, where visitors will be have the opportunity to visit 31 open, working studios to see art being created and speak with the artists-in-residence.

American avant-garde multimedia artist, Grammy-winning composer, and musician Laurie Anderson chaired this year’s Medal selection panel. Other members included Bushwick Starr Arts Center cofounder and MacDowell Board member Noel Allain, MacDowell Fellow and acclaimed choreographer Bebe Miller, National Black Theatre CEO Sade Lythcott, MacDowell Fellow and interdisciplinary artist Christopher Doyle, and Arts Student League Artistic & Executive Director Michael Hall.

For more information or to become a Medal Day sponsor, please email events@macdowell.org or call 603-924-3886 for more information.

Sponsorships placed before June 28 will be listed in the Medal Day program.

A woman stands in a white fedora, sunglasses, and black suit with her arms crossed, with her reflection mirrored on both sides of her body

Yoko Ono (Bjarke Ørsted photo)

Yoko Ono, Recipient of the 64th Edward MacDowell Medal

Yoko Ono is an artist, musician, and activist. Born in Tokyo, 1933, Ono grew up in Japan, with periods spent abroad in San Francisco and New York. In 1956 she settled in Manhattan and began to develop her own art practice. By 1960, Ono had become a vital part of New York’s community of artists and composers. Over the next decade, she would go on to live and work in Tokyo and London, developing her pioneering practice in art, performance, music, and film, with legendary works including the performance Cut Piece, and her foundational book of instructions, Grapefruit, both 1964. By 1968, Ono began collaborating in art, music, and peace activism with her partner and husband John Lennon. As a singer and songwriter, Ono has released thirteen solo studio albums and nine collaborative albums, including the 1981 Grammy award-winning Album of the Year, Double Fantasy. Ono’s work continues to be honored with numerous exhibitions in some of the world’s most prestigious international venues, including The Museum of Modern Art in New York (2015) and Tate Modern in London (2024). In a career spanning more than seventy years, Ono’s work as an artist and activist remains singularly relevant and continues to challenge the boundaries of artist and audience.

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.

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Past Medal Days