Inaugural Arts Award at UTD Backed by Philanthropist Margaret McDermott

Every other year artists ranging from dancers to poets will be honored. The first recipient will be announced April 9.

violinist

The University of Texas at Dallas will announce the recipient of an inaugural arts award next month. 

The Richard Brettell Award in the Arts will recognize an artist for lifetime contributions in their respective field. Every other year, artists ranging from dancers to poets will be honored. The first recipient will be announced April 9, according to The Dallas Morning News

The $150,000 award is funded by Margaret McDermott, who along with her late husband Eugene McDermott, co-founder of Dallas-based Texas Instruments, have donated millions of dollars to Dallas-area organizations over the years. Brettell is the Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair of Arts and Aesthetic Studies and the Edith O’Donnell Distinguished University Chair at UT Dallas. 

“The idea is that MIT and UTD are both universities that stress the sciences and technology, but each of them has very vibrant programs and interests in the arts.” 

Richard Brettell

A similar $100,000 award in Eugene McDermott’s name, is given to mid-career artists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“The idea is that MIT and UTD are both universities that stress the sciences and technology, but each of them has very vibrant programs and interests in the arts,” Brettell told the Morning News

Beyond the cash award, winning artists will be able to connect and share their expertise with UT Dallas students and faculty. 

Hobson Wildenthal, UT Dallas executive vice president, told the newspaper he views the award as a way to raise the public profile of the university. 

“For the immediate future, that may be the most important thing, that it’s going to help us reach out to an ever-wider public, to signal to opinion makers that we are what we really are, which is a very significant, first-class university,” Wildenthal said. 


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