Will Arbery is the 2016 Northwestern University Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize.
Arbery is a playwright, filmmaker, and performer. He grew up the only boy among seven sisters, and his work examines the idea of “perceived limitation.” Inspired by his older sister Julia, who has Down syndrome, he’s compelled to write authentic characters across all spectra, and is particularly invested in characters with physical and cognitive disabilities. He’s based in Brooklyn, and is a member of Clubbed Thumb’s writers group Impartial Nudity.
His play The Mongoose was produced by The Road Theatre in Los Angeles, where it was an LA Times Critic’s Pick. In 2014, he was one of the winners of the Samuel French OOB Festival with his play The Logic. His plays include: Claustrophile (Clubbed Thumb SummerWorks reading), The Confession (Alliance Theatre/Kendeda workshop), You’re Sadder Than You Realize (Dixon Place), and WE WERE NOTHING! (Flavorpill Editor’s Pick). He’s a member of BOOMERANG and was in residence with them at the Watermill Center.
During the award year, Will plans to finish his short film Your Resources and develop it into a feature film. He also plans to create: a new musical featuring a Down syndrome lead performer, a web-series involving perceived limitation, and a new play about his seven sisters. The award will also help him afford the costs of residencies, travel for research, rehearsal space, submissions, and professional development.
Upcoming residencies: Tofte Lake Center, Wildacres, Can Serrat. His writing has been published in Better, great weather for MEDIA, The Awl, Word Riot, decomP, Howl Round, and more. He was named one of Variety’s “110 Students to Watch.”
Nada Shalaby was the 2015 Northwestern University Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize.
Nada is a visual artist born in Cairo. Her practice is primarily situated between installation, performance and social engagement. She is concerned with the interrogation of uncontested spaces, often involving constructs of language and cultural associations, that exist in the public sphere. She began work in social practice in 2009 with a storefront studio in Chicago’s West Roger’s Park neighborhood. In 2011, she founded a social practice residency program for young artists and co-founded the art space Doukan7002 in Chicago. She moved back to Egypt later that year and began teaching in the Department of the Arts at the American University in Cairo. She holds a Masters degree in Middle East Studies from the American University in Cairo and an MFA in Art Theory and Practice from Northwestern University.
Aaron Hughes was the 2014 Northwestern University Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize.
He is an artist, activist, teacher, and Iraq War veteran whose work seeks out poetics, connections, and moments of beauty, in order to construct new languages and meanings out of personal and collective traumas. He uses these new languages and meanings to create projects that deconstruct systems of dehumanization and oppression. He works with a variety of art, activist, and veteran organizations and projects including: Iraq Veterans Against the War, National Veterans Art Museum, Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative, Warrior Writers Project, Dirty Canteen, and Center for Artistic Activism.
During the Edes Prize award year, Aaron focused on his ongoing Tea Project that utilizes the space created when someone sits, sips, and reflects over a cup of tea to offers counter-narratives that disrupt the numbing effects of war, detention, and dehumanization.
Shawn Jaeger was the 2013 Northwestern University Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize.
He was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1985. His music often draws inspiration from Appalachian folksong and hymnody, and has been performed by Dawn Upshaw and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, JACK Quartet, Ensemble Dal Niente, and Contemporaneous, at venues including Zankel Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, the Morgan Library, (Le) Poisson Rouge, and the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. He has received commissions from Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Bard College Conservatory of Music Graduate Vocal Arts Program, the JFund/American Composers Forum, and the BMI Foundation/Concert Artists Guild. Honors include the ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award, the Northwestern University M. William Karlins and William T. Faricy Awards, and two BMI Student Composer Awards. Jaeger holds a DMA in composition from Northwestern University, and a BM from the University of Michigan. He lives in New York City.
Nolan Pearson was the 2012 Northwestern University Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize.
Nolan Pearson has been praised by the New York Times as a “high-energy pianist” who “brought beauty and cohesiveness” to his interpretations of new music. As soloist he has appeared with conductors including Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Stefan Asbury, Bridget Reischl and Robert Hasty and in recital in Europe and throughout North America. Based in Chicago, he appears on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music series and is an Instructor at Northwestern University.
Invested in promoting emerging composers, Mr. Pearson has commissioned many solo works. As original pianist of The New Fromm Players, called “fearlessly accomplished” by the Boston Globe, he worked closely with composers Charles Wuorinen, Oliver Knussen, and Bright Sheng and performed at the Elliott Carter Centenary at Tanglewood. He is active in new music performance and a regular guest performer at the Intimacy of Creativity in Hong Kong.
Mr. Pearson studied principally with Ursula Oppens, Robert Shannon and Jill Sprenger. He has been winner of the Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship and also holds a degree in Biochemistry.
Cameron Crawford was the 2011 Northwestern University Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize.
He lives and works in New York. His writing has been included in Blast Counterblast (Mercer Union/WhiteWalls), Manual for Treason for the 2011 Sharjah Biennial, and the 2012 Whitney Biennial catalogue. His artwork has been exhibited in galleries and institutions throughout the United States, including the 2012 Whitney Biennial.
Ryan Muncy was the 2010 Northwestern University Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize.
Praised for “superb” performances by The New York Times as well as his ability to “show off the instrument’s malleability and freakish extended range as well as its delicacy and refinement” by The Chicago Reader, Ryan is a saxophonist who performs, commissions, and presents new music. His work emphasizes collaborative relationships with composers and artists of his generation and aims to reimagine the way listeners experience the saxophone through contemporary music. He is a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship in France, the Kranichstein Music Prize, and has participated in the creation of more than 125 new works for the instrument. His debut solo album Hot was released by New Focus Recordings in 2013, described as “absorbing” (Alex Ross) and “one of the year’s best albums” (Time Out New York). Based in New York City, Ryan is the Saxophonist and Director of Institutional Giving for the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and holds the Doctor of Music degree from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music.