Baryshnikov Arts Center

Photo by Peter Sayers Photo by James Klosty Photo by James Klosty
Photo by Peter Sayers
Photo by James Klosty
Photo by James Klosty
Baryshnikov Arts Center

Cage Cunningham Fund

John Cage and Merce Cunningham’s contributions to contemporary 20th century art and culture transformed the performing arts.

Baryshnikov Arts Center’s (BAC) commitment to artistic innovation aspires to reflect and extend their groundbreaking work.

In January 2014, BAC launched the two-year, $1 million Cage Cunningham Campaign to honor their contributions through creating the Cage Cunningham Fund to award artist fellowships and to name BAC’s Studio 6A The John Cage and Merce Cunningham Studio.

We are pleased to announce that thanks to the inspirational support of over 80 donors, we reached our goal.

The Cage Cunningham Fund will directly support future generations of artists who are continuing Cage and Cunningham’s commitment to artistic innovation. Starting in 2016, the Cage Cunningham Fund will award $50,000 Cage Cunningham Fellowships annually to an artist reflecting Cage and Cunningham’s commitment to collaboration, experimentation and rigor. 

The inaugural Cage Cunningham Fellow is a creative visionary who has had a profound influence on the advancement of contemporary composers and the avant-garde: Russian pianist Alexei Lubimov. In accord with BAC's intention for the Fellowship to support development of new work, Lubimov will apply his entire $50,000 award to commission five composers that he has identified as being at the forefront of music innovation. They are Russian composers Anton Batagov, Pavel Karmanov, and Sergei Zagny, and American composers Bryce Dessner and Julia Wolfe. 

The John Cage and Merce Cunningham Studio is the first physical space named in Cage and Cunningham’s honor. Naming this space at BAC creates an especially vital tribute in New York City’s cultural landscape—Cage and Cunningham’s home and site of creative exploration for the majority of their careers.

Initial leadership gifts to the campaign were given by BAC Trustee Suzanne Weil and BAC’s Founder and Artistic Director Mikhail Baryshnikov. New and additional funds were raised thanks to the DiMenna Match, generously led by BAC Trustee Diana DiMenna and her husband, Joe DiMenna.  Tremendous leadership support of the Campaign was awarded by the Merce Cunningham Trust.

Cage and Cunningham were fearless artistic leaders. We are honored to be able to carry on the legacy and spirit of their work.

Thank you for helping us lead the Cage Cunningham Campaign to success.

Read the New York Times feature on BAC's launch of the Cage Cunningham Campaign.

Read the press release announcing The DiMenna Match.

Read the New York Times announcement of the Merce Cunningham Trust's leadership gift to the Cage Cunningham Campaign.

Read the New York Times announcement of the inaugural Cage Cunningham Fellow.