CalArtians Elected to American Academy of Arts and Letters

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On Thursday, March 3, the American Academy of Arts and Letters announced 18 new inductees and three honorary members who will be instated into the Academy during its annual ceremony on May 18. Among the newly elected are CalArtians: artist and School of Art faculty Charles Gaines, composer and alumnus John Luther Adams (Music BFA 73), and artist and filmmaker Arthur Jafa, a 2018 recipient of the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts (Film/Video).

Membership in the Academy is limited to 300 artists, who are elected for life and pay no dues. New inductees are elected by the existing membership.

The Academy was founded as an honor society in 1898 for architects, artists, composers, and writers. Its earliest rolls included Julia Ward Howe, Henry James, Theodore Roosevelt, John Singer Sargent, Mark Twain, and Edith Wharton. Election to The Academy is considered the highest form of recognition of artistic merit in the United States.

2022 Newly Elected Members to the Academy of Arts and Letters

Deborah Berke
Thomas Phifer
Michael Van Valkenburgh
Mabel O. Wilson

Suzan Frecon
Charles Gaines
Arthur Jafa

Lydia Davis
Terrance Hayes
N. Scott Momaday
Tim O’brien
Elizabeth Strout
Amy Tan

John Luther Adams
Jennifer Higdon
Annea Lockwood
David Sanford
Christopher Theofanidis

American Honorary
Joni Mitchell

Foreign Honorary
Kazuo Ishiguro
Bridget Riley

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PUBLISHED BY Christine N. Ziemba

Christine is the director of Content at CalArts, responsible for the Institute's editorial in both print and online platforms. In addition, she oversees CalArts' social media accounts. In her spare time, she writes about the Santa Clarita food scene at

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