Rosanne Cash Wins Prestigious MacDowell Arts Medal

Rosanne Cash
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Rosanne Cash of "Country Music A Film By Ken Burns" speaks during the PBS segment of the Summer 2019 Television Critics Association Press Tour 2019 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 29, 2019 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Rosanne Cash’s latest honor is a medal previously awarded to Toni Morrison, Stephen Sondheim and Georgia O’Keeffe, among others. The singer-songwriter is this year’s winner of the Edward MacDowell Medal, presented by the MacDowell artist colony, which announced the prize Sunday (May 17). In a statement issued through MacDowell, Cash said she was “profoundly humbled” to receive an award that Morrison and others had been given.

“I do not place myself in any way equal, but I accept this honor with deepest gratitude, as an encouragement to do my best work, and in the service of future inspiration. My heart is full with this precious recognition,” she said. Cash, who turns 65 later this month, has won four Grammys and is known for such albums as Interiors, Seven Year Ache and The River and the Thread. The award committee was chaired by the critic Greil Marcus, who in a statement cited her long history of achievements and her background as the daughter of Johnny Cash.

“From the shockingly intimate timbre of Seven Year Ache in 1981 to the reflective darkness of She Remembers Everything 37 years later, as a composer, singer, and someone who can, in a sense, summon ambiance, Rosanne Cash has distinguished herself from her contemporaries as she has escaped the weight of her celebrated forebears,” Marcus said. Cash will be formally honored at the MacDowell colony, based in Peterborough, New Hampshire. The ceremony has been postponed to August 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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