Award Winners / Artist Profile

About the Artist

Tony Award nominated Donald Byrd became Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater in December 2002. From 1978-2002, he was Artistic Director of the New York-based Donald Byrd/The Group, a critically acclaimed contemporary dance company that toured extensively, both nationally and internationally. He's credited with more than 100 modern dance works for his own groups as well as for The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and The Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco), among others; and choreographies for classical companies, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Aterballetto, and Oregon Ballet Theater. His work in theater and opera includes The New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, CenterStage, the Intiman Theater, San Francisco Opera, New York City Opera and Seattle Opera.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.
From the Artist

Firstly, I am overwhelmed with gratitude and humbled by being honored as the 2016 James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award recipient. In many ways I am made speechless by this acknowledgement. When one works at one’s craft for years and often feels as if no one or just a few, notices or even cares, this award is like the sun coming out after a dark and turbulent storm. This award encourages, revitalizes and invigorates me. I am beyond thrilled. I am reminded that after a drought there is rain and this is definitely rain!

I am grateful to Raynier Institute & Foundation for providing the funding for this award and to Artist Trust for its years of ferociously championing artists.

Donald Byrd