Spike Lee, the Amy and Joseph Perella Chair and artistic director of the graduate film program at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, was presented with the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize in a ceremony at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The award, established in 1994 and funded by the estate of actress Lillian Gish, is given to artists who push the boundaries of their art forms and contribute to social change. The prize comes with a cash award of $300,000.
Darren Walker, chair of the prize committee, stated, “We honor Spike Lee for his brilliance and unwavering courage in using film to challenge conventional thinking, and for the passion for justice that he feels deep in his soul.”
Lee is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta and holds a master of fine arts degree from New York University.