New award recognises threatened arts scholars

In a bid to protect freedom of expression, a new fellowship award will support arts scholars and academics working in countries which restrict creative output.

The Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider Scholar Rescue Award in the Arts will offer 10 fellowships of up to USD25,000 (€18,122) to professors, researchers and public intellectuals working in a variety of artistic fields, including the performing arts, dance and music.

Selected applicants will also be placed at a host university where they will be able to continue their work.

The new prize will be part of the Institute of International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund, which has supported 525 scholars from more than 50 countries for over a decade.

Allan E Goodman, IIE president and CEO, said: ‘Scholars of the arts are an extremely important part of the intellectual fabric of open societies and, sadly, are too often neglected in the face of emergencies or persecution from tyrannical regimes. We lose their creative work, which includes teaching the next generation of artists.’

The award has been established with a gift from artist Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider, her husband, Robert L Dilenschneider (a trustee of the IIE) and Mark A Angelson, chair of IIE.

Whilst this is the first of the IIE’s awards to focus specifically on arts scholars, there are other awards which aim to protect the creative freedoms of artists worldwide, including the Index Arts Award, which was recently won by 18-year-old female Egyptian rapper Maryam Mahmoud, and Amnesty International’s Freedom of Expression Award.