Aspen Institute Arts Program Announces 2012 Harman-Eisner Artists in Residence

June 12, 2012

Contact: Zlato Fagundes


Washington, DC, June 12, 2012 –– The Aspen Institute Arts Program, under the direction of Damian Woetzel, is pleased to announce its 2012 Harman-Eisner Artists in Residence: architect Elizabeth Diller and director/producer Julie Taymor. In this role, Diller and Taymor will participate at the Aspen Ideas Festival (June 27 – July 3) and engage in Institute activities throughout the year in New York, Washington, DC, and other cities around the country.

Elizabeth Diller is a founding principal of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, an interdisciplinary design studio that continues to redefine the use of space. A recipient of the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” fellowship, DS+R’s projects include the Lincoln Center expansion and renovation, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the High Line in New York, the Museum of Image and Sound in Rio de Janeiro, the Blur Building in Switzerland, and the Broad Museum in Los Angeles.

Julie Taymor is a Tony Award-winning and Academy Award nominated director whose productions range from musicals and plays to classical operas and films. Hailed as one of the most imaginative and provocative directors and designers working in the arts today, Taymor’s work includes Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and its all-time highest grossing show, The Lion King; as well as The Magic Flute at the Metropolitan Opera and the films Titus, Frida, Across the Universe and The Tempest. Taymor is a recipient of the 1991 MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship.

 “I am thrilled that Liz Diller and Julie Taymor will be joining us this year as Harman-Eisner Artists in Residence,” said Michael D. Eisner, Institute trustee and chair of its Committee on the Arts. “Not only are they both accomplished and innovative artists in their respective fields, but their brilliance, integrity, and vision will enrich not only this summer’s Ideas Festival, but the level of dialogue and discussion at the Institute for the entire year.” 

The Harman-Eisner Artist in Residence program inaugurated in July 2006 to ensure that the valuable ideas and perspectives of leading artists are shared in the Institute’s ongoing “Great Conversation” — in discussions related to arts and culture of course, but also in those related to the myriad other vital issues we address, from poverty, education, and race to the environment, domestic politics and foreign policy. Previous Harman-Eisner Artists in Residence have included conductor Robert Spano, author Tobias Wolff, painter Chuck Close, actor and playwright Anna Deavere Smith, stage director Stephen Wadsworth, and opera singer Jessye Norman.

The Aspen Institute Arts Program was established to support and invigorate the arts in America, and to return the arts to the center of the Aspen Institute’s “Great Conversation.” Directed by Damian Woetzel, it brings together leading artists, arts managers, sponsors, government officials and patrons to generate, exchange, and develop ideas and policies to encourage vibrancy and dynamism in all artistic realms, and to enrich civic culture in ways only the arts can do. For more information, visit

The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit


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