Kris Kristofferson will be presented with the Woody Guthrie Prize, an award that honors those who embody the spirit of the folk singer/songwriter Woody Guthrie by serving as a force for social change in America through art. Currently in its third year, previous recipients include Mavis Staples (2015) and Pete Seeger (2014).
The awards ceremony will be held at Tulsa’s Brady Arts District on Tuesday, Oct. 18; the ceremony has previously taken place in New York and Los Angeles.
“With over 50 years of social activism as a voice for disenfranchised, Kris was an obvious choice to receive the 2016 Woody Guthrie Prize,” said Woody Guthrie Center Executive Director Deana McCloud. “It is an honor to recognize his incredible career and tireless work to make positive improvements in our society.”
Artists including Rodney Crowell will join Kristofferson on stage to perform some of his most popular songs.
Proceeds from the event will support the Woody Guthrie Center, a 12,000-square-foot center that features state-of-the-art, interactive exhibits on Guthrie’s life, art and creative legacy. The center houses Guthrie’s comprehensive archives, including the original, handwritten version of Guthrie’s landmark anthem, “This Land is Your Land,” which is available for viewing at the center.
The Woody Guthrie Archives were brought to Tulsa by the George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF), which purchased them in 2011 from the Guthrie family. In 2013, the Woody Guthrie Center opened to preserve and showcase the Oklahoma native’s career and life story. The foundation continues its commitment to the Woody Guthrie Center through grant funding that makes the Woody Guthrie Prize possible.
“With poetic sensibilities unmatched in late 60s Nashville, Kristofferson introduced male vulnerability and ultimately the bedroom to country music,” said Crowell. “Thoughtful sensuality, longing, raw emotion and a sharp eye out on society’s disenfranchised underbelly are the linchpin of the Kristofferson legend. Like Hank Williams and Johnny Cash before him, he literally redefined country music, seducing and enlightening his audience with timeless insight. I’m a devotee.”
Tickets will be available beginning June 13th and can be purchased for $50 or $60. Assigned seating will be enforced, so purchasing tickets early is recommended. To purchase tickets, visit cainsballroom.com.
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