Tony Kushner to receive $100,000 prize for 'challenging the status quo'
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Jewish playwright and screenwriter, with a polarizing political voice, is set to be awarded the prize for 'Creative Citizenship'.
Who said great artists must starve? Tony Kushner, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter, and polarizing political voice, will be awarded $100,000 for “Creative Citizenship” at The Nation Institute’s Annual Gala on Dec. 5 in New York.
A closer look at the social missions of the sponsoring organizations (The Puffin Foundation and The Nation Institute) indicates Kushner is being recognized for more than work alone. Independent of his art, Kushner is known for his daring political views, especially as they concern Israel. He is outspoken about his philosophical struggles with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which he outlined in the book, “Wrestling with Zion,” a compilation he edited that showcases progressive Jewish-American attitudes towards Israel.
In 2007, Jewish Journal Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Rob Eshman interviewed Kushner on stage at American Jewish University, where he asked Kushner about his Jewish identity and relationship to Israel. In a follow-up editorial, Eshman wrote: "Kushner embraces uncertainty. 'I have very mixed and complicated feelings about the state of Israel as a Jewish American,” he said on Monday evening, “and I’m furious at being represented as this kind of marginal crazy who’s plotting to destroy the state of Israel. I think everybody harbors their own secret doubts, or at least most of us do, and everybody’s afraid to say them, because the orthodoxy is policed with such violence and vituperation.'"