Misty Copeland Will Receive 2023 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award

The esteemed ballerina continues to take major leaps in her career.

Misty Copeland will receive the 2023 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award, given each year to support the creativity of an exceptional visionary artist, according to Broadway World.

“We are honoring Misty for her immense artistry and achievement as one of this country’s premier ballerinas,” said Pamela Tatge, executive and artistic director of Jacob’s Pillow. “We are also recognizing her work as an activist and change-maker. As the Pillow and our field as a whole seek to address systemic racism and the need for greater equity, inclusion and access in all aspects of our work, we are excited to honor one of this country’s greatest champions of expanding the ranks of who belongs in ballet on both sides of the footlights. Misty persevered when many would have given up.”

Born in Kansas and raised in San Pedro, California, Copeland began her ballet career at the age of 13, training in a free ballet class offered by her local Boys & Girls Club. In 2015, she became the first African American woman to hold a position as a principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre.

A Broadway performer, philanthropist, mentor, and New York Times bestselling author, Copeland announced her Be Bold initiative in September 22, an after-school dance program structured for Black and Latino students at two Boys and Girls Clubs in New York City.

“I’m honored to be recognized by Jacob’s Pillow,” Copeland said. “This treasured team’s longstanding commitment to the arts and dance are perfectly aligned with my desire to bring this art form to as many people as possible.”

The Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award was created in 2007 by an anonymous donor who gives $50,000 annually to Jacob’s Pillow, $25,000 of which goes to the award recipient.

Copeland will accept her award at Jacob’s Pillow’s Season Opening Gala in the Berkshires on Saturday, June 24.