The American Academy of Arts and Letters is an honor society of the country’s 250 leading architects, artists, composers, and writers. Each year it elects new members as vacancies occur, administers over 70 awards and prizes, exhibits art and manuscripts, funds performances of new works of musical theater, and purchases artwork for donation to museums across the United States.

Recent Exhibitions

Newly Elected Members

Recent Announcements

2016 Charles Ives Opera Prize and Virgil Thomson Award in Vocal Music

The Academy announces the winners of the country's two largest prizes for composers of vocal music. The Charles Ives Opera Prize of $50,000 will be given to Lewis Spratlan and James Maraniss for Life is a Dream. The Virgil Thomson Award of $40,000 will go to Kate Soper.

2016 Blashfield Address

Garrison Keillor delivered the Academy's 2016 Blashfield Address titled "My Legacy, the Limerick." Each year since 1917, a distinguished speaker has been asked to deliver the Blashfield Address on some aspect of arts and letters. Recent speakers include Robert A. Caro, Elaine Scarry, Michael Chabon, Chuck Close, and Louise Gluck.