Philip Kan Gotanda awarded USA Fellowship for 'rich contributions to the cultural fabric of the country'

Professor Philip Kan Gotanda
February 23, 2024

In late January, United States Artists (USA) named Philip Kan Gotanda as a recipient of a 2024 USA Fellowship. Gotanda is an acclaimed playwright and a professor in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies. 

As a fellow, Gotanda will receive an unrestricted cash award of $50,000 and access to an array of artist services. USA uses a peer-led selection process to award annual fellowships to 50 artists across 10 disciplines in recognition of their "rich contributions to the cultural fabric of the country," according to the press release.

"This [award] is notable because it is an acknowledgement of an artist's entire body of work," Gotanda said. "The award brings renewed attention to artists' contributions and supports them in continuing the creation of their legacies."

Gotanda is the author of one of the largest collections of Asian American-themed plays. His works have often pushed the thematic boundaries of Asian American theater by exploring such topics as interracial marriage (Yohen), generational conflicts of mixed-race children (The Wash), the historic intersection of African Americans and Asian Americans (After the War), and gay Asian American performers in Hollywood (Yankee Dawg You Die).

With composer Max Duykers, Gotanda recently wrote the libretto for an experimental chamber opera, Both Eyes Open, which explores the scarring that Japanese Americans experienced during World War II. He plans to present the opera at UC Berkeley in 2025.

Read the full press release from United States Artists.