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RELEASE: Anna Deavere Smith Joins the Center for American Progress as Artist-In-Residence

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Contact: Madeline Meth
Phone: 202.741.6277
Email: mmeth@americanprogress.org

WASHINGTON, DCAnna Deavere Smith has joined the Center for American Progress as Artist-in-Residence. In this capacity, Smith will be researching a new play she is writing called The Americans and chronicling change in Washington, D.C.

“We are delighted to be Anna’s artistic home in Washington,” said John Podesta, President and CEO of American Progress. “Her perspective as academic, artist and social commentator offers a unique contribution not only to this organization but the community and country.”

Ms. Smith’s work combines the journalistic technique of interviewing her subjects with the art of interpreting their words through performance. Her latest play, Let Me Down Easy, is about healthcare and will open this fall at the Second Stage Theater in New York City.

Her work in television includes Presidio Med, The West Wing, The Practice, and the new Showtime television series Nurse Jackie. Films include The American President, Dave, The Human Stain, and Rachel Getting Married. Her other plays include Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992; Fires in the Mirror; and House Arrest. Her books include Talk To Me and Letters to A Young Artist.

A professor at New York University, she is also the founding director of the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue, a center for artistic excellence addressing social change. She has won numerous awards, among them two Obies, two Tony nominations and a MacArthur fellowship. She was runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize for her play Fires In the Mirror.

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To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.741.6285 or kpeters@americanprogress.org

Print: Anne Shoup (foreign policy and national security, energy, LGBT issues, health care, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7146 or ashoup@americanprogress.org

Print: Crystal Patterson (immigration)
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Print: Madeline Meth (women's issues, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.741.6277 or mmeth@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
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TV: Lindsay Hamilton
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Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org