Bob Dylan’s prolific career has garnered him 10 Grammy Awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Arts, France’s Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres and even a Pulitzer Prize. Now, the rock legend is making room on his resume for one more after being voted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as announced Tuesday (March 12).
The 115-year-old organization grants what they call “the highest formal recognition of artistic merit in the United States” to an elite group of artists, authors, composers and architects. Dylan is the first rock musician to gain membership and will be joining the likes of Mark Twain, Theodore Roosevelt and Frank Lloyd Wright.
Because Dylan gave rich contributions to the arts with both his music and his words, the academy named him an honorary member, as they did previously with Woody Allen, Meryl Streep and Martin Scorsese.
“The board of directors considered the diversity of his work and acknowledged his iconic place in the American culture,” Virginia Dajani, the academy’s executive director, said. “Bob Dylan is a multi-talented artist whose work so thoroughly crosses several disciplines that it defies categorization.”
The American Academy of Arts and Letters has just 250 members, and historically excluded rock and jazz musicians from its ranks. Officials have more recently addressed the issue and taken cues from organizations like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which focuses exclusively on the genre. New nominees are selected upon a members’ death, and current members vote to elect new honorees.
Dylan’s induction ceremony into the academy will take place in New York in May with a keynote delivered by author Michael Chabon, however the rocker’s tour schedule may prohibit him from attending. His U.S. tour kicks off next month in New York and continues through the spring. Check out the full list of dates below.
4/5/13 – Buffalo, NY – SUNY Buffalo – Alumni Arena
4/6/13 – Amherst, MA – University of Massachusetts – Mullins Center
4/8/13 – Kingston, RI - University of Rhode Island – Ryan Center
4/9/13 – Lowell, MA – University of Massachusetts – Tsongas Center
4/10/13 – Lewiston, ME – Androscoggin Bank Colisée
4/12/13 – Newark, DE – University of Delaware – Bob Carpenter Center
4/13/13 – California, PA – Convocation Center
4/14/13- Ithaca, NY – Cornell University – Barton Hall
4/16/13 – Richmond, VA – Landmark Theater
4/18/13- Bethlehem, PA – Lehigh University — Stabler Arena
4/19/13 – Akron, OH – The University of Akron – EJ Thomas Hall
4/20/13 – Kalamazoo, MI – Wings Stadium
4/21/13 – Bowling Green, OH – Bowling Green State University – Stroh Center
4/23/13 – St. Louis, MO – Peabody Opera House
4/24/13 – Springfield, MO – Missouri State University – JQH Arena
4/25/13 – Champaign, IL – University of Illinois – Assembly Hall
4/27/13 – Murray, KY – Murray State University – CFSB Center
4/28/13 – Louisville, KY – The Louisville Palace
4/30/13 – Asheville, NC – U.S. Cellular Center
5/1/13 – Charlotte, NC – Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre
5/2/13 – Raleigh, NC – Red Hat Amphitheater
5/4/13 – Charleston, SC – Family Circle Magazine Stadium
5/5/13 – St. Augustine, FL – St. Augustine Amphitheatre
- Nee-Sa Lossing, Radio.com