Bob Dylan voted into American Academy of Arts and Letters
Throughout Bob Dylan's long, illustrious life, he's deservedly received just about every award and accolade imaginable. And as he gets older, it seems that those forms of recognition become increasingly distinguished and significant.
That distinctive trend continues with the recent announcement that Dylan has become the first rock 'n' roll musician to be elected into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Apparently, an agreement couldn't be reached amongst officials to recognize Dylan solely for his music or his words, so he will become an honorary member of the Academy.
"The board of directors considered the diversity of his work and acknowledged his iconic place in the American culture," the Academy's executive director Virginia Dajani explained to the Associated Press. "Bob Dylan is a multi-talented artist whose work so thoroughly crosses several disciplines that it defies categorization."
Dylan joins past honorary members Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, and Meryl Streep in the Academy, which consists of, outside of their honorary selections, 250 artists, musicians, and writers, with openings becoming available following the death of a member. Members technically have no expected responsibilities once admitted to the Academy, which was founded in Manhattan in 1898 and continues to be based there.
The Academy is planning on hosting a members dinner in April, followed by an induction ceremony in May, but there is no word on whether or not Dylan will attend either of these functions. However, Dylan did have to formally accept the membership to the Academy, which is a stipulation for him to be voted in.
The novelist Ward Just, minimalist artist Richard Tuttle, and painter/printmaker Terry Winters were voted in as primary members of the Academy this year, while writer Damon Galgut, architect Rafael Moneo, and artist Luc Tuymans join Dylan as honorary choices of the Academy.
At the induction ceremony in May, 2012 inductee Michael Chabon will be giving the keynote address, the title of which will be "Rock 'n' Roll," an appropriate and timely subject given Dylan's recent honor.