Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith and Columbia University have announced the creation of The Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History (EMK Prize).
The award, which will honor he legacy of Smith's bother, the late Senator Ted Kennedy, will be awarded annually through the Columbia University Libraries to a new play or musical that "enlists theater's power to explore the past of the United States, to participate meaningfully in the great issues of our day through the public conversation, grounded in historical understanding, that is essential to the functioning of a democracy."
The first recipient will be announced on February 22, 2013, the anniversary of Kennedy's birth. The author of the winning work will receive $100,000, as well as a website featuring study and teaching guides for the play or musical.
The judging panel will consist of three playwrights, two musical theater writers, two scholars of literature, American history, or political science, and the President of Columbia University.