Garrett Turner Receives 2020 Tanne Foundation Artist Award

Garrett Turner. Photo by Lia Chang

Garrett Turner is a recipient of the 2020 Tanne Foundation Artist Award.

This year the Tanne Foundation awards, totaling $81,000, honor five artists as well as three artist-run organizations in recognition of their artistic achievements. Click here for the full list of winners.

Garrett Turner, Lillias White, André De Shields at the opening night party of Paper Mill Playhouse’s production of HALF TIME in Millburn, NJ on June 12, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang

A proud native of Florence, Alabama, Turner is an actor, singer, poet, and playwright. He writes at the intersection of moral courage and joy. As a Jesus-loving free Black man, he perceives both joy and righteous indignation as an asset, a weapon, and a treasure. He is currently writing a play about a young Black man stuck between monogamy and a hard place entitled An Elegy for Patriarchy. He is also writing a musical entitled Eleanor: A Church Story about a young Black girl from Tennessee who stages a mini revolution in her own church when they ban her from preaching because she’s a girl.

Garrett Turner (Anger), Ryan Jamaal Swain (Love), Forrest McClendon (Depression), and Reynaldo Piniella (Lust) in the world premiere of THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN. Photo Credit: Michael Davis

Turner has worked as an actor in New York City and across the United States in venues such as the National Black Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Papermill Playhouse, Syracuse Stage, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Miami New Drama, Flat Rock Playhouse, True Colors Theatre, Theatrical Outfit, Aurora Theatre, Theater Emory, and the Alliance Theatre. Upon receiving his Bachelors in Music and Creative Writing from Emory University, he spent a year of post-baccalaureate study at the University of St Andrews in Scotland on a Bobby Jones Scholarship. Subsequently he pursued graduate studies in London on a Marshall Scholarship.

Now in its twenty-first year, the foundation’s mission is to underscore the importance of supporting individual artists with unrestricted funding. The award acknowledges the remarkable dedication and creativity of artists in all disciplines and from all sections of the country.

Jerome Preston Bates, Brandon Dion Gregory, Forrest McClendon, Ashley Pierre-Louis, Reynaldo Piniella, Jody Reynard, Ryan Jamaal Swain, Garrett Turner and Hollie E. Wright Set for Baltimore Center Stage’s World Premiere of THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN by Keenan Scott II

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

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