The ISADORE ROSENFELD AWARD FOR IMPACT ON PUBLIC OPINION is presented annually to a news media representative or citizen who has worked effectively to deliver medical or health research advocacy messages to the public.
Renée Fleming is the artistic advisor-at-large to The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She spearheads the Sound Health Initiative, a collaboration with the National Institutes of Health in association with the National Endowment for the Arts. The initiative works to enhance the potential for music as therapy for neurological disorders, identifies future opportunities for research, and creates public awareness about how the brain functions and interacts with music. As part of the project, Fleming spent two hours in a fMRI scanner, singing, speaking, and imagining a tune so researchers could explore how the brain is activated in those three situations.
As a creative contribution to the Sound Health Initiative, Ms. Fleming created a presentation called Music and the Mind. Designed for a general audience, Music and the Mind celebrates the power of music as it relates to health and the brain. Topics include childhood development, music therapy, and cognitive neuroscience. Since September 2017, Ms. Fleming has presented Music and the Mind in over 30 cities across North America, Europe, and Asia.
As part of these presentations, Ms. Fleming invites experts around the country to present their research and discuss their findings. She also showcases the evolutionary role music has played in creating community, as well as case studies and individual stories of how music has changed lives. As she travels, she collaborates with leading neuroscientists, researchers, and music therapists with the goal of bringing new information to audiences who are fans of her music. With her work at the intersection of music and medicine, she strives to improve public awareness, as she advocates for additional research on music, the brain, and wellness.
Renée Fleming is one of the most highly acclaimed singers of our time. In 2013, President Obama awarded her America's highest honor for an artist, the National Medal of Arts. Other awards include Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit, the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Award, Sweden’s Polar Music Prize, the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur from the French government, Honorary Membership in the Royal Academy of Music, and honorary doctorates from Northwestern University, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, Duke University, Carnegie Mellon University, the Eastman School of Music, and The Juilliard School.
For more information about the Isadore Rosenfeld Award for Impact on Public Opinion, click here.