Grammy-winning artist Solange Knowles has been named the 2018 Harvard Foundation Artist of the Year.
The singer, songwriter and artist has is set to accept the accolade on March 3.
The Harvard Foundation is dedicated to exploring intercultural and race relations, and it’s certainly been a major theme in Knowles’ work.
Knowles, who recently was named one of Glamour magazine’s women of 2017 and received the Billboard Impact Award, has used her public platform to advocate for justice and fair representation, promoting constructive and empowering political messages.
Her Grammy-winning 2016 album, “A Seat at the Table,” touched on racial politics and empowerment issues, and featured hits like “Don’t Touch My Hair.”
From performing for then-President Barack Obama at the White House, Knowles has invoked themes dealing with empowerment, identity, grief, and healing that have resonated with millions of people.
Her performance-art shows at the Guggenheim Museum and the Chinati Foundation, along with her installation at London’s Tate Modern museum, have amplified a defining career of visual art and activism.
In accepting the Glamour award, Knowles said, “When I was about 11 years old, someone told me, ‘You’ve got to shoot for the moon and, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.’ Well, I wasn’t interested in either one. I was interested in the journey there.”
She added, “We as women are told from the second that we come into our own that we must not only shoot for the moon but hold it in our hands, turn it until the morning, nurture all of its rings … and feel and look like a goddess. That is not my journey.”
Knowles also had an exhibit on black womanhood at London’s Tate Modern last year.
The Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, the University’s office for interracial, interethnic, and interreligious relations, honors the nation’s most acclaimed artists and scientists each year.
Previous Harvard Foundation artists of the year include Denzel Washington, Matt Damon, Shakira, Viola Davis and Salma Hayek.