Cicely Tyson was honored by ArtsEmerson last week, receiving the organization’s first-ever Decade Award.
The actress accepted her prize at the fourth annual World Alive! Celebration, held at the Four Seasons Hotel Thursday evening; also in attendance were gospel legend BeBe Winans, jazz prodigy Esperanza Spalding, and presidential biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Tyson — famed for her portrayals of strong women on stage, screen, and TV across more than six decades — is perhaps best known for CBS film “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” (1974) and more recently for ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder.” The Decade Award will be bestowed upon one artist every 10 years who best represents ArtsEmerson’s goals for a performance given in the preceding decade. Tyson was selected as the inaugural winner after reprising her Tony-winning role as Carrie Watts in Horton Foote’s “The Trip to Bountiful” five years ago, during the 2014-2015 ArtsEmerson season.