INCA GARCILASO MEDAL
AVA bestows the Inca Garcilaso medal every year upon two exceptional individuals born in the Americas to celebrate their contribution in two fields: Art and Philanthropy.
The medal is inspired by the 'mestizaje' of America as a continent where centuries ago Amerindians, Europeans and Africans intermingled, uniting their destinies forever. The medal is a symbol of such diversity and its connection with solidarity.
Inca Garcilaso can be considered as the 'first mestizo' of the Americas, the quintessential global citizen of this continent. Son of an Inca princess and a Spanish conquistador, and born when there were still no borders in this hemisphere, both cultures merged in him enhancing his creative and humanistic capacities.
The sons of America that we honor today with the Inca Garcilaso medal reflect a wonderful and fortunate mestizaje of cultures that distinguishes us as a "New World" in continuous rebirth from Alaska to Patagonia.
The two sides of the medal
Inca Garcilaso de la Vega (1539-1616), born Gómez Suárez de Figueroa and known as El Inca, was a chronicler and writer born in what today is Peru. He was the natural son of the Spanish conquistador Sebastián Garcilaso and the Inca noblewoman Palla Chimpu Ocllo.
Born in the early years of the conquest, he is known primarily for his chronicles of the Inca culture and the Spanish conquest. At the age of 21 he sailed to Spain where he lived and worked the rest of his life. His first major work called “La Florida del Inca” is an account of conquistador Hernando De Soto's expedition in Florida.
His work was widely read in Europe, influential and well received. It was the first literature by an author born in the Americas to enter the western canon.
Martin Waldseemüller's 1507 world map is considered America's birth certificate and for good reason: it is the first document on which the name "America" appears. It is also the first map to depict a separate and full Western Hemisphere. The name America is placed on South America.
The map included data gathered during Amerigo Vespucci’s voyages of 1501–1502 to the New World. Waldseemüller christened the new lands "America" (land of Amerigo) in recognition of Vespucci ’s understanding that a new continent had been uncovered as a result of the voyages of Columbus and other explorers in the late fifteenth century who still believed they had arrived in India.
In May 2003 the Library of Congress purchased the only surviving copy of the map from Prince Johannes Waldburg-Wolfegg of Germany.
Inca Garcilaso Medal 2023 in the field of PHILANTHROPY
(to be confirmed)
Clarinetist and Saxophonist
National Medal of Arts
14-time Grammy and Latin Grammy Winner