"I have devoted my entire career to the performing arts. As an actress in films and on the stage and as a writer and lecturer on the subject of films, it has been my desire to contribute, through the performing arts, to the beauty of the world and to mankind's enjoyment and understanding of life.
In order to carry out my purposes I direct my Trustees to hold my residuary estate in trust and pay the net income therefrom, for each taxable year of the trust in one sum to the person chosen by the Prize Committee, which shall be established as hereinafter provided, to be the recipient of "THE DOROTHY AND LILLIAN GISH PRIZE."
It is my desire that the prize be awarded to a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind's enjoyment and understanding of life through performances on the stage or in films or in any other area of the performing arts, by writing or composing a book, libretto, score, composition or other artistic work to be used in the performing arts, by directing performances, plays or films, by conducting orchestras or recitals or who has designed a stage set, theater, concert hall, opera house or other artistic or architectural creation for use in the performing arts or through other fields of art such as architecture, painting, sculpture, poetry and literature. The recipient should by excelling in his or her field have served as a model and encouragement to all others who would follow in his or her path. It is my desire, by establishing this prize, to give the recipients of the prize the recognition they deserve, to bring attention to their contributions to society and to encourage others to follow in their path."