The Russian music and performance collective Pussy Riot will receive this year's Woody Guthrie prize honoring art for social change, award organizers announced Thursday.

Past recipients of the prize named for the US folk revolutionary Guthrie include Bruce Springsteen, Chuck D, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger and John Mellencamp.

"It feels fitting to be awarded in the spirit of Woody, I think he would love Pussy Riot's anti-fascist message," said collective creator Nadya Tolokonnikova, in a statement sent to AFP by the artist's publicist.

"Usually, when Pussy Riot gets added to lists, it's not always a good thing, but we are honored to be on this one," she continued. "We don't really do folk, but we don't really do punk either, we simply scream and protest as loud as we can, and hope we can show others they can do the same."

Tolokonnikova along with Maria "Masha" Alyokhina will accept the prize on behalf of the group on May 6, organizers said, during a three-day weekend celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Following the ceremony Pussy Riot is slated to perform.

"As artists who, like Woody Guthrie, have the courage of their convictions, there are no contemporary artists more worthy of this recognition than Pussy Riot," said Cady Shaw, director of the Woody Guthrie Center, in a statement.

"They have paid a very personal price for speaking their minds on the most serious issues of our time, yet they continue to fight for justice and freedom."

Pussy Riot has gained international fame for its politically charged performances that see members don balaclavas and skewer everything from the Russian church to persecution of the country's gay community.

Tolokonnikova, 33, is one of three members of Pussy Riot who were sentenced to two years in prison after they sang a "Punk Prayer" denouncing the Russian Orthodox Church's close ties with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow's central Church of Christ the Saviour in February 2012.

In late 2021 Russia labeled members including Tolokonnikova "foreign agents" as part of a broader crackdown on dissent.

The feminist collective last year went on a European tour in support of Ukraine, warning against "totalitarianism" under Putin.

"Oh and a quick reminder to Vladimir Putin and anyone who supports his Z regime ... All you fascists are bound to lose," Tolokonnikova wrote in her Guthrie Prize statement.

Among American folk music's most towering figures, Guthrie penned iconic anti-fascist songs including the socialist-leaning "This Land Is Your Land."

He had major influence on the work of stars including Springsteen, Baez and Seeger as well as Johnny Cash, Jerry Garcia and, of course, Bob Dylan.