The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage has announced fifty-three grants totaling more than $10 million to cultural organizations and artists in the Philadelphia area.
Thirty-six project grants of up to $300,000 were awarded in support of cultural programs that provide exceptional experiences to a wide range of audiences. Recipients include the Barnes Foundation, for Person of the Crowd: the Contemporary Art of Flânerie, which captures city life through an exhibition and installations in unexpected locations; the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, for Monument Lab: A Citywide Public Art and History Exhibition, featuring works by artists such as Ai Weiwei and Zoë Strauss; Temple Contemporary, for Symphony for a Broken Orchestra, a new work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang for fifteen hundred broken instruments gathered from Philadelphia public schools; and the Wilma Theater, for Adapt!, a play written by artistic director Blanka Zizka that explores the immigrant experience.
The center also awarded twelve fellowships of $75,000 each to individual artists working in music, dance, theater, poetry, sound design, film, and interdisciplinary practices. Awardees include Andrea Clearfield, who has composed more than a hundred and twenty-five works for orchestra, chorus, chamber ensemble, dance, and multimedia exploring a range of themes; Ryan Eckes, whose narrative-driven, closely observed poetry reflects the voices and histories of urban life; and Heidi Saman, a filmmaker influenced by Italian neorealism's emphasis on working-class protagonists whose work examines cultural identity, family, class, and daily life among Arab Americans.
The center also awarded five advancement grants — multiyear investments designed to support bold initiatives led by exemplary arts and culture organizations. Recipients include Opera Philadelphia, which will use the funds to implement a new business and program model featuring an annual season-opening, multi-venue festival; People's Light, which will use its grant to conduct an in-depth market analysis and develop strategies aimed at diversifying its programs and revenue streams, attracting new audiences, and deepening relationships with existing audiences; and Please Touch Museum, which will develop a new set of blended digital and hands-on exhibitions, educational programs, and marketing and distribution strategies aimed at expanding its audiences, boosting visit frequency by patrons, and enhancing its programs for children and their families.
"The talented artists and dynamic organizations that make up our 2016 grantees will enhance the cultural life of the region with exciting new projects and rich artistic voices," said Pew Center executive director Paula Marincola. "The center has been privileged to fund work by an extraordinary constituency of practitioners — from major civic institutions, to independent artists and curators, to artist-driven and community-based organizations — for over a decade. We look forward to the outstanding cultural experiences our newest group of grantees will bring to our community."
For a complete list of grant recipients, see the Pew Center website.