Elephants on the Avenue: Artmaking Workshop with Benjamin Volta

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Benjamin Volta, 2015 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.

Pew Fellow and visual artist Benjamin Volta leads an artmaking workshop as part of Historic Germantown’s ongoing Center-funded project Elephants on the Avenue: Race, Class and Community in Historic Germantown.

Elephants on the Avenue is a series of public programs and community events that use the arts as a catalyst for community dialogue and engagement around race and class in the diverse Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. Led by collaborating artists and historians, these interpretive programs creatively explore such themes as indifference and respect, racism and tolerance, slavery and abolition, and exclusion and inclusion.


Collaborators & Colleagues

Tony-nominated actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith is founding director of the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue, a center for artistic excellence addressing social change.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Jennifer S.B. Calienes is an independent consultant and senior advisor for the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC) at Florida State University, where she served as founding director (2004–14).

Collaborators & Colleagues

Shawn McBride is a writer and a 2005 Pew Fellow.

Grants & Grantees

The Institute of Contemporary Art hosted this touring exhibition: the first major retrospective to honor the singular accomplishments of artist Sheila Hicks.

Grants & Grantees

Scribe Video Center is a place where individuals and communities learn media-making, exploring video as both an artistic medium and as a tool for progressive social change.

Questions of Practice

Katharina Grosse’s epic psychylustro—a five-mile-long “painting” sprayed intermittently along a stretch of train tracks in northeast Philadelphia—challenges a number of assumptions about the role of both painting and public art. Here, urbanist Randy Mason offers his perspective.

Artist Barkley L. Hendricks suggests that whether or not an artist is deemed contemporary is really about who is doing the talking.

An evening of theater, dance, and multimedia performances inspired by the Center-funded project Cliveden’s Living Kitchens.

Grants & Grantees

Travis Macdonald (Pew Fellow, 2014) questions authorship with poems that are lively and whimsical without being frivolous, and which offer critique and reflection of the contemporary moment.

The Village of Arts and Humanities supports the voices and aspirations of the community and inspires people to be agents of positive change through programs that encompass arts and culture, engage youth, revitalize community, preserve heritage, and respect the environment.

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania invites the public to learn more about African American women of the early 1800s who worked to end slavery, and to consider how this history illuminates our lives today. This lecture is part of An Artist Embedded, which explores, via a series of public events with visiting artists and scholars, how historical events are related to contemporary issues in the United States.

Grants & Grantees

Juggler, playwright, and solo theater artist Sara Felder developed and produced the world premiere of a whimsical theatrical reflection on art, aging, and grief.