Center-Funded Projects on the Horizon

1/14: Gert and Uwe Tobias, Ohne Titel (untitled). Courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
2/14: Ann Hamilton, the event of a thread (installation view), 2013. Score by David Lang. Commissioned by the Park Avenue Armory for the 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall, New York. Photo by Thibault Jeanson.
3/14: The Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble. Photo by JJ Tiziou.
4/14: Pepón Osorio, Drowned in a Glass of Water, 2011, installation view.
5/14: Barbara Kasten, Construct 32, 1986, 40 x 30 inches, Cibachrome. Photo courtesy of the artist.
6/14: Mendelssohn’s original Bach St. Matthew Passion full score. Throughout the score, Mendelssohn made dynamic and articulation marks in light pencil, preserving the original manuscript. Photo courtesy of the Bodleian Library, Oxford University.
7/14: Opal Loop, performed by the Trisha Brown Dance Company. Photo © Julieta Cervantes.
8/14: Silvia Gruner, Yo soy esa simetría (I Am That Symmetry), 1991, video (14 minutes). Photo © Silvia Gruner.
9/14: The Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change, 2013. Clockwise, from upper left: Fatu Gayflor, Marie Nyenabo, Zaye Tete and Tokay Tomah. Photo by Anna Mulé.
10/14: Cover of World Outlook magazine, October 1919. Image courtesy of Scribe Video Center.
11/14: Kimberly and Jonathan Stemler, Little Red String, 2009. Courtesy of Asian Arts Initiative.
12/14: Janine Antoni in collaboration with Anna Halprin, Paper Dance, 2013. Performance with brown paper. Photographed by Pak Han on the outdoor deck of the Halprin estate.
13/14: After the Rehearsal/Persona by Toneelgroep Amsterdam. Photo © Jan Versweyveld.
14/14: The Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s digital display wall and exhibition cases. Photo by Vincent Fraley, Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

The New Year brings to the region an exciting array of Center-funded projects that promise to inspire, inform, and captivate audiences—from interdisciplinary works that blur boundaries in imaginative ways to unique commissions from international artists. Here’s what’s on the horizon.

Newly Commissioned

  • Framing Fraktur will pair traditional fraktur from the Free Library of Philadelphia’s collection with new works incorporating text as image from seven contemporary artists. (March 2–June 14)

  • MacArthur Fellow and visual artist Ann Hamilton will create a tactile bidding, an ambitious new project for The Fabric Workshop & Museum.

  • Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture will premiere two new compositions by Arab-American composers Kareem Roustom and 2013 Pew Fellow Kinan Abou-Afach, who will take inspiration from Andalusian poetry (muwashshahat) for That Which Is Adorned: Arab Poetry and Music Project.

  • Temple Contemporary will commission Pew Fellow and MacArthur Fellow Pepón Osorio to create reFORM, an installation that responds to Philadelphia’s 2013 school closings.

Artists Reexamined

  • Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art will present Barbara Kasten: Stages, the first major survey of the photographer’s nearly five-decade body of work, paired with a new, large-scale video and light sculpture by Kasten. (February 4–August 16)

  • The Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia will reconstruct Felix Mendelssohn’s 1841 revision of Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, in an American premiere at Girard College Chapel. (February 8)

  • Bryn Mawr College’s Trisha Brown: In the New Body will offer a retrospective of selected dances by Brown, an internationally known leader of post-modernism and an enduring renegade whose work has rarely been seen in Philadelphia.

  • The Galleries at Moore College of Art & Design will present Strange Currencies, the first exhibition to articulate a history of the artist-run spaces that emerged in Mexico City in the 1990s.

Communities Engaged

  • Led by 2014 Pew Fellow Fatu Gayflor and presented by the Philadelphia Folklore Project, the Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change will host a series of open rehearsals, performances, and community discussions addressing urgent issues of violence against women in Philadelphia’s growing Liberian community.

  • Scribe Video Center will explore the history and impact of the Great Migration: A City Transformed (1916-1930) on Philadelphia using oral histories as the core inspiration for this multimedia project, told by Philadelphia residents who experienced the Great Migration firsthand.

  • Asian Arts Initiative will invite local community advocates and homeless people to organize a contemporary art exhibition on the concepts of home and homelessness in Home – A Community-engaged Exhibition Planning Model.

Boundaries Blurred

  • MacArthur Fellow Janine Antoni will blur distinctions between performance art and sculpture in Ally, conceived in collaboration with pioneering choreographer Anna Halprin and contemporary dance artist Stephen Petronio, for The Fabric Workshop & Museum.

  • FringeArts will present the United States premiere of After the Rehearsal/Persona, which uses screenplays from Ingmar Bergman films to inform live theater-making. The piece by director Ivo van Hove and his Dutch theater company, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, will be presented at the 2015 Fringe Festival.

  • Obie award-winning playwright Ain Gordon is “embedding” himself in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s daily functions to reflect on the documentation and preservation of history and create a new work of theater for An Artist Embedded in History.


Students, teachers, parents, administrators, and community members gathered at the closed Fairhill Elementary School on May 1, 2015 for the launch of Temple Contemporary’s Center-funded reFORM.

Grants & Grantees

Within a welcoming educational environment, Al-Bustan supports the Arab-American community’s pursuit and affirmation of its cultural identity.

WXPN continues their Zydeco Crossroads project with this free concert featuring two prominent Zydeco musicians.

Acclaimed French choreographer and experimental dancer Boris Charmatz visited Philadelphia for a residency and public presentation of his performance piece for 24 dancers, Levée des conflits (Suspension of conflicts), at Drexel’s Mandell Theater, co-presented by FringeArts, in combination with a series of interpretive programs.

Institute of Contemporary Art chief curator Ingrid Schaffner contextualizes Jason Rhoades’ sprawling work and ambitions.

The Philadelphia Ceili Group brought some of the finest Irish traditional artists to Philadelphia for a concert series culminating in the Philadelphia Traditional Irish Music and Dance Festival.

Grants & Grantees

The Eleone Dance Theatre produced Americana in collaboration with former members of the Katherine Dunham Dance Company.

Bryn Mawr College’s Performing Arts Series presented a month of free events to expand audience’s knowledge of Cambodian dance, music, and culture that culminated in a performance of The Lives of Giants by the Khmer Arts Ensemble.

Grants & Grantees

Historic Germantown is a collaborative of 15 historic houses, museums, and landscapes in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. The sites have worked together for decades, gradually building their collective capacity in both infrastructure and interpretation.

The first film series on this scale dedicated to the sexual revolution, Free to Love will present more than 40 commercial and underground films, along with lectures and discussions, over a period of a month.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Roger LaMay is general manager at WXPN (88.5 FM), a public radio station operated by the University of Pennsylvania.

Kemi Ilesanmi of The Laundromat Project talks to us about the role artists can play in community development.