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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Internationally noted artist Michael Rakowitz will weave the stories of local Iraq War veterans and Iraqi refugees, cultural traditions, music, and found sound into a participatory performance at Independence Mall, combined with a ten-episode radio program for a national audience, providing an intimate, multifaceted, and sustained portrait of Iraq.
Thomas O. Kriegsmann is the Director of Programs at New York Live Arts and the founder of ArKtype, a management and production agency supporting emerging and established domestic and internationally based artists. In 2015, he served as an LOI panelist in Performance.