Fellows Friday News: Bruce Graham’s Newest Play, Guitarist Chris Forsyth on NPR, Remembering Painter Frank Bramblett

1/7: Merián Soto, Branch Dances at the Barnes Foundation, 2013, dancer Olive Prince. Photo by LBrowningPhotography.
2/7: Geoff Sobelle’s The Object Lesson. Photo by Jeremy Abrahams, courtesy of The Guardian.
3/7: Scott Greer as Frank Rizzo. Photo courtesy of Robert Hakalski.
4/7: Mary Lattimore, 2014 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
5/7: Chris Forsyth, 2011 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.
6/7: Thaddeus Phillips in 17 Border Crossings. Photo by Mark Simpson.
7/7: CAConrad, 2011 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.

In this month’s Pew Fellows news highlights, Bruce Graham’s Rizzo opens at Theatre Exile, and Merián Soto performs during Fleisher Art Memorial’s Día de los Altar Muertos Celebration. NPR features Chris Forsyth’s new track “Cosmic Richard”, while Geoff Sobelle’s one-man show The Object Lesson receives a Bessie Award, and we remember the late painter Frank Bramblett.

Performances, Appearances, and Premieres

Playwright Bruce Graham’s (1993) Rizzo premiered as part of Theatre Exile’s season, and is running through November 8 at Christ Church Neighborhood House. Rizzo, supported in its development phase by a Center Discovery grant, follows the complex life of the boisterous Frank Rizzo, former Police Commissioner and Mayor of Philadelphia, as he prepares for his 1991 mayoral campaign. Read More>

Choreographer Merián Soto (2015) will present “Para Mis Muertos,” on November 1 as part of Fleisher Art Memorial’s Día de los Muertos Altar Celebration. Read More> Soto will also open Documenting Place And Self, an exhibition of videos at Germantown’s iMPeRFeCT Gallery on November 7.

Poet CA Conrad (2011) presented Magenta Capstone of Apex Poetry Interviews with Mica Sigourney at the Transformation Marathon, a 24-hour presentation of art, science, philosophy, and politics, at London’s Serpentine Sackler Gallery on October 18. Read More>

Harpist Mary Lattimore (2014) joined author Jim Sheppard for Word and Sound, an evening of stories and sound that evoke themes in Lattimore’s work, at the Institute of Contemporary Art on October 28. Read More>

In Review

NPR featured guitarist Chris Forsyth’s (2011) “Cosmic Richard” in their “Songs We Love” segment, praising the track for capturing “just the right blend of bittersweet bemusement and low-key luminescence.” “Cosmic Richard” is off of the upcoming album The Island, a collaboration between Forysth and electronic composer Koen Holtcamp. Read More>

The New York Times reviewed Thaddeus Phillips’ (2002) play 17 Border Crossings at BAM Fisher, noting the work’s “inventive approach to staging.” The one-man show showcases Phillips’ intricate storytelling within the social context of the current migrant context. Read More>

Geoff Sobelle’s (2006) The Object Lesson continues to tour and garner national media coverage, including a recent review from the San Francisco Chronicle and an NPR interview. The intimate, solo physical theater performance recently received a New York Dance & Performance Bessie Award for “Outstanding Visual Design.” Read More>

Visual artist Alex Kanevsky (1997) is interviewed in The Huffington Post about his exhibition, Unstable Equilibrium, on view through October 31 at Dolby Chadwick Gallery in San Francisco. The article describes Kanevsky as a “virtuoso paint-pusher whose images seem to shift and morph across time and space.” Read More>

In Memoriam

Willis “Frank” Bramblett, Jr. (2000) passed away on September 29. As an artist, Bramblett received prestigious awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work was exhibited at Mary Boone Gallery, Moore College of Art & Design, and Tiger Strikes Asteroid, in addition to a 2014 career retrospective exhibition at Woodmere Art Museum. He served as a faculty member at Tyler School of Art for three decades. “Mr. Bramblett was the professor everyone loved. Modest to the core and always ready for an interesting…conversation, he offered a sympathetic ear, sage advice, and remained supportive of his ex-students,” writes Edith Newhall for The Philadelphia Inquirer. In 2001, on the occasion of an exhibition of Bramblett’s paintings at Moore College of Art & Design, City Paper wrote, “[Bramblett’s paintings] each, in their own way, invite the viewer into their worlds with little promises voiced purely and eloquently in material terms.” Read more about Bramblett’s life in The Inquirer obituary.>


Dancer, choreographer, and 2013 Pew Fellow Raphael Xavier takes hip-hop techniques from the street to the stage and tells the autobiographical story defined by sacrifice, passion, and transcendence.

Grants & Grantees

In 1996 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 28 dance and theater organizations in the greater Philadelphia region.

Grants & Grantees

In 2004 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 76 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations and practitioners in the greater Philadelphia region.

Grants & Grantees

Frances McElroy (Pew Fellow, 2009) creates elegantly crafted documentaries that delve deeply into personal stories.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Randy Mason is the chair of historic preservation at the University of Pennsylvania, and is the executive director of PennPraxis.

Grants & Grantees

In 2005 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 66 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations and practitioners in the greater Philadelphia region.

Grants & Grantees

Elaine Hoffman Watts is a klezmer musician and a 2000 Pew Fellow in folk and traditional arts.

Grants & Grantees

The Community Education Center has grown into an arts organization with a focus on cultivating a support system for artists, supported through residency and service programs.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Deborah Schwartz is president of the Brooklyn Historical Society, a nationally renowned urban history center founded in 1863. Most recently, she served as an LOI panelist in Exhibitions & Public Interpretation in 2014 and 2015.

Percussionist and Pew Fellow Pablo Batista presents El Viaje (The Journey), a new performance work.

Grants & Grantees

The Mann Center for the Performing Arts commissioned the performance of a theatrical chamber work by Shanghai-born, New York-based composer and performance artist Du Yun.

Grants & Grantees

Poet and 2012 Pew Fellow Kevin Varrone has worked for over 10 years on a multiple-book project entitled g-point Almanac.