Pew Fellow Yolanda Wisher (2015) was appointed the third Philadelphia Poet Laureate by Mayor Jim Kenney during a ceremony at City Hall on February 5, 2016. During her two-year term, Wisher will serve in both a creative and civic capacity, “publicly represent[ing] the city in the medium of poetry, and serv[ing] the art form within the city,” according to the City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy.
“I’m proud that my city has a post that affirms poetry as a vehicle for civic engagement and expression,” Wisher said during her remarks, according to 6 ABC. “Born in Philly, I returned 16 years ago in search of a poetry community. I found it, and it has shaped and inspired me.” Following her remarks, Wisher read her poem, A Love Letter to Philadelphia. (Read the poem here.>>)
Known for creating poetry that merges the personal and the political, Wisher writes for both artistic and community-oriented pursuits. The founder and director of the Germantown Poetry Festival, Wisher is the author of Monk Eats an Afro (2014), and a Founding Cultural Agent for the US Department of Arts and Culture.
On February 20, Wisher will host the “Poetic Address to the Nation,” a collaborative poetry event at the Painted Bride Art Center, which will be broadcast live on the online news network FreeSpeechTV.
Musician and Pew Fellow Chris Madak on artistic motivation, the notion of “perfection,” and more.
The Library Company of Philadelphia hosts an opening reception for Common Touch: The Art of the Senses in the History of the Blind.
David Lang is one of America’s most performed composers, with an extensive catalog that includes opera, orchestra, chamber, and solo works.
Poet Afaa Michael Weaver publishes a new book of poetry, visual artist Alex Da Corte’s video installation Blue Moon is projected on Times Square billboards, and filmmaker Cheryl Hess receives a 2016 Tribeca Documentary Grant.
Dancer, choreographer, and Pew Fellow Raphael Xavier tells the autobiographical story of an artistic journey defined by sacrifice, passion, and transcendence.
Kristy Edmunds is the executive and artistic director of the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA. She is recognized for innovation and depth in the presentation of works by contemporary artists.
Bringing together some of hip-hop’s most influential pioneers, Clark will present what he calls his “physical autobiography” in a dance-theater performance blending street dance techniques with spoken word narration and video.
A Los Angeles-based dancer and choreographer, Dally is the artistic director of the Jazz Tap Ensemble, which she co-founded in 1979.
This month in Fellows Friday News: Alex Da Corte receives major media attention for his Easternsports collaboration at the ICA, Matt Saunders and Bhob Rainey are praised for set and sound design for The Adults, and much more.
The Unofficial Guide to Audience Watching Performance is an evening-length autobiographical dance, the culmination of Philadelphia-based breakdancer Raphael Xavier’s 30 years of experience in hip-hop genres. Xavier, a 2013 Pew Fellow, plays with the rhythms of rap, break dancing and narrative to draw parallels between the performer’s body and the stage itself.
Michael Kiley is a composer, sound designer, performer, and educator working in dance, theater, and public installation.
In 1992 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 16 visual arts, dance, and music artists in the greater Philadelphia region, including Odean Pope and Judith Schaechter.