Fall begins with a lively schedule of Center-funded projects, including ambitious artistic collaborations, performance premieres, exhibition openings, and experimental installations that push the boundaries of genre and form. See our highlights below, and visit our events page for a full calendar of projects and programs coming this season.
September 8—November 26
The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center’s (PPAC) 15-month engagement and exhibition series, Hank Willis Thomas: Philly Block Project, will culminate in an installation created by conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas in collaboration with a group of photographers, who together will create floor-to-ceiling photographs that reveal the various perspectives found within a 2-block radius of Philadelphia’s South Kensington neighborhood. PPAC will also host an outdoor arts carnival as part of the project on September 10 at the Meadows Arts Park.
Street performers, BMX riders, acrobats, and musicians will come together for a day of circus-style performances presented by Pew Fellow and hip-hop artist Raphael Xavier. Taking place in the courtyard of Philadelphia’s City Hall, the performances will pay tribute to the soul of the city, inviting discovery of urban street dance and movement.
September 14—March 19
The Institute of Contemporary Art will embark on an interdisciplinary, multi-artist project examining the role of performance in museum spaces. Over the course of six months, six artists will collaborate on an experimental series of dance, music, poetry, multi-media installations, and interactive programs.
Composer and performer Mike Bullock will present the inauguration of the Philadelphia Embassy of the international art project, The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland (KREV). Visitors will have an opportunity to apply for KREV “citizenship,” while taking in electronic music performances and an exhibition of KREV videos and ephemera.
Composer Jace Clayton will debut his new album-length work informed by the artworks of The Barnes Foundation and Albert Barnes’ extensive record collection. The performance, curated by Lee Tusman, will feature a 20-piece musical ensemble and original costumes handcrafted by fashion designer Rocio Salceda.
Breaking the Waves
September 22—October 1
Opera Philadelphia will debut a new chamber opera inspired by Lars von Trier’s 1996 film Breaking the Waves. Created by composer-in-residence Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek, the opera tells the complex, harrowing tale of a naive newlywed who has chosen to marry outside of her strict Calvinist community in coastal Scotland.
FringeArts will present South African theater artist Brett Bailey’s adaptation of Verdi’s opera Macbeth. Set in the Democratic Republic of Congo and featuring a South African cast, the production examines post-colonial central Africa through an imaginative appropriation of Shakespeare’s tale. In conjunction with this presentation, FringeArts will present Le Cargo, a dance work by Congolese choreographer Faustin Linyekula, on September 24.
Reopening of South Asian Galleries
The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s fully reinterpreted and reinstalled South Asian art galleries will reopen to the public in October, offering visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in diverse cultures of the past and present through vivid storytelling, powerful images, and digital interactives.
The Musical World of Don Quixote
Piffaro, The Renaissance Band will debut a new bi-lingual music and movement performance that will offer audiences a distinctive interpretation of Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote, combining narrative elements and ballads drawn from the novel.
Artists at the Forefront
Ann Hamilton: habitus
September 6—January 8
The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) will present a multi-venue exhibition by MacArthur Fellow and visual artist Ann Hamilton exploring how we use, live with, and experience fabrics in our daily lives. On view in two distinct venues—the galleries of FWM and Municipal Pier 9 on the Delaware River waterfront—habitus weaves text, textile, and image together as mediums for an imaginative and tactile exchange between artist and audience.
Levée des conflits
Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design will present French choreographer Boris Charmatz’s experimental dance piece Levée des conflits, a work for 24 dancers based on 25 repetitive movements that unfold over time. The performances will be accompanied by a series of panel discussions and community workshops.
Trinity Season will commence Choral Arts Philadelphia’s three-part concert series, which recreates rarely-performed cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach, performed in an arc spanning the Christian church calendar and secular seasons.
Exploring Personal Histories
Composing the Tinnitus Suites: 2016
September 23—October 16
Inspired by his personal experiences with tinnitus, sound artist Daniel Fishkin will present a collaborative performance series and electroacoustic insulation anchored by the Lady’s Harp—Fishkin’s handcrafted 20-foot long instrument consisting of piano strings, amplifiers, and a mixer.
portrait of myself as my father
Zimbabwean dancer Nora Chipaumire will explore themes of masculinity, Africa, and the body in her dance work, portrait of myself as my father, presented as part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Center-supported Creative Africa programming.
In a new multimedia dance work, choreographer Jungwoong Kim will examine the universality of sudden loss and trauma, drawing on his personal experiences of losing a family member as a child, as well as two public disasters in South Korea and Philadelphia.
The Crossing presented its second festival of contemporary choral music featuring commissioned works by Lansing McLoskey, Paul Fowler, and Pulitzer Prize winner David Lang.
Montgomery County Community College presented this four-concert series featuring Grammy Award winner David Sanchez, Paquito D’Rivera, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, and Marlon Simon.
Jenny-Sayre Ramberg is the Director of Planning and Design, Exhibits/Design, at the National Aquarium, Baltimore. In 2015, she served as a panelist in Exhibitions & Public Interpretation.
The ICA presents choreographer and performance artist taisha paggett’s counts orchestrate, a meadow (or weekly practice with breath).
Revisit Center-funded The Dance Apocalypse in Brooklyn with The Dance Apocalypse/Solos. Creators Gabrielle Revlock and Nicole Bindler describe the piece as ” a radical challenge to the paltry circumstances in which artists seek funding and a heart wrenching end-of-the-world love story with pizazz.”
“I curate for curious people. I curate for people who love some other field or subject the same way I love art. I curate for those people who need to be won over, but are willing.”
In 2010, with Center support, Philagrafika—an organization dedicated to contemporary printmaking—organized a massive multi-venue festival.
Sheryl Robin David is a craft artist and a 2000 Pew Fellow in folk and traditional arts.
Chamber Music Now commissioned new works by Philadelphia-based composers, inspired by the history of Eastern State Penitentiary.
Hipolito “Tito” Rubio is a musician and a 2004 Pew Fellow in folk and traditional arts.
Anna Weesner is an award-winning composer and a 2003 Pew Fellow.
Classically trained on the harp since age 11, Mary Lattimore (Pew Fellow, 2014) incorporates experimental techniques and technologies into her music, thereby extending the conventions of her instrument.