What’s New and What’s Next: Center-Funded Projects in 2017
5 Dec 2016
The New Year will bring ambitious and innovative Center-funded projects to the Philadelphia region that will inspire audiences and push the boundaries of artistic discovery and expression. These exhibitions, performances, and public programs will engage the city through site-specific experiences, weave the community’s voices into artistic narratives, re-interpret history for today’s audiences, and more. We’ve rounded up a sampling of what’s on the horizon in 2017.
The Institute of Contemporary Art’s Endless Shout, an exploration of performance and improvisation inside a museum, will continue with performances and interactive programs by dancer and scholar Danielle Goldman, choreographer taisha paggett, poet Fred Moten, and artist collective The Otolith Group. (Through March)
The Wilma Theater will premiere artistic director Blanka Zizka’s first play, Adapt!, inviting audiences to consider the immigrant experience and questions surrounding identity, homeland and exile, and the compromises of adulthood. (March 22—April 22)
Composer Lembit Beecher will create Sophia’s Forest, a multidisciplinary chamber opera that features a mechanical, electronic sound-generating sculpture that grows from a small music box into a seven-foot tall object as the performance unfolds. (September)
Pig Iron Theatre Company will present A Period of Animate Existence, a symphonic theater hybrid for actors, classical musicians, and intergenerational choirs that will offer a meditation on life and planetary cycles, set in a time of rapid ecological and technological changes. (September)
Playwright MJ Kaufman will debut the play Destiny Estimate, an experiment in narrative structure that combines several forms of storytelling, physical language, and a cappella choral music to investigate questions of prophecy, fate, and predestination. (October)
Engaging the City as Subject
Headlong will continue The Quiet Circus, a 15-month-long series of participatory performances at Washington Avenue Green, a one-acre site on the Delaware River waterfront that served as the entry point to Philadelphia for immigrants in the early 20th century. (January—November)
Artists Ai Weiwei, Zoe Strauss, Kara Crombie, Kaitlin Pomerantz, and Alexander Rosenberg will create five temporary public artworks that explore the modern concept of a monument for Philadelphia for Monument Lab, presented by Mural Arts Philadelphia. (Fall)
The work of African American composer Julius Eastman will be at the center of That Which is Fundamental, the first multi-concert retrospective of Eastman, presented by Bowerbird, and featuring a number of rarely-performed works. (May)
Curator, community artist, and historian Erin Bernard will explore the lived experience of welfare through The History Truck W.I.C. Work/Shop, a mobile exhibition and series of public programs informed by first-person accounts of the Women, Infants, and Children (W.I.C.) nutritional assistance program. (Spring—Fall)
Temple Contemporary will commission Symphony for a Broken Orchestra, a composition by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang for 1,500 broken instruments gathered from Philadelphia public schools, to be performed by a 600-member orchestra comprised of students, teachers, and professional and amateur musicians. (September—October)
Journalism and first-person storytelling will intersect in Commonspace, a multi-media project featuring a series of public radio broadcasts and podcasts, presented by WHYY in collaboration with First Person Arts. (October—December)
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.
A performance and newly commissioned album-length musical composition by Jace Clayton will take its inspiration from the artwork and record collection of Albert Barnes—including a recording which is credited with introducing African American spirituals to the wider world—offering audiences a way to reconnect with and to reimagine the Barnes Foundation collection through sound.
Kendall’s poetic cinematic voice permeates his experimental documentary films that reflect on, as he says, “the everyday conditions of our everyday lives” in ways that bring together the physical, sensuous and perceptual with the intellectual.