Fellows Friday News: Heidi Saman Film Acquired for Distribution, Jennifer Higdon Grammy Nominations, and Geoff Sobelle at New York Theatre Workshop

1/7: Heidi Saman, 2016 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
2/7: Geoff Sobelle in The Object Lesson at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Photo by Craig Schwartz, courtesy of Center Theatre Group.
3/7: Jennifer Kidwell, 2016 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
4/7: Chris Forsyth, 2011 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.
5/7: Merián Soto, 2015 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
6/7: action is primary, Meg Foley, 2016. Photo by Tasha Doremus.
7/7: David Scott Kessler, 2015 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.

In this month’s Pew Fellows news, filmmaker Heidi Saman’s debut film Namour is acquired for theatrical and on-demand distribution, theater artist Geoff Sobelle presents his one-man play The Object Lesson at New York Theatre Workshop, and composer Jennifer Higdon is nominated for two Grammy Awards for her opera Cold Mountain.

Awards and Accolades

Composer Jennifer Higdon’s (1999) opera Cold Mountain was nominated for two Grammy Awards for “Best Opera Recording” and “Best Contemporary Classical Composition.” The awards will be announced live on CBS on February 12 at 8 p.m. ET. Read more>>

Choreographer Merián Soto (2015) received a 2016 Transformation Award from the Leeway Foundation, awarded to “women and trans artists and cultural producers in Greater Philadelphia, acknowledging their commitment to art and social justice,” according to the foundation. Read more>>

NPR included “High Castle Rock,” a song by musician Chris Forsyth (2011) and The Solar Motel Band, in its “Top 100 Songs of 2016” roundup. Read more>>

Choreographer Meg Foley (2012) was included in Dance Magazine’s annual “25 to Watch” feature. The publication praised Foley as “a dancer of extraordinary power,” and called her performance works “deep, mature, and brimming with risk taking.” Read more>>

On Screen and On Stage

Filmmaker Heidi Saman’s (2016) debut film Namour was acquired by the distribution company Array, and will premiere theatrically and on-demand on March 15. Read more>>

Theater artist Geoff Sobelle’s (2006) one-man play The Object Lesson will be presented at New York Theatre Workshop on January 31. Read more>>

On View

By the People: Designing a Better America, a group exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, features work by architect Brian Phillips (2011). On view is a card deck created through the Center-funded project Gray Area that prompts audiences to think creatively about historic preservation, and to engage in a dialogue around the past, present, and future of the urban landscape. Read more>>

Visual artists Nadia Hironaka (2006) and Matthew Suib’s (2011) new film Writing with Lightning, a single-screen work composed of altered and looped scenes from the provocative 1915 film Birth of a Nation, is on view at Cleve Carney Art Gallery in Chicago through March 4, 2017. Read more>>

The Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando will present Bo Bartlett: American Artist, an exhibition of large-scale oil paintings by visual artist Bo Bartlett (1993), January 27 –May 7, 2017. Read more>>

In the News

The New York Times included theater artist Jennifer Kidwell’s (2016) play Underground Railroad Game in its “Best Theater of 2016” feature, calling the work “the year’s most resounding testament to the theater’s continuing power to shock.” Read more>>

Visual artist Alex Da Corte’s (2012) solo exhibition at Maccarone Art Gallery in Los Angeles was reviewed by The Brooklyn Rail, which calls Da Corte “one of the most prolific artists of his generation.” Read more>>

The Philadelphia Inquirer published an immersive, media-rich feature on filmmaker David Scott Kessler’s (2015) forthcoming documentary The Pine Barrens, describing the project as “a tone poem for a place unlike anywhere else.” Read more>>



In honor of the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month this April, we highlight the recent achievements of many of our Pew Fellow poets.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Ashon Crawley is an Assistant Professor of African American Studies in the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of California, Riverside.

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

Bowerbird is a presenting organization that showcases over 70 events annually, with a focus on raising awareness of “provocative and divergent musical traditions.”

Meg Foley presents an exhibition of improvisational research and performance documenting up to 750 dances, which Foley performs on a daily basis at 3:15pm.

Grants & Grantees

Frank Bramblett is a visual artist and a 2000 Pew Fellow.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Sarah Robayo Sheridan is a writer and curator whose burgeoning practice and innovative small-space projects have garnered her national attention.

Grants & Grantees

Judd Greenstein is a composer and music presenter based in Brooklyn, NY. He curates the Ecstatic Music Festival, an annual showcase of new collaborative concerts between artists from different musical worlds.

Pew Fellow Christopher Colucci on his progression from musician to sound designer, the music and books that inspire him, and more.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Ben Young is a music researcher and radio host. Twenty years on the air at Columbia University’s WKCR have included continuing in-depth study of the avant-garde jazz of the 1960s.

“There is a hunger for a conversation about process,” says dancer and choreographer Tania Isaac, when asked about changes in audience expectations.

AXIS Dance Company performed in residence at Montgomery County Community College, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.