Fellows Friday News: Afaa Michael Weaver Publishes New Poetry Collection, Alex Da Corte’s Times Square Billboards, and More

1/6: Alex Da Corte, Blue Moon, 2017, standard digital video (video still). Photo courtesy of the artist.
2/6: Film still from Mark Kendall’s La Camioneta, 2012. Photo courtesy of Follow Your Nose Films.
3/6: Geoff Sobelle, 2006 Pew Fellow. The Object Lesson at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Photo by Craig Schwartz, courtesy of Center Theatre Group.
4/6: Let ‘im Move You, Jumatatu Poe, 2017, Institute of Contemporary Art. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
5/6: Sonia Sanchez. Photo by Erika Vonie.
6/6: Afaa Michael Weaver. Photo by Lynda Kodish.

In this month’s Pew Fellows news, 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.

Plus, the Center kicks off a four-month celebration honoring the 25th anniversary of the Pew Fellowships in the Arts, with the debut of a lively website that provides a glimpse into the region’s distinctive creative output. Join the celebration and explore Pew Fellows interviews, an evolving Instagram exhibition of Fellows’ work, and more, right here.>>

On View

Visual artist Alex Da Corte’s (2012) Blue Moon, a surreal video portrait of a man singing the Rodgers and Hart song “Blue Moon,” is being projected on billboards in New York’s Times Square at midnight throughout the month of February. Read more>>

Tie Me To The Mast, a solo exhibition of ceramic sculptures by visual artist Annabeth Rosen (1992), is on view at P.P.O.W. in New York through March 18. Read more>>

Visual artist Jane Irish (2011) and filmmaker David Scot Kessler (2015) have works on view in the group exhibition Due South at The Delaware Contemporary through April 30. Read more>>

Awards and Residencies

Filmmaker Cheryl Hess (2005) was awarded a 2016 Tribeca Documentary Grant from the Tribeca Film Institute for her feature-length documentary Marriage Cops, which follows couples in Northern India who seek relationship advice in the most unlikely of places. Read more>>

Filmmaker Mark Kendall (2016) is currently in residence at the Bogliasco Study Center in Italy developing his next film project, which will explore the relationship between labor, landscape, and time. Read more>>

In Conversation and In Print

Poet Sonia Sanchez (1993) participated in the symposium Interrogations of Form: Culture in a Changing America at the Park Avenue Armory. The lecture series included conversations with visual artist Tania Bruguera, choreographer Lil Buck, and author Ta-Nehisi Coates, who discussed the role of art in addressing social issues. Read more>>

Poet Afaa Michael Weaver (1998) published a new poetry collection, Spirit Boxing, through the University of Pittsburgh Press. The book examines Weaver’s 15 years as a factory worker in Baltimore and the landscape of the American working class. Read more>>

In the News

The Seattle Times reviewed poet Susan Stewart’s (1995) latest book of poetry, Cinder: New and Selected Poems, calling the collection, “the best writing from this singular poet, who masterfully explores the intersection of language, the external world, and human consciousness.” Read more>>

The New York Times published a “360 Daily” video of theater artist Geoff Sobelle’s (2006) one-man play The Object Lesson. Watch the video here. Sobelle’s presentation of the work at New York Theatre Workshop was also reviewed by Time Out New York, which wrote: “What exactly is the lesson here? We live, we die, we leave garbage behind. But to make art from trash: That’s real magic.” Read more>>

Hyperallergic reviewed choreographer Jumatatu Poe’s (2012) performance of Let ‘Im Move You at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, reporting: “The performance was boundless, breaking the fourth wall, transgressing the space of the stage.” Read more>>


Pew Fellow Yolanda Wisher leads a workshop exploring creative reflection in conjunction with the Center-funded Elephants on the Avenue, presented by Historic Germantown.

Raphael Xavier and Eileen Neff receive Guggenheim Fellowships, exhibitions by visual artists Alex Da Corte and Ryan Trecartin make a splash in national venues, and Tania Isaac and Meg Foley each present new dance works in Philadelphia.

Raphael Xavier presents Raphstravaganza, a contemporary circus-style performance featuring street performers, extreme BMX riders, acrobatic contortionists, and live music.

In this month’s Pew Fellows news highlights, sculptor Kukuli Velarde and media artists Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib have been named 2015 Guggenheim Fellows. DJ and electronic musician King Britt lets followers get behind the scenes with a new subscription service.

Questions of Practice

In 2017, the Center celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Pew Fellowships in the Arts, with a lively website and short film highlighting a quarter-century of steadfast belief in the value and impact of artists.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Pam Tanowitz is a choreographer and the founder of Pam Tanowitz Dance. In 2015, she served as a Performance LOI panelist.

Grants & Grantees

At age 33, Germaine Ingram (Pew Fellow, 2010) took up dance under the tutelage of a Philadelphia tap legend, the late LaVaughn Robinson (a 1992 Pew Fellow).

Grants & Grantees

In 1994 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 16 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 34 dance and music organizations in the greater Philadelphia region.

2013 Pew Fellow J. Louise Makary’s works on film combine dance, still photography, and experimental techniques, introducing unexpected, challenging elements into traditional narrative structure.

Grants & Grantees

The Village of Arts and Humanities created a community-centered preservation plan to sustain the organization as the primary arts education institution in North Philadelphia.

Pew Fellow Geoff Sobelle’s award-winning production of The Object Lesson travels to Ohio’s Wexner Center for the Arts.

Questions of Practice

A workshop and small grant opportunity, No Idea Is Too Ridiculous allows Center constituents to explore creativity and risk-taking.