Fatu Gayflor

2014 Pew Fellow

1/5: Fatu Gayflor, 2014 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
2/5: Fatu Gayflor with drummer Blamoh Jerry Doe, 2007. Photo by James Wasserman.
3/5: Fatu Gayflor, 2013. Photo by Anna Mulé.
4/5: Fatu Gayflor in performance with the Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change at he Cedar Works, Philadelphia, 2013. Photo by Toni Shapiro-Phim.
5/5: The Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change, 2013. Clockwise, from upper left: Fatu Gayflor, Marie Nyenabo, Zaye Tete and Tokay Tomah. Photo by Anna Mulé.

“I continue to compose and re-interpret older songs, always looking to capture and share cultural knowledge that helps us to be better human beings.”

Fatu Gayflor (b. 1964) learned music, dance, and traditional arts at an early age in rural Liberia. By the age of 14, she was a full-time performing artist, dubbed “Princess Fatu” by Liberian President William R. Tolbert, due to her extraordinary singing ability. After two civil wars in her home country, Gayflor immigrated to Philadelphia to start anew. Since then, she has strived to pursue her traditional practice and to connect with the Liberian community through music. She states that her goal is “to use singing and songwriting to build cooperation and community among Liberians.” Gayflor has recorded three albums, most recently The Princess Diaries, which was produced in Philadelphia. She has received awards from the Leeway Foundation and from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She is a veteran of Liberia’s national ensemble, the Kendeja National Cultural Troupe.

References

Collaborators & Colleagues

Roger LaMay is general manager at WXPN (88.5 FM), a public radio station operated by the University of Pennsylvania.

September 2015 Pew Fellows news highlights: The New York Times features exhibitions from Alex da Corte and Pepón Osorio in its “New Season” picks; Fellows such as Anthony Campuzano and Gabriel Martinez open new installations, and more.

Theater artist and Pew Fellow Jennifer Kidwell on how she became an artist, the role of humor in her work, Philadelphia’s arts scene, and more.

Grants & Grantees

WXPN produced a year-long performance series that brought authentic Mississippi blues to Philadelphia through live performances and radio broadcasts.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Christopher Mekal specializes in strategic planning and implementation, nonprofit organizational development, and financial management.

Lee is the publisher at Corollary Press and author of the poetry collections Underground National, That Gorgeous Feeling, and Solar Maximum, forthcoming from Futurepoem Press.

Grants & Grantees

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.

Grants & Grantees

Gabrielle Revlock will developed a new dance-theater work with past collaborator Nicole Bindler that explored the nature of creative collaboration, as well as themes of gender, competition, and spectacle.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Sarah Lutman has worked in the arts and nonprofit sector for the past 35 years, and she is currently an independent consultant and entrepreneur.

Grants & Grantees

The Mann Center for the Performing Arts will present this civil rights-inspired festival, which will include the world premiere of a new 20-minute work by noted composer and Pew Fellow Uri Caine.

For the past four years, Meg Foley has been inserting unexpected performance into ordinary life with her 3:15 dance project, in which she creates a dance, wherever she is, at exactly 3:15 p.m.

Grants & Grantees

The Philadelphia Theatre Company is dedicated to producing contemporary American plays and has produced nearly 40 world premieres since 1975.