Philip Bither

Philip Bither. Photo by Gene Pittman.

Philip Bither has been the Walker Art Center’s senior curator of performing arts since 1997, focusing departmental energies toward a renewed interest in contemporary music (jazz, avant-rock, and new music), experimental puppetry, and in-depth community-based artist residencies (Bill T. Jones, Liz Lerman, Joanna Haigood, and others). He has overseen significant expansion of the performing arts program, including the building of the McGuire Theater, a theatrical space within the Walker. Bither has also served as director of programming for the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, Vermont, and as artistic director of Burlington’s Discover Jazz Festival. Through much of the 1980s, he was also associate director and music curator of the Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He is a member and adviser of the National Dance Project, Étant Donnés, and the Contemporary Art Centers initiative of the New England Foundation for the Arts. Bither served on the Center’s 2011 Pew Fellowships panel and 2010 management panel, and sat down with the Center’s visiting scholar Kristy Edmunds in 2015 for a conversation about audience roles in preserving performances.

References

Grants & Grantees

In 1998 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 52 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations in the greater Philadelphia region.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Rajendra Roy joined the Department of Film at The Museum of Modern Art as Chief Curator in July 2007, overseeing the museum’s film collection, and their preservation and exhibition efforts. Roy served as a Pew Fellowships panelist in 2015.

Warriors of the Wonderful Sound commissioned and premiered a composition from Muhal Richard Abrams, co-founder of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians.

Whitney Kimball, Vox Populi Gallery’s third AUX Curatorial Fellow, presents “The Videofreex Pirate TV” and a Q&A with Skip Blumberg and Nancy Cain, the third program in the “Schmart World” series.

Grants & Grantees

The Association for Public Art (formerly the Fairmount Park Art Association) is the nation’s first private, nonprofit organization dedicated to integrating public art and urban planning.

The Center’s 2015 Year in Review highlights the outstanding accomplishments of our grantees, and the broad scope of the Center’s funding.

Grants & Grantees

Gerald Levinson (Pew Fellow, 2007) has been increasingly recognized as one of the major composers of his generation.

Leading hip-hop artist Raphael Xavier brought together masterful street performers, extreme BMX riders, acrobatic contortionists, and live music by saxophonist and composer Bobby Zankel for a contemporary circus-style performance in City Hall’s courtyard that paid tribute to the soul of the urban street.

The American Philosophical Society was founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin to “promote useful knowledge.” Its museum routinely commissions artists to complement and expand on exhibition programming.

In this month’s Pew Fellows news highlights, The Philadelphia Inquirer celebrates ten years of Martha Graham Cracker, the alter ego of theater artist Dito van Reigersberg. Poet Major Jackson has published a new book with W.W. Norton & Company, and visual artist Gabriel Martinez opens a solo show at The Print Center this fall. DJ King Britt and performance artist Kate Watson-Wallace will co-curate a new music series as part of the 2015 Fringe Festival in September.

Grants & Grantees

Gerald Cyrus, Jr. is a visual artist and a 2005 Pew Fellow.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Jeffrey Horowitz, founding artistic director of Brooklyn’s Theatre for a New Audience, began his career in theater as an actor on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional theater.