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.
Pew Fellow Yolanda Wisher was appointed the third Philadelphia Poet Laureate by Mayor Jim Kenney on February 5, 2016.
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.
AUX Curatorial Fellow Jamillah James has organized an evening of performances by Colin Self and M. Lamar.
Musicopia has taken its education residencies to the next level with this initiative, which incorporates multimedia learning with instruction and performance.
Sojin Kim is a curator and special assistant to the director at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys (2013 Pew Fellows) explore the potential of new tools, fabrication technologies, and construction to expand the beauty and sustainability of the urban landscape.
Pig Iron is a company specializing in exuberant ensemble-devised works. The organization has begun to train the next generation of daring physical theater artists through the Pig Iron School of Advanced Performing Training.
Dancer, choreographer, and 2013 Pew Fellow Raphael Xavier takes hip-hop techniques from the street to the stage and tells the autobiographical story defined by sacrifice, passion, and transcendence.
Nato Thompson is chief curator at Creative Time. He served as a Center panelist (2008) and evaluator (2010), and contributed to the Center’s Pigeons on the Grass, Alas series.
In this month’s Pew Fellows news, four Fellows receive nominations for the 2016 Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre, Sarah McEneaney’s latest gallery show is profiled in The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Sharon Hayes opens a new exhibition at The Common Guild in Scotland.
The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia developed a new strategic plan that defines areas of emphasis and programs and services the organization should focus on through 2016.
The Center has awarded $500,000 to Opera Philadelphia, to strengthen the organization’s efforts to respond to the changing nature of its audiences and develop new programs.