Tina Morton

2010 Pew Fellow

1/7: Tina Morton, 2010 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.
2/7: From Tina Morton’s Belly of the Basin, 2008. Film still courtesy of the artist.
3/7: From Tina Morton’s A Promise Fulfilled, 2004. Film still courtesy of the artist.
4/7: From Tina Morton’s A Promise Fulfilled, 2004. Film still courtesy of the artist.
5/7: From Tina Morton’s A Promise Fulfilled, 2004. Film still courtesy of the artist.
6/7: From Tina Morton’s If You Call Them, 2002. Film still courtesy of the artist.
7/7: From Tina Morton’s If You Call Them, 2002. Film still courtesy of the artist.

“I am a media activist. The ambition I have for my work is to inform and spark movement. I want folks to get up and do something about the wrongs that are happening in the world, the nation, and in their communities.”

Tina Morton (b. 1956) left a career as an X-ray technician to pursue documentary filmmaking after she researched the tale of Corrine Sykes, the first African-American woman to be legally executed in Philadelphia. With an established interest in oral history and film, Morton discussed Sykes’ tale with her senior patients and discovered discrepancies between their stories and the documented history of the execution. She eventually completed a film about Sykes in 1997, Severed Souls, and she since continued to develop her role as a “video oral historian,” documenting narratives of community life and speaking to her African-American heritage. Morton’s film Belly of the Basin, a documentary on Hurricane Katrina, focuses on marginalized groups affected by the disaster: people from the Ninth Ward, the Black Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans and the Native American Houma Tribe. Belly of the Basin won best documentary at the 2008 Black Hollywood Film Festival and has received praise for its authentic representation of the community’s voice. “Many people feel comfortable sharing their stories with someone whose purpose is centered with mutual respect in allowing them to tell their story their own way,” Morton says. She is currently a professor in Howard University’s department of radio, television, and film.

References

Grants & Grantees

In 1993 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 16 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 13 dance organizations in the greater Philadelphia region.

Pew Fellow Raphael Xavier takes his Center-supported autobiographical dance, The Unofficial Guide to Audience Watching Performance, to Chicago.

Grants & Grantees

In 1996 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 28 dance and theater organizations in the greater Philadelphia region.

Pew Fellow and poet Brian Teare (2015) has been awarded a residency through the Center’s ongoing partnership with MacDowell Colony.

Questions of Practice

We asked the 2013 Pew Fellow poets to share samples of their work. Watch Frank Sherlock read a selection from his poem “Little Sensation.”

Saxophonist and Pew Fellow Matthew Levy on what motivates his multi-faceted practice as a musician, composer, and commissioner/producer of new music, his daily art-making routine, and more.

Grants & Grantees

Greg “Peache” Jarman (1947–2009) was a musician and a 2000 Pew Fellow in Folk and Traditional Arts.

Grants & Grantees

In 2002 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 57 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations and practitioners in the greater Philadelphia region.

Grants & Grantees

Frito Bastien is a visual artist and a 2000 Pew Fellow in folk and traditional arts.

Collaborators & Colleagues

As curator of visual arts at MASS MoCA since 2006, Susan Cross has organized a string of major exhibitions.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Galen Joseph-Hunter is the executive director of Wave Farm (formerly free103point9), a nonprofit arts organization that celebrates creative and community use of media and the airwaves.

The Philadelphia Zoo will expand its innovative and field-leading trails system, allowing large primates and other mammals to travel outside their habitats and interact more freely with each other.