Pew Fellowships in
the Arts at 25

Celebrating a quarter-century of support to artists

In 2017, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Pew Fellowships in the Arts. Since 1992, the Fellowships program has invested annually in the Philadelphia region’s most talented artists working in all disciplines. Direct financial support through unrestricted grants affords our Fellows valuable time and substantial resources to focus on artistic exploration and professional development. Today, the Fellowships program is among the most highly regarded of its kind in the country, and has become a model for other artist-centered philanthropic initiatives. This website honors a quarter-century of steadfast belief in the value and impact of artists.

Watch this space weekly for new interviews and an evolving online exhibition of Fellows’ work.

25 Years. 323 Artists. Over $17.2 Million. And Counting...

Our Pew Fellows represent a community of creative minds working in all disciplines—poets and writers, directors and playwrights, musicians and composers, designers and architects, folk and traditional artists, choreographers, visual artists, and filmmakers—who reflect the diverse and lively cultural ecology of our region.

316 Fellowships have been awarded to 323 artists and artist teams.

Awarded to-date. Fellows currently receive unrestricted grants of $75,000 each.

Twelve Fellowships are awarded annually to artists working in the five county Philadelphia region.

The first group of Fellowships are awarded, through a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts.

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is established, bringing together funding programs, including the Fellowships, awarding grants throughout Greater Philadelphia.

The Fellowships program responds to contemporary artistic practice, removing discipline-specific categories and expanding support across all fields.

Our Fellows range from young artists of 25 to young at heart at 90.

Pew Fellows have received numerous fellowships and prizes, collectively: 30 Guggenheims, 3 MacArthurs, 2 Pulitzers, 2 Rome Prizes, 2 Grammys, 3 Philadelphia Poet Laureate appointments, and more.

Fellows’ work has been featured in the Whitney and Venice Biennials, Edinburgh Fringe and Sundance Film Festivals, at MoMA, Tate Modern, the Met, BAM, and hundreds of other venues worldwide.

“The Fellowship has given me a chance to move very, very confidently in a way that I hadn’t been able to, which affects the ways that I can push the ambition for my work.”

Our digital exhibition showcases the distinctive voices of our Pew Fellows and captures a compelling snapshot of the region’s creative output over the past 25 years. Follow along on Instagram for a daily dose of art.>


The Center’s executive director, Paula Marincola, and Pew Fellowships director, Melissa Franklin, reflect on a quarter-century of direct support to artists—how we got started, how the program has evolved, and what we’ve learned. Read the conversation.>

“One of the things that makes the Pew Fellowships unique is the range of artists that we’ve been able to support.”

Theater artist Whit MacLaughlin is an Obie and Barrymore Award winner and the artistic director of New Paradise Laboratories, an experimental performance ensemble which he founded in 1996. MacLaughlin’s works include The Adults (2014), 27 (2012), Extremely Public Displays of Privacy (2010), and the forthcoming Hello Blackout!. In our video, he talks about his sense of ethical responsibility in creating work. Watch the video. >


Our Fellows’ work has reached nearly all corners of the world with performances, commissions, readings, exhibitions, and installations in 49 US states and more than 60 countries.