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.

“There’s something special about being told: Yes, you’re going to have time to create.”

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 will reflect on a quarter-century of direct support to artists—how we got started, how the program has evolved, and what we’ve learned. Coming soon.

“I think humor has the incredible gift of allowing us to both confront and celebrate our paradoxical natures.”

Jennifer Kidwell’s poignant, performer-driven theater work addresses the complexities of race and notions of American history with sharp intelligence and wry humor. Invested in probing challenging social and historical truths, Kidwell is the co-creator of Underground Railroad Game. In our interview, Kidwell shares how she became an artist, the role of humor in her work, and more. Read the interview.>


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.

“I think Philadelphia is one of the great cities to be a creative person in the country right now…The region has become, in my view, one of the great creative laboratories in the country.”

Photo Credits

Meg Foley, 2012 Pew Fellow. action is primary, 2016. Photo by Tasha Doremus.

Annabeth Rosen, 1992 Pew Fellow. The Big Studio, installation view at University of California Davis, 2010. Photo by Christopher Woodcock.

Geoff Sobelle, 2006 Pew Fellow. Elephant Room, 2011. Photo by Scott Suchman.

Jenny Sabin, 2010 Pew Fellow. PolyThread, installation view of knitted textile pavilion commissioned for Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial. Photo by Bill Staffeld.

Fatu Gayflor, 2014 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.

New Paradise Laboratories. The Adults, 2014, directed by Whit MacLaughlin, 2002. Photo by Kate Raines.

Jennifer Kidwell, 2016 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.

Tania Isaac, 2011 Pew Fellow. Photo courtesy of the artist.