Questions of Practice: Choreographer Germaine Ingram on the Responsibilities of Creating Socially Engaged Art

Choreographer, dancer, and Pew Fellow Germaine Ingram talks with us about the responsibilities of creating socially engaged art. She discusses the challenges that can arise when academic institutions embrace the practice and the importance of maintaining a meaningful connection to what she calls the “lived reality” of the communities directly addressed and affected by social practice projects.

Choreographer and dancer Germaine Ingram on the responsibilities of creating socially engaged art. Filmed at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage on March 3, 2015.

Germaine Ingram took up dance at the age of 33 under the tutelage and mentorship of the late LaVaughn Robinson, a Philadelphia tap legend and a 1992 Pew Fellow. Since then, Ingram has become a major figure in contemporary jazz tap, following in the tradition of her forbearers while breaking new ground in the art form through oral history, filmmaking, and stage production, in addition to performance and choreography. Ingram’s work addresses social justice and historical narratives, as well as various aspects of the African-American experience, through projects such as Parallel Destinies.

Independent theater artists Mary Tuomanen and Aaron Cromie collaborate on their first full-length theatrical work, The Body Lautrec, to explore the life of French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education commissions art that more directly fulfills its missions of land preservation, restoration, and education.

Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2012 by collaborating with contemporary choreographer Mark Morris on an original Center-funded dance piece.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Marian Bantjes is a Canadian graphic artist, designer, typographer, and writer. Her work was included in Word & Image, a Center-funded contemporary exhibition, part of Framing Fraktur at the Free Library of Philadelphia in 2015.

To acquaint Philadelphia dancers with Trisha Brown’s explorations, a series of free classes and workshops will be offered at area Universities and art spaces.

Grants & Grantees

Enid Mark (1932–2008) was a visual artist and a 2001 Pew Fellow.

Grants & Grantees

Jackie Tileston is a visual artist and a 2004 Pew Fellow.

Spanish dancer and choreographer Rosario Toledo choreographed an original dance for Pasión y Arte, marking the company’s first collaboration with a major flamenco artist.

Grants & Grantees

Michael Grothusen is a visual artist and a 1998 Pew Fellow.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Donald Nally is conductor of The Crossing, a professional chamber choir focused on new music.

Composer Vijay Iyer on the musical lineage that influences his artistic practice.

Grants & Grantees

Annenberg Center Live presented Basil Twist’s Petrushka and held workshops for local puppeteers, which included a tour of Twist’s studio.