Pew Fellowships in the Arts Announces 2004 Award Recipients

Pew Fellowships in the Arts Announces 2004 Award Recipients

The Pew Fellowships in the Arts, a program funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by The University of the Arts, today announced the 12 artists who have received $50,000 fellowship awards for 2004. The selection of these 12 artists marks the thirteenth year of the Pew Fellowships in the Arts and brings the total to 174 artists who have been honored with the distinction of receiving the highly competitive fellowships. To date, a total of $8.6 million has gone to support some of the region's most gifted artists. These fellowships are the largest such grants in the country for which artists can apply.

The Pew Fellowships in the Arts awards grants to artists working in 12 different discipline categories. In 2004, applications were reviewed from artists working in the areas of Folk and Traditional Arts, Painting, and Scriptworks. The 12 recipients were selected from among more than 300 artists who applied to the program. The recipients are Robert Crowder, Francis G. Di Fronzo, Mufulu Kingambo Gilonda, Tanya E. Hamilton, Hipolito "Tito" Rubio, Rebecca Rutstein, Losang Samten, Wu Peter Tang, Jackie Tileston, Nicholas Wardigo, Rebecca Westcott, and Justin Witte. Among the recipients are 5 folk and traditional artists, 5 painters, and 2 scriptwriters. Please note: brief biographies of the artists and visual material is available at

The primary purpose of the Pew Fellowships in the Arts is to give artists time to focus on their work--to explore, to experiment, and to develop it more fully--by providing them with significant financial support. Grants are awarded for a minimum of one year and a maximum of two years; the term of a fellowship period is determined by the grant recipient. The program aims to support artists at any stage of career development, from early to mature, and working in a wide variety of aesthetics and traditions. This year's fellowship recipients range in age from 27 to 74 and they reflect the richness and diversity of artistic practice in our region. Among the recipients are a flamenco guitar player, a Tibetan sand mandala artist, a Congolese dancer, a contemporary landscape painter, a contemporary portrait painter, and a screenwriter, originally from Jamaica, who is planning to work on a trilogy of films about her home country. 

Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis and selections are made through a two-phase peer-review process involving preliminary and final selection panels. Separate preliminary panels are convened for each discipline category to review application materials and select finalists. The final selection of fellowship recipients is made by an interdisciplinary panel, composed of one member from each preliminary panel as well as several other artists and arts professionals representing the three discipline categories being considered that year. For the recipients, this honor reflects both their distinction within the discipline-specific pool and the collective judgment of the final, interdisciplinary panel. "As in past years, our review process was extremely competitive, and the overall quality of the applications was very high," noted Melissa Franklin, director of the Pew Fellowships in the Arts, "Our panelists labored with great seriousness and care to make the very difficult choices demanded by such a selection process." 

This year the interdisciplinary panel was chaired by Peter C. Marzio, director, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Tex., and interdisciplinary panel members included: Robert Baron, program director, Folk Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, N.Y.; Ellen Sebastian Chang, writer and director, Berkeley, Calif.; Mary Heilmann, artist, New York, N.Y.; David Roche, executive director, Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, Ill.; Howard Shalwitz, artistic director, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Wash., D.C.; and Lilly Wei, independent curator and critic, New York, N.Y. 

Serving on the folk and traditional arts panel were: Barbara Hampton, ethnomusicologist, Hunter College, City University of New York, N.Y.; Pat Jasper, curator and independent consultant, Austin, Tex.; and David Roche, executive director, Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, Ill. Serving on the painting panel were: Douglas Fogle, associate curator, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minn.; Jane Hammond, artist, New York, N.Y.; and Lilly Wei, independent curator and critic, New York, N.Y. Serving on the scriptworks panel were: Anne Cattaneo, dramaturg, Lincoln Center Theater, and director, LCT Directors Lab, New York, N.Y.; Jennifer Lawson, producer and consultant, Magicbox Mediaworks, Inc., Wash., D.C.; and Howard Shalwitz, artistic director, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Wash., D.C. Please note: Panel biographies are available on our web site at 

Established by The Pew Charitable Trusts in 1991, the Pew Fellowships in the Arts awards grants of $50,000 to Philadelphia-area artists. The Pew Fellowships is one of several artistic development initiatives created and funded by the Trusts that focuses on specific disciplines to encourage creative growth, foster artistic excellence, and enhance the cultural life of our region. Other programs exist primarily to support cultural organizations in the areas of dance, theater, music, and the visual arts, as well as historic preservation and history. 

The Pew Charitable Trusts serves the public interest by providing information, policy solutions and support for civic life. Based in Philadelphia, with an office in Washington, DC, the Trusts make investments to provide organizations and citizens with fact-based research and practical solutions on challenging issues. With approximately $4.1 billion in dedicated assets, in 2003 the Trusts committed more than $143 million to 151 nonprofit organizations. 

The University of the Arts is the nation's first and only university dedicated to the visual, performing and communication arts. Its 2,000 students are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs on its campus in the heart of Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts. Its history as a leader in educating creative individuals spans more than 125 years. For further information about The University of the Arts call 215.717.6145, or visit their Web site at