Pew Fellowships in the Arts Announces the 2009 Award Recipients

Pew Fellowships in the Arts Announces the 2009 Award Recipients

Pew Fellowships in the Arts today announced the Philadelphia-area artists who have received $60,000 fellowship awards for 2009—the largest such grant in the country for which individual artists can apply. This year the awards went to artists working in fiction and creative nonfiction, media arts, and works on paper, and were selected from a pool of nearly 400 applicants. The 2009 Pew Fellows are:

  • Marc Brodzik, media arts
  • Anthony Campuzano, works on paper
  • Sarah Gamble, works on paper
  • Daniel Heyman, works on paper
  • Ken Kalfus, fiction and creative nonfiction
  • Jennifer Levonian, media arts
  • Robert Matthews, works on paper
  • Frances McElroy, media arts
  • Ben Peterson, works on paper
  • Marco Roth, fiction and creative nonfiction
  • Ryan Trecartin, media arts
  • Nami Yamamoto, works on paper

This year's winners have a breadth of talent and accomplishments. Ken Kalfus is a highly accomplished writer of short story collections and novels including A Disorder Peculiar to the Country, which was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award. Frances McElroy makes elegantly crafted documentaries that delve deeply into personal stories, while Ben Peterson is a visual artist who makes large-scale and highly detailed fantastical architectural landscape drawings. Marco Roth, a young essayist, is also a founding editor of a well-known literary journal. Ryan Trecartin's video narratives plumb multiple layers of social identity.  This represents just a few of the new Pew Fellows. 

“We are very excited about this group of artists and the range of practice they represent,” notes Pew Fellowships in the Arts director, Melissa Franklin. “Along with Ryan Trecartin are three other artists who are first-time applicants to the program—Jennifer Levonian, Ben Peterson and Marco Roth—and represent the exceptional emerging artists in our community.”

“We are delighted that Pew's support will help these outstanding artists to continue to pursue their professional careers and contribute to the cultural vitality of our city and region,” said Gregory T. Rowe, The Pew Charitable Trusts' director of Culture Initiatives and deputy director of the Philadelphia Program.

The fellowships are for a minimum of one year and a maximum of two years. Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis and selections are made through a two-phase peer-review process involving preliminary and final selection panels. The grants provide artists with an economic freedom that presents the opportunity to focus on their individual practices over a considerable period of time – to explore, to experiment, and to develop his or her work more fully. The program aims to provide such support at moments in artists' careers when a concentration on artistic growth and exploration is most likely to have the greatest impact on their long-term professional development. Fellowships may be awarded at any stage of their career, from early to mature. Up to 12 fellowships are awarded annually.

For the recipients, this honor reflects both their distinction within the discipline-specific pool and the collective judgment of the final, interdisciplinary panel. This year's interdisciplinary panel included:

  • Francine Prose (panel chair), writer, New York
  • Ian Berry, associate director for curatorial affairs and curator, Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, N. Y.
  • Sanford Biggers, artist, visiting professor, Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
  • David Filipi, curator of film/video, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio
  • Su Friedrich, filmmaker, professor of visual arts, Princeton University, N. J.
  • Ben Marcus, writer, associate professor, creative writing, Columbia University, New York

Serving on the Fiction and Creative nonfiction panel were: Ben Marcus; James Alan McPherson, writer and permanent faculty member of the Writer's Workshop, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa; Sigrid Nunez, writer, New York, New York. Serving on the Media Arts panel were: Roddy Bogawa, filmmaker and chair, Media Arts Department, New Jersey City University, New Jersey; David Filipi; Debra Zimmerman, executive director, Women Make Movies, New York, New York. Serving on the Works on Paper panel were: Ian Berry; Jan Howard, curator, prints, drawings and photographs, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island; Dr. Leslie King-Hammond, artist and dean emeritus,  Graduate Studies, The Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland.

Pew Fellowships in the Arts, a program of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, was established by The Pew Charitable Trusts in 1991 and awards grants to artists working in a wide variety of performing, visual and literary disciplines. In 2008 the fellowship amount was increased to $60,000 from $50,000. The Pew Fellowships is in its 18th year, having awarded 232 fellowships to 237 artists totaling $11,840,000. Fellowships have been awarded to three collaborative teams over the years.

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is dedicated to stimulating a vibrant cultural community in the five-county, Southeastern Pennsylvania region.  Established in 2005, the Center houses seven funding Initiatives of The Pew Charitable Trusts.  Through these Initiatives the Center supports area artists and arts and heritage organizations whose work is distinguished by excellence, imagination, and courage.  Each year, the Center's grants make possible more than 800 performances in dance, music, and theatre as well as history and visual arts exhibitions, and other public programs for audiences in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties. In addition to its grant making, The Pew Center for Arts & heritage functions as a nexus for the exchange of ideas around artistic expression and cultural interpretation. The Center also produces lectures, symposia, workshops, and publications that engage critical issues in the fields we serve.  The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by The University of the Arts, Philadelphia.

The University of the Arts is the nation's first and only university dedicated to the visual, performing, and communication arts. Its 2,300 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 130 years. For further information about The University of the Arts call 215.717.6000, or visit