The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage Announces 2011 Pew Fellowships in the Arts Recipients

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage Announces 2011 Pew Fellowships in the Arts Recipients

An elegant and commanding dancer who fuses European, African, and Caribbean influences in her choreography; an architect whose designs couple concerns about environmental cost and sustainability; and a poet whose unique form of writing invites readers to participate in the deeply embodied experiences portrayed in his poems. These are three of 12 exceptional artists from the Philadelphia area who will each receive a $60,000 award this year from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through Pew Fellowships in the Arts (PFA).

The 2011 Pew Fellows, four of whom are first-time applicants to the program, were chosen in recognition of their extraordinary artistic achievements to date. Each $60,000 fellowship is granted over a 1- to 2-year period and may be awarded to artists at any stage of their careers.

The 2011 Pew Fellows in the Arts are:

  • Charles Cohen- electronic musician and composer        
  • CAConradpoet            
  • Jorge Cousineau- set designer  
  • Joy Feasley- visual artist                                                                                 
  • Chris Forsyth- guitarist and composer                                        
  • Jane Irish- visual artist 
  • Tania Isaac- choreographer                     
  • Pattie McCarthy- poet
  • Brian Philips- architect
  • Tim Portlock- visual artist
  • Matthew Suib- visual artist
  • Jamaaladeen Tacuma- free-jazz bassist, composer, and band leader

These gifted artists make up the second group to be awarded fellowships under PFA's redesigned, multi-level review process begun in 2010, through which artists are nominated and then invited to apply to the program. The nominations allow for all artistic disciplines to be considered in any given year, including those which did not have a place in previous years. For example, Jorge Cousineau, a set designer who also specializes in lighting design, videography, and music composition, would not have fit readily into PFA's former designated artistic disciplines. In addition, the nomination process has introduced the program to artists such as Chris Forsyth and Pattie McCarthy, who had not been applicants prior to their nominations this year.

Pew Fellowships in the Arts director Melissa Franklin notes, “The Pew Fellowship promises to have a powerful impact on all of the talented practitioners who have emerged in this cycle—new additions to an ongoing list of names that continues to reflect the breadth and scope of Philadelphia's artistic community.”

Pew Fellows are chosen by a distinguished panel of experts who work across a range of artistic disciplines. Their decisions are informed by careful prior assessments made by an equally accomplished group of evaluators, based all around the country, who possess a high level of expertise in the candidates' disciplines. For a detailed description of the PFA fellowship application and review process, visit the PFA Program Overview page:

For the complete list of 2011 Pew Fellows in the Arts and full artist descriptions, as well as lists of this year's panelists and evaluators, please visit For press images, please contact Nicole Steinberg, Communications Specialist, at

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. The program is in its 20th year and has awarded 256 fellowships to 261 artists, for a total investment of over $13.2 million in the creative and professional development of working artists in the Philadelphia area. Fellowships have been awarded to three collaborative teams over the years.