The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage Announces 2018 Grants for Philadelphia Artists, Organizations

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage Announces 2018 Grants for Philadelphia Artists, Organizations
Ursula Rucker
Ursula Rucker, 2018 Pew Fellow.
Photo by Sven Frenzel

PHILADELPHIA (June 18, 2018)—The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage announced 45 grants today in support of the Philadelphia region’s cultural organizations and artists. The 2018 awards total more than $8.7 million and provide funding for 12 Pew Fellowships and 33 Project grants.

“The ambitious and imaginative work of Philadelphia’s artists and institutions will offer audiences outstanding cultural experiences in the year ahead,” said Paula Marincola, the Center’s executive director. “We are very gratified to continue to support the region’s vibrant cultural community through our annual grantmaking.”

Following is a partial list of artists, projects, and organizations receiving awards. A full list of grantees is available at

Pew Fellowships provide awards of $75,000 to individual artists from all disciplines. This year’s Fellows include artists working in music, visual art, film, poetry, dance, and theater. Among them: 

  • Ken Lum, a visual artist working across mediums, who explores the formation of individual and societal identities within the context of public space.
  • Diane Monroe, a composer and violinist bridging classical and jazz repertoires, African and African-American traditions, and contemporary experimental music.
  • Ursula Rucker, an interdisciplinary poet, performer, and recording artist whose work reflects on her personal history, family, and the city in which she lives.
  • Leah Stein, a choreographer and dancer who integrates improvisational movement methods in works created for specific spaces.

Project Grants for Public Events, Exhibitions, and Performances are awarded in amounts up to $300,000, with an additional 20 percent for general operating costs. The grants are designed to support exceptional cultural programs and experiences presented by Philadelphia-area artists and organizations for a wide range of audiences. This year’s list includes:

  • Events that engage Philadelphians as participants, including a newly commissioned dance work from the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company bringing 100 professional and amateur performers to the Mann Center for the Performing Arts’ outdoor stage; a multiyear project from Temple Contemporary, in collaboration with theater company 600 HIGHWAYMEN, that will pair 1,000 Philadelphians for one-on-one, guided conversations that will take place simultaneously in area homes to encourage empathetic listening; and a series of performances by Philadelphia-based artists, curated by choreographer Reggie Wilson and presented by Partners for Sacred Places, exploring the African-American religious experience and Philadelphia’s historic religious sites.
  • Projects that examine and interpret history in new ways, such as an interactive exhibition at the Mütter Museum revealing the personal stories and far-reaching impact of Philadelphia’s 1918-19 influenza pandemic; the commissioning of a new artwork memorializing the life and history of Dinah, an enslaved woman who lived at Stenton, now a historic house museum in Northwest Philadelphia; and a theatrical piece at the National Constitution Center shedding new light on the history of slavery in the United States, the legacy of the Civil War, and the passage of the 14th Amendment.
  • Explorations of musical genres and artistic legacies, including composer, musician, and 1992 Pew Fellow Odean Pope, who will present a composition about Philadelphia neighborhood histories and local jazz innovators of the mid-20th century; Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, with a concert series examining the evolution and present-day social relevance of the art song and its intersection with poetry and music; and Bowerbird, which will delve into the works of pioneering sound artist and composer Maryanne Amacher through concerts and a multimedia installation that will interpret her use of architectural acoustics.
  • Numerous world premieres and commissions, including new theatrical works from The Wilma Theater and Pig Iron Theatre Company; a multimedia installation in the historic Beth Sholom synagogue by artist David Hartt; an exhibition of new visual works by artists Carolyn Lazard, Cameron Rowland, Sable Elyse Smith, and Martine Syms at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania; and a multimedia performance work from theater artist Nikki Appino featuring a composition by American composer Philip Glass.

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About The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is a multidisciplinary grantmaker and hub for knowledge-sharing, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and dedicated to fostering a vibrant cultural community in Greater Philadelphia. The Center invests in ambitious, imaginative, and catalytic works that showcase the region’s cultural vitality and enhance public life, and engages in an exchange of ideas concerning artistic and interpretive practice with a broad network of cultural practitioners and leaders. For more information, visit

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