Center-Funded Projects on the Horizon in 2016

05 Dec 2016


Boris Charmatz' Levée des Conflits. Photo © Caroline Ablain.


Ann Hamilton, the event of a thread (installation view), 2013. Score by David Lang. Commissioned by the Park Avenue Armory for the 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall, New York. Photo by Thibault Jeanson.


Pati Hill, detail from A Swan: An Opera in Nine Chapters, 1978, installation of thirty-four black and white photocopies, each 8 1/2 x 14″.


Holding It Down, Harlem Stage. Photo by Mark Millman Photography. Courtesy of Kimmel Center, Inc.


Hank Willis Thomas, Strawberry Mansion, 2011, installation view, Studio Museum in Harlem. Courtesy of Hank Willis Thomas and Wyatt Gallery.

The New Year will bring a multitude of ambitious Center-funded projects that innovate, inspire, and expand the possibilities of artistic discovery and expression. These performances, exhibitions, and public programs will feature both local and international artists, engage community voices, respond to pressing social issues, and more. Here's a sampling of what is to come in 2016.

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Newly Commissioned

  • MacArthur Fellow and visual artist Ann Hamilton will debut a tactile bidding, an ambitious new textile installation, for The Fabric Workshop & Museum's first major off-site exhibition. (Fall 2016)

  • Opera Philadelphia will commission Breaking the Waves, a chamber opera by composer-in-residence Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek, inspired by the 1996 film by Danish auteur Lars von Trier. (Fall 2016)

  • Independent curator Lee Tusman's Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray will premiere an album-length composition by New York-based composer Jace Clayton, informed by the artworks of The Barnes Foundation and Albert Barnes' extensive record collection. (June 2016)

Artists at the Forefront

  • Pati Hill: Photocopier, at Arcadia University, will offer the first comprehensive exhibition of the early works of the late Pati Hill, an American artist and writer who pioneered the use of the photocopier as an artistic tool in the 1970s. (February 23-April 24)

  • Bryn Mawr College's year-long retrospective, Trisha Brown: In the New Body, will culminate with Pennsylvania Ballet's performance of O Zlozony/O Composite (2004), making Pennsylvania Ballet the first American ballet company to perform Brown's choreography. (June 9-12)

  • Drexel University's Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts will bring acclaimed French choreographer Boris Charmatz to Philadelphia for a 12-day residency and public presentation of his performance piece Levée des conflits (Suspension of Conflicts), co-presented by FringeArts. (Fall 2016)

Community Focused

  • The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center will present Hank Willis Thomas: Philadelphia Block Project, a multi-phase engagement and exhibition in which conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas will recreate a North Philadelphia city block with 1:1 scale photographs and invite the community to create a crowd-sourced neighborhood image archive. (Spring-Fall 2016)

  • The Kimmel Center, Inc. will present Holding It Down: The Veterans' Dreams Project, a thought-provoking work of music, poetry, and video conceived by jazz pianist, composer, and MacArthur Fellow Vijay Iyer and poet, performer, and librettist Mike Ladd, which will illuminate the lived experiences of minority Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. (April 22)

  • The Village of Arts and Humanities will host accomplished West African social practice artists Kwasi Ohene-Ayeh and Olanre Tejuoso for SPACES: International Artist Residency Initiative, a residency in which the artists will collaborate with North Central Philadelphians to create a public art project. (Winter 2015/Spring 2016)

Historically Inspired

  • Artist, writer, and organizer Daniel Tucker will present Organize Your Own: The Politics and Poetics of Self-Determination Movements, a collaborative exhibition and event series that explores archival materials and poetry relating to the history of white southerners who migrated to northern cities in the 1960s and 70s. (January 14-February 17)

  • In Common Touch, the Library Company of Philadelphia's artist-in-residence and Pew Fellow Teresa Jaynes will curate a multisensory exhibition based on the Library Company's historic collection of pre-Braille texts for the visually impaired. (April 4-October 21)

  • Obie award-winning playwright Ain Gordon will premiere Unpacking a Psychiatrist: The 217 Boxes of Dr. Henry Anonymous, a play that profiles Dr. John Fryer, a pioneer of the LGBT rights movement, developed as part of An Artist Embedded in History, a two-year residency with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. (Spring 2016)

Environmentally Conscious

  • Recycled Artist in Residency (RAIR) will present RAIR: Live at the Dump, a site-specific series of films, performances, and discussions intended to increase public awareness of the waste stream and the role of art in shaping social and environmental consciousness. (April-June)

  • Fund for the Water Works will construct The Rivers Restoration Project: A Freshwater Mussel Hatchery, an installation and living laboratory that tells the story of the Schuylkill River's rich habitat and the critical role mussels play in restoring and maintaining water quality. (Summer 2016)