Pew Fellows News: Jennifer Higdon Awarded Nemmers Prize in Music Composition, King Britt’s Orchestral Collaboration, Plays from Jennifer Kidwell and Bruce Graham in the News, and More

25 Apr 2018


Jennifer Kidwell in Underground Railroad Game. Photo by Johanna Austin.


Jenny Sabin, 2010 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.


37 Grants 12 Pew Fellowships $ X.X Million Awarded.


Frank Sherlock, 2013 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.


Camae Ayewa and Rasheedah Phillips, 2017 Pew Fellows. Photo by Ryan Collerd.

This month’s Pew Fellows news includes new exhibitions and performances from coast-to-coast, critically-acclaimed plays, and a national award in music composition.

Awards and Announcements

Composer Jennifer Higdon (1999) has been awarded the 2018 Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music Composition from the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University. The Nemmers Prize honors composers who “show the highest-level of achievement in a substantial and continuing body of work,” according to Northwestern University. In January, Higdon was also awarded a 2018 Grammy Award for her “Viola Concerto.” Read more>>

Musician and composer King Britt (2007) announces his first orchestral collaboration with the contemporary music ensemble Alarm Will Sound. The new work that aims to “mix styles and defy genres,” according to the AWS website, debuts on May 9 at the Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis, MO. Read more>>

Visual artist Bo Bartlett (1993) recently celebrated the opening of The Bo Bartlett Center at Columbus State University in Columbus, GA. The Center offers a rich program of exhibitions, concerts, lectures, and film, serving as a community and educational center in Bartlett’s hometown. Read more>>

Architect and designer Jenny Sabin (2010) was part of a notable jury, choosing winning entries of the 2018 Fairy Tales Architecture Competition. Organized by Blank Space, the anticipated yearly competition invites architects, designers, students, and all creative types to write a unique architecturally themed fairy tale. Read more>>

On View and On Stage

Visual artist and painter Mauro Zamora (2008) is among 21 contemporary artists from across the state of NJ, featured in Rowan University Art Gallery's Navigating Elements exhibition for the 2018 NJ Arts Annual for Fine Art. The exhibition is on view April 28–July 28 in Glassboro, NJ. Read more>>

Interdisciplinary artist Camae Ayewa (2017) is part of the Baltic Triennial, taking place in the three Baltic countries of Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia from May–September 2018. Ayewa will present her work in the poetry and music category. Read more>>

Poets Trapeta Mayson (2002) and Frank Sherlock (2013) presented their commissioned works followed by a poetry workshop at the Philadelphia History Museum on April 21, as part of a program organized by the Museum and Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture entitled “Journeys Across Imaginary Lines: Creating & Sharing Immigrant Stories.” Read more>>

Visual artist and woodturner David Ellsworth’s (1999) work was on view in A Passion for Wood, an exhibition spanning the artist’s four-decade career, at The Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, NJ. Read more>>

Visual artist Lily Yeh (1992) spoke on art, public spaces, and creative placemaking as part of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation’s and the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s Next Generation of Parks Event Series in March. Read more>>

In the News

The Guardian reviewed playwright Bruce Graham’s (1993) White Guy on the Bus, calling it "a play that provokes thought while keeping you entertained.” The play recently received its European premiere at London’s Finborough Theatre. Read more>>

Theater artist Jennifer Kidwell’s (2016) Underground Railroad Game, playing now through April 29 at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., was reviewed by The Washington Post. Critic Peter Marks writes, "the play that [Scott] Sheppard and Kidwell have constructed is a fascinatingly complex latticework that will have you parsing its lessons long after, in the epilogue of your own experiences.” Read more>>

Dance artist and choreographer Rennie Harris (1996) was featured in “No Boundaries: Dancing the Visions of Contemporary Black Choreographers,” a program with Gesel Mason and other artists including Donald McKayle and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. The program highlights “the diverse styles of African-American choreographers, to challenge the notion of a monolithic genre called ‘black dance,’” according to The New York Times’ review. Read more>>

Matthew Mitchell’s (2012) recent performance at the Jazz Gallery in New York City, with guitarist Miles Okazaki, was reviewed in The New York Times. “The music made it clear that the room continues to be a fertile ground for Mr. Okazaki and his partners,” noted Times critic Giovanni Russonello. Read more>>