2018 Grant Awards
In its inaugural year, The Sachs Program was able to support twenty-three projects, distributing a total of $123,000 in arts funding to a diverse spectrum of artists, scholars and cultural centers at Penn. These grants are the first steps in our long-term plans to advocate for the arts across the university.
Arts Course Development Grants
- David Comberg, PennDesign: The People’s Press
Funding for David Comberg to research and develop a new course, in which students will design and program a mobile poetry printing press, as part of the celebration of the 200th birthday of poet Walt Whitman.
- Herman Beavers and Suzana Berger, School of Arts & Sciences: August Wilson & Beyond
Herman Beavers and Suzana Berger will expand their course that uses August Wilson’s 20th Century Cycle of plays. The class will bring multi-generational West Philadelphia residents into an extended conversation with Penn Students, culminating in an original performance.
- Rachel Zolf, School of Arts & Sciences: Community Writing Course
Penn students, in a new course, will learn non-hierarchical creative writing pedagogy practices and then work with several Philadelphia school and community groups to write and read and think creatively together.
Arts Integration Grants
- Amitanshu Das, Graduate School of Education: Fiction Filmmaking with Trauma-informed Practice
Amitanshu Das will research and plan a year-long course where a team of Penn and high school students create and co-produce an original motion picture drawn from their own lived and observed experiences then fictionalized. The course experience will merge film art, self-expression, youth voice and agency supported and sensitized by contemporary ideas and approaches of trauma-informed practice.
- Claudia Lynn and Sibel Sayili-Hurley, School of Arts & Sciences: Language, Culture and Contemporary Art
Claudia Lynn and Sibel Sayili-Hurley, of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, will work with the Institute of Contemporary Art to embed contemporary digital and visual arts into a foreign language and culture curriculum.
Sachs Visiting Artists Grants
- Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts: Vessels
Kicking off their two-year programming arc entitled The Philadelphians: Migrations that Made Our City, the Annenberg will present, from New Orleans, the east coast premiere of Vessels, a seven-woman harmonic meditation on the transcendental possibilities of song during the Middle Passage of Slavery.
- Creative Writing Program, School of Arts & Sciences: Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing Fellow in Poetics and Poetic Practice
Janice Lowe, recently named the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing Fellow in Poetics and Poetic Practice for the 2018-2019 academic year, will curate an event at Kelly Writers House devoted to writing, performance, and intergenerational collaboration.
Independent Creative Production Grants
- Bea Huff Hunter, Wharton: Reflexive Writing Strategies In and Around Moyra Davey’s Work
Bea Huff Hunter, a senior writer at Wharton, will produce a series of personal narratives inspired by the reflexive and recursive strategies of the artist and filmmaker Moyra Davey’s work, along with organizing a series of monthly reading and writing workshop for faculty, students and staff on Penn’s campus.
- Cary Mazer, School of Arts & Sciences: New Play Development
Cary Mazer will workshop his play A Puppeteer with the Palsy Performs Scenes from Shakespeare, which tells the story of the puppeteer’s struggle with the progressive symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
- Paul Swenbeck, ICA: Out, Out, Phosphene Candle
Paul Swenbeck will create a publication for the exhibition Out, Out, Phosphene Candle at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (Sheboygan, WI) which he co-produced with his partner Joy Feasley, in order that they may document and extend the reach of the exhibition to Philadelphia.
Student Arts Engagement Grants
- Fred Schmidt-Arenales, PennDesign: Group Relations Conference
Fred Schimidt-Arenales will organize a group relations conference for Philadelphia graduate students in the MFA, MSW, and History of Art programs at Penn, and the MFA and Art History programs at Temple, based on the Artist Leigh Ledare’s work using the Tavistock group dynamics method.
- Institute of Contemporary Art: Visual Thinking Strategies Training
ICA will launch a year-long program of Visual Thinking Strategies training for Penn students – a revolutionary approach to engaging with contemporary art that leverages thoughtful, facilitated discussions of contemporary art for all audiences, emphasizing critical thinking, communication skills, and visual literacy.
- Kevin Laskey, School of Arts & Sciences: Almanac, an Evening-Length Work for Classical Musicians & Improvisers
Kevin Laskey will compose a new work exploring myriad intersections of improvisation and formal composition, featuring nationally acclaimed performers Warp Trio (classical), the Kevin Sun Quartet (Jazz) and Variant 6 (vocal).
- Ramey Mize, School of Arts & Sciences: The Incubation Series
The Incubation Series is an innovative student-led initiative –Art History graduate students curate exhibitions featuring the work of second year MFA students, placed within artistic collectives and galleries throughout Philadelphia.
- Saif Khawaja, Wharton: Electroluminescent Interactive Art & Music
Saif Khawaja will develop an integrated system for creating live visual representations of sound, which he will workshop with peer groups, including visual artists and musicians, to identify potential interesting applications.
Provosts Interdisciplinary Grants
- Aaron Levy, School of Arts & Sciences: Photographies of Conflict
Aaron Levy has developed a year-long series of exhibitions and programming around the theme of Photographies of Conflict, featuring a series of photography exhibitions at Slought including Susan Meiselas; Afrapix (South Africa); Activestills (Israel/Palestine); Depression Era (Greece), Allan Sekula and Fazal Sheikh.
- Creative Writing Program, School of Arts & Sciences: Community Creative Writing Workshops
The Creative Writing Program will offer two not-for-credit creative writing workshops in the 2018-2019 school year to members of the Penn and wider Philadelphia community that will cultivate interdisciplinary and community collaboration between the Creative Writing Program, the Theatre Arts Program, and other constituencies on and off campus.
- Eugene Lew, School of Arts & Sciences: Musica Practica / Elettronica Viva
Eugene Lew will present a series of electronic music performances and ELECTRO-PYTHAGORAS, a film by Luke Fowler that presents an intimate and subjective portrait of the late Martin Bartlett: the Canadian electronic music pioneer, interdisciplinary composer, educator, and founding member of Western Front.
- Institute of Contemporary Art: VIP Hours at ICA (Visiting with Infants and Parents)
The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) will host monthly VIP (Visiting with Infants and Parents) Hours at ICA, to create special opportunities for parents to view the exhibitions with nursing/crying/crawling babies in a welcoming environment.
- Kevin Platt, School of Arts & Sciences; Kelly Writers House: Your Language – My Ear
Kevin Platt and Kelly Writers House will bring Russian and American poets, scholars and translators together with Penn’s students, faculty, and surrounding communities for a half- week of intensive translation and discussion of contemporary Russian and American poetry and poetics.
- Latin American and Latino Studies Program, School of Arts & Sciences: The Other 9/11
The Other 9/11: Memorias of Chile, 1973-1983 is an exhibit and programming series to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the 1973 Chilean coup. It will provide a forum for discussions about the state of democratization in Chile and other countries in the region, the role of social activism via the arts, and the stain of brutal military regimes upon the minds, hearts, and well-being on those who have endured them.
- Marion Leary, Penn Nursing: Nursing Story Slam
The Penn School of Nursing will organize a story slam event, in collaboration with Penn Medicine and First Person Arts, to create an innovative forum for nurses to share their experiences and to generate greater understanding of the nursing profession.
- Undergraduate Fine Arts, PennDesign: Immersive Studio Project: A Fine Arts Satellite Space
Immersive Studio Project will be the first offsite multiuse space for Penn artists that provides an open environment for fine arts students, faculty, and alumni to build upon and expand their studio and exhibition practice.