The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage announced its 2015 grants in support of the Philadelphia region’s cultural organizations and artists on Monday, June 15. Professor Rea Tajiri, of the Department of Film and Media Arts, and alumnus James Ijames, actor and playwright, were among the twelve individuals honored with Pew Fellowships.
The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is a multidisciplinary grantmaker dedicated to fostering a vibrant cultural community in Greater Philadelphia. The Center invests in ambitious, imaginative projects that showcase the region’s cultural vitality and enhance public life. The twelve fellowships, award of $75,000, where given to a diverse group of artist, from playwrights and poets to visual artists and filmmakers.
Professor Rea Tajiri is a filmmaker and visual artist whose work straddles the documentary and art film genres. Her current project, Wisdom Gone Wild, examines the difficulties of being a caregiver to a parent with dementia, a personal story fro Tajiri. Tajiri holds both a BFA and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and is the founder of Ghost Pictures, an independent production company. Her films have been shown at the Venice Film Festival, the Guggenheim (New York and Bilbao), and the Whitney Biennial, among others. Tajiri has received grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the New York State Council for the Arts. Her groundbreaking 1991 film History and Memory is part of the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection. An instructor of documentary production, Tajiri also served as the faculty director of FMA's LA Study Away program from 2012 to 2013.
Since earing earned a MFA in Acting from Temple University's Department of Theater, James Ijames (TFM '06) he has pursued acting, directing and playwrighting in the Philadelphia region, finding sucess with his plays The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington (Flashpoint Theatre Company) and Moon Man Walk (Orbiter 3), both directed by Professor Ed Sobel. His plays and devised works examine class, race, and gender, and challenge the conventions of realism and collective truth. Ijames is a founding member of Orbiter 3 a prpducing playwrights collective, dedicated to fostering the growth of Philadelphia's theater community. Ijames is also the recipient of the 2011 F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist, and three Barrymore Awards for acting and direction.
“Our 2015 grantees exemplify the diverse and dynamic cultural life of our region,” said Paula Marincola, executive director of the Pew Center for Arts and Humanities. “As we reflect on the past 10 years of grantmaking in this vibrant community, we also look forward to the extraordinary cultural experiences this talented and ambitious group of artists and organizations will bring to Greater Philadelphia’s audiences.”
Learn more about the The Pew Center for Arts & Humanities' 2015 grants on the Center's website.