By Jean Murphy
Drexel University’s Department of Performing Arts is honored to house two recipients of Pew Foundation grants. Westphal College of Media Arts & Design and The Curtis Institute of Music have been awarded the first-ever project grants from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage for an inter-institutional collaboration, and adjunct professor in the Drexel Dance program Dinita Clark has been awarded a 2019 Pew Fellowship.
LISTEN! Philadelphia Grant
The Department of Performing Arts has been awarded a $400,000 grant, the largest in Pew History, and the Curtis Institute of Music has been awarded $300,000, totaling $700,000 to fund LISTEN! Philadelphia. This project is a large-scale musical experience spanning several months and bringing together more than 120 local musicians of varied genre under the direction of internationally acclaimed composer and conductor Peter Wiegold. For both Drexel and Curtis, the arts can be a catalyst for social cohesion and change. LISTEN! Philadelphia lives at the intersection of musical excellence and civic engagement as this project aims to dynamically engage Philadelphia’s varied communities in the exercise of active listening.
Wiegold will serve as an artist in residence for six months from January to June 2021, during which time he will work with local musicians to develop a new way of creating music together, using a combination of non-traditional instrumentation, non-traditional orchestral scoring, and musical improvisation. The project will include six smaller-scale Club Night performances held in venues throughout the city in April and May 2021 and will culminate in three large-scale public performances of a grand Roaratorio to be held in the Chapel at Girard College in May 2021. To learn more about LISTEN! Philadelphia read the full release here.
Dinita Clark Pew Fellowship
Drexel Dance faculty member Dinita Clark has been awarded a 2019 Pew Fellowship. She teaches hip-hop classes and at Drexel Dance’s Healing Art Summer Intensive as well as choreographing for the Youth Performance Exchange Touring Ensemble and the Drexel Dance Ensemble.
Outside of her role with Drexel Dance, “Queen Dinita” Clark is a choreographer, dancer, and teacher whose work engages the vocabularies of street dance and hip-hop culture, creating dynamic performances that display polyrhythmic upper body and footwork patterns. Clark’s work is interested in challenging preconceived notions of hip-hop culture and creating opportunities for women within the dance form. Her teaching practice addresses the scarcity of training for women in the foundations of hip-hop dance and provides accessible dance education to, as she explains, “unlock self-discovery, self-worth, and integrity for female dancers.”
She is the co-founder and co-choreographer of Just Sole! Street Dance Theater Company with her partner, Kyle Clark. She also is the cofounder of Funky Sole Fundamentals, a dance workshop series dedicated to the preservation of hip-hop, house, and funk dance styles. To learn more about Dinita’s work, read the full release here.
The Department of Performing Arts is so proud to present LISTEN! Philadelphia and to have Dinita Clark on staff. To keep up to date with everything going on in the Department of Performing Arts follow them on social media and subscribe to their newsletter.