Thursday, February 4, 2016

Looking For A Fellowship? Here's Your Chance......

Beginning February 5, 2016, Philadelphia's Fleisher Art Memorial will begin receiving applications for the newly created biennial Dina Wind Art As Catalyst Fellowship, which celebrates the life and ideals of artist, board member, and longtime Fleisher supporter Dina Wind while furthering Fleisher's commitment to arts-based community engagement. 

This six-month live/work residency is an ideal opportunity for an artist seeking to build relationships and create work within the diverse South Philadelphia community while focusing their creative practice on issues of social justice, cultural equity, and cultural preservation.

"We all share Dina's belief in Fleisher's mission, especially given these turbulent times," say the Wind Family. "We are delighted that Fleisher is launching this important program, and we look forward to seeing the impact the Fellowship has - for the participating artists, the community, Fleisher, and the arts."

"Dina's faith in the power of art remains unmatched. She believed deeply in an artist's ability to promote peace, kindle compassion, and initiate serious dialogue around issues that affect us all," says Executive Director Elizabeth Grimaldi. "Fleisher will remain forever grateful to the Wind family for enabling us to honor Dina's legacy through the Catalyst Fellowship. We wait excitedly to experience the work that will be created through this unique opportunity."

Applications will be accepted online through March 31, 2016. The selected artist will be provided with a stipend, as well as living and work space. Artists interested in applying for the fellowship are invited to attend a webinar hosted by Fleisher staff at 12:00 p.m., February 29, 2016. More information on applying and the webinar are available at

Fellowship Background
Fleisher believes art is most transformative when individuals actively participate in its creation and development and that artists are help weave the social fabric, connecting ideas, experiences, and perspectives to strengthen a diverse community. The fellowship intends to spur artists to transcend the conventional notions of static art objects in public places while emphasizing how art and artists can serve as catalysts for social action, problem solving, and relationship building.

Founded in 1898, Fleisher is located at the geographic center of South Philadelphia's diverse and vibrant communities and continues to sustain the vision of its founder, Samuel S. Fleisher, of art as a great social equalizer through its mission of providing access to art for all. The neighborhoods Fleisher serves, once a draw to Irish, Italian, Polish, and Armenian immigrants are now home to immigrating Mexican and Southeast Asian families, with significant projected population increases over the next five years.

Fleisher completed a community engagement research initiative to develop strategies to reduce barriers to participation in its arts programming, stay relevant to newly established communities, and uphold the tenets of our founder's vision by serving an audience reflective of these neighborhoods. Informed by this research, Fleisher launched programs to attract new art makers and more deeply engage current students, and has worked to define arts-based community engagement as "a process of working collaboratively with groups of people affiliated by interests in art, culture, and creativity and a collective desire to make our communities better places for all by developing, sharing, and promoting creative resources."

The Dina Wind Art as Catalyst Fellowship applies this perspective to Fleisher's exhibition program by expanding beyond gallery wall presentations of art to a collaborative, people-centered explorations that engage the Southeast Philadelphia community. A successful fellowship will result in a deepened creative practice for the artist and meaningful experiences for Fleisher students, faculty, and neighbors.

Fleisher Art Memorial was founded by industrialist Samuel S. Fleisher in 1898 and is renowned for its mission of making art accessible to everyone regardless of economic means, background or artistic experience.  Fleisher Art Memorial is one of the nation's first community-based art centers, providing tuition-free and low-cost studio art classes along with opportunities for beginning and seasoned artists to exhibit their work in a professional gallery setting. Fleisher's arts education programming reaches deeply into local schools and community centers, and has brought the organization national recognition and powerful opportunities to advocate for and shape arts education initiatives throughout the region and the country.  

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