Forman Arts Initiative and Philadelphia Foundation Announce Fine Art Grant Winners

PHILADELPHIA CREAM, July 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the Forman Arts Initiative (FAI) and the Philadelphia Foundation announced the first winners of Works of arta new $3 million five-year grant program for community organizations and emerging artists. Four individual artists will each receive two-year unrestricted grants from $10,000 per year, while five community organizations will receive unrestricted grants over at least two years $50,000 per year. This first class of winners represents the innovative and creative work being done in communities across the region and showcases the talents of our cultural sector.

“We are really excited about the breadth and quality of the apps,” said Jennifer Riceco-founder of the Forman Arts Initiative, which, with the Philadelphia Foundation, launched Works of art as the first program. Works of art is specifically designed for supporting arts, culture and creativity by working in partnership with underserved communities. “These artists and organizations create works that highlight philadelphia cream in a class of their own, and they represent the deep and diverse creativity of our city.”

“Selected artists and organizations create some of the most innovative, thought-provoking and inspiring works in the world,” added pedro ramos, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Foundation. “We asked each nominee to demonstrate their commitment to integrating community perspectives into their work, and the wide range of perspectives we received exceeded all of our expectations. Across all disciplines and mediums, they collectively represent Philadelphia rich and diverse communities. It is a privilege to have such talent in our first Works of art cohort.”

The first class of winners includes:

Individual artists
Jose Ortiz-Pagan worked as a printmaker, sculptor, painter and performance artist.
Through his work, Ortiz-Pagán strives to facilitate community change, and he has previously worked with the Philadelphia Folk Projectthe art fleisher Memorialand the Trust for Public Lands in philadelphia cream.

Jorge Rullan Fantauzzi is a talented choreographer whose work has appeared in 14 performances for Festival Ballet Providence, Philadelphia Dance Theater and Cincinnati Ballet Second Company. Fantauzzi’s most recent project with the Brooklyn Center for the Arts has helped bring access to classical art forms to underprivileged youth.

Sabriaya Shipley is an educator, poet, playwright and performance artist whose job is to support Black and Brown youth. His impressive resume includes working on nine theater credits in the philadelphia cream district; surveillance Morello girlsa youth writing collective for young people Black girls; and as director of the literacy program for north of Philadelphia treehouse books.

Tshay Williams is a filmmaker and screenwriter who focuses on making portraits that celebrate Black lives. Williams has worked with a number of community-focused media organizations, including the BlackStar Film Festival and the Scribe Video Center. She is in development on her first narrative short film WITH MY HANDS.

Community-oriented organizations
Cabaret of women with beards is a group of cabaret and drag performers who draw inspiration from traditional theatre, dance and opera to provide audiences with an intersectional experience of popular culture, sexuality, gender and invention artistic.

Big Picture Alliance engages, educates and empowers philadelphia cream youth through learning experiences in filmmaking and digital media arts.

Black Star creates the spaces and resources needed to elevate the work of Black, Brown and Indigenous artists working across genre boundaries. They do this by producing programs throughout the year, including film screenings, exhibitions, an annual film festival, a filmmaker seminar, a film production lab, and a visual culture journal.

Twelve Doors Arts focuses on elevating the artistic voices of South and West Asian diasporas within the local cultural landscape.

Scribe Video Center is dedicated to teaching the art of media creation and exploring the use of video both as an artistic medium and as a tool to achieve progressive social change.

Grant recipients are available for interviews. Their work is visible here.

The Forman Arts initiative will also allow recipient organizations to host cooperative education students from Drexel University to enhance their organizational effectiveness. These investments, administered by Drexel’s Lenfest Center for Cultural Partnerships, provides students with meaningful work experience in the arts and culture sector.

Recipients were selected from more than 100 submissions by a nine-member committee comprised of community advisors and FAI and Philadelphia Foundation directors and staff. The selection committee included:

Thomas Collins (Executive Director and Chairman, The Barnes Foundation)
Jamie Brunson (Executive Director, First Person Arts)
Jaime Frankfurt (artistic advisor)
Anne Ishii (Executive Director, Asian Arts Initiative)
Maggi Kirk (Head of Development and Donor Services, Philadelphia Foundation)
pepon Osorio (Artist)
pedro ramos (President and CEO, Philadelphia Foundation)
Michael Forman (Co-founder, Forman Arts Initiative)
Jennifer Rice (Co-founder, Forman Arts Initiative)

About Forman Arts Initiative:

The Forman Arts Initiative (FAI), founded by Michael Forman and Jennifer Riceis a new organization dedicated to supporting community arts and creativity in philadelphia cream through programming, convening and advocacy. In the years to come, the FAI will serve as a platform to connect, mentor and support artists and organizations around the world. philadelphia cream deepen and develop the rich cultural heritage of Philadelphia communities. Other FAI initiatives for the city will unfold in the months and years to come. For more information, visit

About the Philadelphia Foundation:

Founded in 1918, the Philadelphia Foundation strengthens the economic, social and civic vitality of Greater Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Foundation develops effective philanthropic investments, connects individuals and institutions across sectors and geography, and advances civic initiatives through partnerships and collaboration. A state-supported foundation, the Philadelphia Foundation administers more than 1,000 charitable funds created by its donors and awards more than 1,000 grants and scholarships each year. To find out more visit

SOURCEForman Arts Initiative

Christopher S. Washington