Two UArtists Receive 2019 Pew Grants

November 1, 2019

On Monday, Oct. 21, the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage announced that more than $8.4 million will fund 27 project grants and 12 Pew Fellowships for Philadelphia’s artists and cultural organizations. Two of these fellowships were awarded to UArts alum and faculty member Dinita Clark BFA ’05 (Dance), as well as UArts alum Jonathan Lyndon Chase BFA ’13 (Painting). 


Dinita Clark, senior lecturer in the School of Dance, is a choreographer, performer and educator who engages the vocabularies of street dance and hip-hop culture to create dynamic, polyrhythmic performances. Her teaching practice addresses the lack of training for women in the foundations of hip-hop and provides accessible dance education to “unlock self-discovery, self-worth and integrity for female dancers,” challenging preconceived ideas of hip-hop culture while creating opportunities for women within the genre. Clark has performed and taught in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan and Palestine, as a U.S. cultural ambassador.


“The essence of my work stems from the social aspect of hip-hop dance culture and produces a community of acceptance, unity and individuality.” — Dinita Clark, 2019 Pew Fellow

Clark co-founded Just Sole! Street Dance Theater Company with her partner and fellow faculty member, Kyle Clark. She also co-founded Funky Sole Fundamentals, a workshop series dedicated to the preservation of hip-hop, house and funk styles. 

“The essence of my work stems from the social aspect of hip-hop dance culture and produces a community of acceptance, unity and individuality,” says Clark. 

Pew Fellowships provide awards of $75,000 to individual artists. This year’s fellows are working in visual art, literature, dance and theater; 10 live and work in Philadelphia. 

“Our annual grants foster the highest levels of artistic and programmatic excellence,” said Paula Marincola, Pew’s executive director. “The ambitious work these artists and institutions will produce in the coming months will inspire audiences and further elevate Philadelphia’s visibility as a thriving hub for culture.”

Jonathan Lyndon Chase also earned a Pew Fellowship for their work in visual art. Chase utilizes various media in their portraits, which reflect the complexities of black and queer identity. Chase describes Their subjects as “friends and family or my own reflection,” often considering both the private and public nature of the body through life-sized figures and large-scale canvases. 

Chase was recently named a “young artist to watch” by Artnet News. They hold a BFA from University of the Arts and an MFA from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. “The weight of line and volume of color in my paintings are tools to narrate the experience of living as more than one thing at a time,” they say. “Fluidity is important in the pursuit of freedom.” (

View the full list of grantees.