An exciting announcement has recently come to light for the longtime West Philadelphia institution The Annenberg Center. According to the release, Annenberg Center Executive and Artistic Director Christopher Gruits has been selected as an Eisenhower Fellow in the 2020 USA Fellowship Program, one of 10 highly accomplished professionals from the fields of education, finance, the arts, and technology who will travel overseas, broadening their horizons as they pursue individual projects that will have a lasting impact in their communities. The USA Fellows will meet with Eisenhower Fellows abroad, unlocking a lifelong connection to an influential global network of likeminded change agents.
Annenberg Center executive named with 2020 Eisenhower Fellowship
The Eisenhower Fellowship has become notable for its core mission to bring together innovative leaders from all fields from around the globe who tackle big challenges to essentially make the world we live in a better place. According to the release, since 1953, more than 2,400 mid-career leaders from 115 countries have benefited from the unique, customized experience of an Eisenhower Fellowship. The Eisenhower Fellowship is now in its 66th year.
Gruits will be traveling to South Africa and Singapore specifically during his fellowship, to work towards developing a Global Artists Project (GAP) to be integrated into the Annenberg Center, which will then provide an opportunity for a significant international artist or ensemble to work within communities in the City of Brotherly Love.
“During a time of great polarization, both here at home in the U.S and abroad, more than ever we need outlets to understand, empathize with, and experience cultures beyond our own,” said Gruits in the release. “The arts are a universal language that can promote empathy and understanding, while addressing pressing topics of our time, and the Annenberg Center is in a unique position to help bridge these distances through the transformational power of artists and their work.”
According to the release, The GAP project would leverage the educational and programmatic resources of the Annenberg Center and the University of Pennsylvania, along with the creative work of the artists. Gruits’ fellowship aims to redefine community engagement, enhance cross-cultural programming, and serve audiences not previously engaged in the performing arts. Another goal for the GAP project is to create a network of individuals to share critical artistic work across music, theatre, dance and film, as well as program structures and suggestions for developing community engagement and cross-cultural understanding.