Modeled on the successes of the American Academies in Rome and Berlin, the American Academy in Jerusalem (AAJ) is a 10-week fellowship for distinguished artists, architects, and planners from abroad that helps strengthen the city of Jerusalem as a vibrant, pluralistic center of arts and culture.
In 2010, the Foundation for Jewish Culture established the Academy in order to participate in the larger civic effort to highlight Jerusalem — one of the most extraordinary cities in the world — as a dynamic, democratic, international destination for art and culture. We inaugurated the fellowship successfully in the fall of 2011 with a cohort of four fellows: visual artist Lynne Avadenka, choreographer Donald Byrd, theater artist David Herskovits, and urban planner David Karnovsky.
The 2013 fellowship, happening this year from October 7 to December 16, will provide residencies for six to eight accomplished individuals working in visual and media arts, performing arts, planning and design, and other disciplines. The program provides each fellow with travel to Jerusalem, accommodations, a living stipend, personal workspace, and additional resources to develop individual projects emphasizing social engagement with diverse populations in all parts of the city.
During their residency, fellows work closely with local cultural organizations, NGOs, schools and the municipality where they will teach master classes, serve as mentors, and offer professional development to peers. These partner organizations include the American Center, America House/U.S. Emassy, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design/Yaffo 23, HaZira Performance Art Arena, The Hebrew University of Jersualem, The Israel Museum, The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Jerusalem Cinematheque, The Jerusalem Intercultural Center, Jerusalem Print Workshop, the Jerusalem International YMCA, School of Visual Theater, Machol Shalem – Jerusalem Dance Festival, Vertigo Dance Company, and many others.
Our Program Director in Jerusalem assists the Fellows in navigating the city, meeting people of interest, and pursuing their research. The Academy provides Fellows with special tours, home hospitality, communal meals, and other enhancements through which we hope to foster deep and long connections to the group and to the city.
The fellows for Fall 2011 were selected from a pool of over 100 nominations by a distinguished panel. These remarkable artists are sharing their cultural talents, vision and expertise in order to foster greater dialogue and understanding between people of the United States and Jerusalem:
Lynne Avadenka, Visual Artist
Donald Byrd, Choreographer
David Herskovits, Theater Artist
David Karnovsky, Urban Planner
Lynne Avadenka creates art inspired by the philosophical and physical presence of the book. Avadenka has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. She was awarded a Kresge Fellowship in 2009. Her work is included in numerous collections including the British Library, London; The Cleveland Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; The Jewish Museum, New York; The Library of Congress and the Meermano Museum of the Book, the Netherlands.
Donald Byrd is the Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle. He is a Bessie Award winner (The Minstrel Show) and received a Tony award nomination for his choreography of The Color Purple on Broadway. Byrd’s productions also include The Harlem Nutcracker, White Noise,and Aida. Byrd’s proposed research project is to use the performing arts to explore the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as a perpetual machine of failed attempts and disillusionment, as envisioned by writer Amos Oz.
David Herskovits is the Founding Artistic Director of Target Margin Theater in New York City. He has directed for many theaters and presenters including The Lincoln Center Festival, Theatre for a New Audience, and The Spoleto Festival USA. Herskovits’ proposed research project is to develop a new play based on Yiddish theater, the early 20th century avant-garde movement, and their unique moment of intersection.
David Karnovsky is General Counsel to the New York City Department of City Planning. A particular focus of Karnovsky’s work has been on the use of zoning incentives to preserve existing cultural assets, as well as to create new open spaces and artistic venues. Karnovsky’s proposed research project is to explore the use of similar strategies to promote arts and culture in Jerusalem as a tool for growth and revitalization working with government officials, arts groups and others.
Application and Selection
Application to the American Academy in Jerusalem is made via nomination from experts in various fields. A distinguished, multidisciplinary panel reviews applications and makes recommendations to the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
For further information, please contact Andrew Ingall, Program Officer for the Arts, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Academy in Jerusalem has received major support from the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, the Leichtag Family Foundation, the Morningstar foundation, and the Russell Berrie Foundation. It has received additional support from Marc and Anita Abramowitz, Anne Abramson, Floy Kaminsky, the Jerusalem Foundation, Jerusalem Season of Culture, and the U.S. State Department.
The American Center, America House/U.S. Embassy, Artspace, Batsheva Dance Company, Beit Avi Chai, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design/Yaffo 23, Gerard Behar Center, HaZira Performance Art Arena, The Hebrew University of Jersualem, The Incubator Project, The Israel Museum, The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Jerusalem Cinematheque, The Jerusalem Intercultural Center, The Jerusalem Municipality, Jerusalem Print Workshop, the Jerusalem International YMCA, The Lab/New Center for the Performing Arts, Mamuta at the Daniela Passal Art and Media Center, Mikro Theater, Psik Theater, School of Visual Theater, Machol Shalem – Jerusalem Dance Festival, Theater Company Jerusalem, Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, Vertigo Dance Company.