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The Independence Foundation Fellowships in the Arts given to two local choreographers

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The Independence Foundation Fellowships in the Arts announced that fellowships of up to $10,000 have been awarded to 8 local performing artists. These fellowships will support research and development projects in a wide-variety of disciplines. The Fellowships in the Arts were created to help individual artists take the next step in their personal artistic growth and development.

The Board of Directors of the Independence Foundation selected the recipients, with the assistance of a Peer Panel comprised of regional artists and leaders of arts organizations.

Amongst the recipients in the category of dance were Kun-Yang Lin and Kate Watson-Wallace.

Since the Independence Foundation Fellowships in the Arts program began fourteen years ago, well over $1,800,000 has been awarded to 248 local visual and performing artists.

To be eligible for a Fellowship, an artist must be nominated by an official Nominating Organization.  The Nominators are arts organizations that have been grantees of the Independence Foundation.

KUN-YANG LIN, Artistic Director of Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers & Founder of CHI Movement Arts Center, is acknowledged as one of Taiwan’s finest choreographers. He has received numerous awards in Taiwan, including the National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Award and the Taiwan Outstanding Artist Award. At the age of 12, Lin organized the first all-male dance troupe to perform in his native village of Hsin Chu after having spent the previous seven years directing his three sisters in numerous performances in their shared bedroom. His early training in calligraphy, painting, figure skating and martial arts came to play a significant role in his development as a performer and choreographer. In the U.S., Lin has been widely recognized for his dancing and choreography including, in 2002, by Back Stage, which selected him as “the year’s most promising choreographer in NYC.” Before moving to to the U.S., Lin performed the works of numerous, European post-modernist & contemporary choreographers on tour worldwide with London-based Transitions Dance Company and in New York City he continued his body research in the sources of American modern dance including in the companies of Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey Repertory Dance Company, Mary Anthony Dance Theatre, Anna Sokolow, Jennifer Muller/The Works, Kevin Wynn Collection, Paula Josa-Jones, Janis Brenner & Dancers, and in improvisation projects with renown musician John Zorn and award-winning artist, Lynn Shapiro. The New York Times has called Lin “an extraordinary dancer” and The Philadelphia Inquirer has hailed him as a “theatrical visionary… outstanding choreographer and compelling performer.” Lin’s choreography has been presented throughout the United States as well as in Asia, Southeast Asia, London, Vienna and Mexico. His work has been performed by numerous dance companies, universities and high schools. Highly sought as a teacher, Lin regularly offers master classes and workshops throughout the U.S. and abroad. Lin’s devotion to artistic excellence, movement research, education and community inspired him to found the CHI Movement Arts Center, described by Gov. Ed Rendell as “a place where the entire Philadelphia community can experience the art multicultural creative dance expression.” In 2009, Lin was named by the Painted Bride Art Center an “Artist of the City” for his outstanding contributions to the arts and culture of Philadelphia. In 2010, the Mayor of Hsin-Chu, Kun-Yang’s hometown, honored him with its “Pride of the City” designation for his cultivation of artistic excellence at the international level and in 2011 he was named one of Philadelphia’s “Creative Connectors.”

KATE WATSON-WALLACE is a choreographer and visual artist. She has received numerous awards for her choreography including: A Pew Fellowship in the Arts in Choreography, two Map Fund Grants and a Doris Duke Exploration grant through Creative Capital, multiple grants from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage through Dance Advance, The PA Council on the Arts, The Independence Foundation and Penn PAT. She has choreographed music videos for: Black Dice and Animal Collective. Recent Commissions include: Ballet X, Hotel Monoco/Kimpton Hotels, RedBull Art-of-the-Can, and Meredith Rainey/Carbon Dance Theater. She co-directs anonymous bodies with Jaamil Kosoko. They have shown work at venues nationally, including: The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, Joyce SoHo, Dance Theater Workshop, Dance Place, ODC Dance, Velocity Dance, Movement Research at Judson Church, and Kelly Strayhorn Theater. Kate creates site-based installation. Works include HOUSE, a performance for 15 audience members inside an abandoned row home, CAR, an audience for 4 audience members who sit inside a moving vehicle, STORE, a performance installation inside an abandoned mega-store, and Everywhere, a participatory on-line dance experience, and contest. She is currently creating Mash Up Body, a new installation under the Mentorship of Miguel Gutierrez that will premiere in Pittsburgh’s Kelly Strayhorn Theater in the spring, where she is in residence for the year.

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