111 Organizations Collaborate to Create Multi-Million-Dollar Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, Inspired by the Kimmel Center

April 8, 2010

PHILADELPHIA, April 8 /PRNewswire/ – The new Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA), inspired by the Kimmel Center, announced today 31 commissions in music, dance, drama and the visual arts, as well as the participation of 111 regional arts and cultural partner organizations collaborating on an expansive and diverse array of programs, performances, events and exhibits occurring throughout Philadelphia in spring 2011.

Kicking off one year from yesterday on April 7, 2011, the 25-day festival will focus on collaboration, innovation and creativity among Philadelphia arts organizations. The $10 million endeavor is funded through a generous grant from The Annenberg Foundation and is the vision of the late Mrs. Leonore Annenberg, who was a long-standing proponent of arts and culture in Philadelphia and around the nation.

“The Annenberg Foundation places great value on celebrating artistic expression of all forms and has a longstanding history of providing major support for the Philadelphia creative community,” says Wallis Annenberg of The Annenberg Foundation.

“There are so many creative forces in the city right now capable of achieving amazing, unimagined things,” says Barbara Silverstein, PIFA’s artistic producer. “The festival’s primary goal is to draw together all that artistic energy and showcase it throughout the 25 days of PIFA.”

With collaboration, innovation and creativity as its programming mantra, PIFA’s surprising pairings and presentations will celebrate modern music, circus arts, dance, hip-hop culture, film, history, science, architecture, fine arts, horticulture, literature and other genres. Food-related events will highlight culinary arts, and explorations of the art of fashion will engage

university students and retailers. PIFA will also create an advisory committee to engage young and culturally diverse audiences.

“The enthusiastic responses from Philadelphia’s arts, cultural and community groups are inspiring remarkable artistic synergies that will result in one-of-a-kind moments sure to define PIFA,” says J. Edward Cambron, executive director of PIFA.

Festival programming that is part of the Kimmel Center Presents series will be announced on April 12, 2010.

Among the many creative and collaborative endeavors that make up PIFA, these eight events exemplify the scope, scale and diversity of the citywide festival:

Art For The Eyes & Ears:

  • PIFA commissioned Jonathan Leshnoff, one of the nation’s most exciting young composers, to write a sacred work featuring texts from a variety of spiritual and worldly sources. Sung in several languages, Hope: An Oratorio will make its world premiere at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and feature performances by The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, with conductor Roberto Minczuk and four solo performers, including Grammy® Award-winning world fusion singer Angelique Kidjo and award-winning jazz vocalist and composer David Linx. The Pennsylvania Girlchoir and the Mendelssohn Club Chorus of Philadelphia will also join in the performance. April 24, 2011. Broad & Spruce Streets
  • Bella Chagall not only inspired her artist husband Marc Chagall, she is now the inspiration behind Bella: The Color of Love. The PIFA-commissioned, cabaret-style musical theater piece is a joint venture between the Gershman Y, the Philadelphia Theatre Company and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. At the same time, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will pull from its own collection and showcase works from major institutions like the Guggenheim Museum for Paris Through the Window: Marc Chagall and His Circle, an exhibition focusing on the works of Chagall and his fellow Montparnasse artists from 1910 to 1920. Bella: The Color of Love, April 28-30, 2011, Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Broad & Lombard Streets; Paris through the Window, March-July 2011, Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Perelman Building, 26th Street & the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
  • Artists from Scribe Video Center will tell the story of James Reese Europe, an African-American bandleader and star during the first decades of the 20th century. Europe recorded his music at the Victor Talking Machine Company in Camden in 1913. Then as an army lieutenant during World War I, he brought new African-American music forms to the attention of adoring fans in Paris and introduced syncopation, including ragtime and early jazz compositions, to an international audience. This PIFA-commissioned documentary is part of Scribe’s Precious Places project, a collection of documentaries created by Philadelphia neighborhood residents. April 11, 2011. Kimmel Center, Broad & Spruce Streets

Technology & Art Converge:

  • A digital projection mural collaboratively commissioned by PIFA and the internationally renowned Mural Arts Program will grace the façade of the Kimmel Center. The digital mural will feature some of the thousands of photographs of dancing Philadelphians taken by artist JJ Tiziou, to be included in How Philly Moves, an iconic 50,000-square-foot mural and permanent exhibition coming to Philadelphia International Airport in June 2011. The projection of digital mural will take place during the festival. Broad & Spruce Streets

Bridge-building Art:

  • A groundbreaking collaboration of Taller Puertorriqueno, Intercultural Journeys (made up of members of The Philadelphia Orchestra), the Artistas y Musicos Latino-Americanos (AMLA) and PIFA, Puentes/Bridges includes a series of PIFA-related happenings throughout the year, including master classes and art exhibits. During the festival, members of The Philadelphia Orchestra, including principal clarinetist Ricardo Morales, will join adult and advanced student musicians from AMLA for a concert outside Taller Puertorriqueno. The performances of classical and popular works by Latino composers will follow an evening of multicultural art inside the gallery. Free. April 29, 2011. Taller, 2557-2721 N. 5th Street

High-Flying Art:

  • Circus arts, deeply rooted in France in 1911, will be on display throughout PIFA. The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts will perform high-flying aerial and acrobat feats during two shows: a daytime family-friendly presentation and a late-night performance for adults with The Green Fairy Cabaret. Both will take place under the soaring glass dome of the Hamilton Gardens atop the Kimmel Center. April 14-16, 2011. Broad & Spruce Streets
  • All eyes will be on the skies as the artists of Grounded Aerial defy earth, air and gravity in performances that combine modern and aerial dance. Using bungee cords, aerial harnesses, rope pendulums and other materials, the shows will take place outside and inside the lobby of the Kimmel Center. Free. April 7-9, 2011. Broad & Spruce Streets
  • For anyone who ever dreamed of flying on the trapeze, the moment is now. Fly School Circus Arts will set up a full-scale flying trapeze, and professional instructors will give lessons to daredevils who want to try the very French circus art form. Dates to be announced. The University of the Arts, Broad Street between Spruce & Pine Streets

In February 2010, PIFA announced the innovative collaboration between The Roots and a French chanteuse, as well as a rare collaboration between The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Ballet for a performance of Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, conducted by Rossen Milanov with choreographer Jorma Elo. More performances, exhibitions and programs will be

announced soon.

Fans can follow six artists throughout their year-long creative process on the PIFA Web site. Online videos give a behind-the-scenes look at how several artists develop their works as they prepare for the festival. Log onto pifa.org, and click the “The Journey” tab for an insider’s view.

The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA), inspired by the Kimmel Center, launches the city’s art and cultural scene onto the world stage with a three-week festival offering performances, exhibits and events for loyal fans and casual attendees. Based on the philosophy of collaboration, innovation and creativity, PIFA’s programs represent every arts discipline and include more than 100 partners. Offerings include newly commissioned works, classical performances and exhibits, surprising partnerships featuring local and international artists and exciting explorations of traditional, non-traditional, new and emerging art forms. In homage to the artistic energy of Paris 1910-1920, PIFA celebrates works from that era and new creations inspired by the brashly innovative spirit of the period. The festival was made possible by an extraordinary grant from Philadelphia philanthropist Leonore Annenberg, whose vision for a city-wide celebration of the arts shaped its philosophy and programming. PIFA takes place April 7-May 1, 2011.

For the most up to date information, contact PIFA at (215) 790-5800 or visit pifa.org.

Kimmel Center, Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit organization, provides a rich diversity of programming through its Kimmel Center Presents sponsored by Citi and Broadway Series of performances, as well as arts in education and community outreach. The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the Academy of Music together serve as home to eight Resident Company performing arts organizations, including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, American Theater Arts for Youth, Philadanco, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Peter Nero and the Philly Pops(®). Kimmel Center, Inc. owns, manages, supports and maintains The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, which includes Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, Innovation Studio and the Merck Arts Education Center. Kimmel Center, Inc. also manages the Academy of Music, owned by The Philadelphia Orchestra Association.

SOURCE Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation

Source: newswire

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