Monday, February 8, 2010

Philadelphia Launches Ambitious International Arts Festival

The City of Philadelphia announced plans to host an international arts festival next year throughout the city that will include music, dance, fashion, fine arts, poetry and cuisine.

Representatives of the newly formed Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts held a press conference February 2 announcing the event but provided few details on the more than 100 local and international performances (including unusual collaborations) it plans to host during the three-week extravaganza, from April 7 to May 1, 2011.

Instead the organization released its logo, a cube balancing on its point (pictured above), along with a performance of Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat in a mash-up collaboration with two local DJs, Dave P and DJ Statik (shown below). Coverage of the press conference can be found here.

While it will be a citywide event, the official host is the Kimmel Center, the city’s performing arts center that serves as the home of eight city performance arts organizations, including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia,
and Peter Nero and the Philly Pops.

Collaboration, creativity and innovation are the themes of the festival. While the full PIFA program will be announced April 7, exactly one year before the start of the festival, organizers did release some program highlights, including the first-ever major collaboration between The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Ballet; and Philadelphia-based hip hop band, The Roots, in concert with a French chanteuse to be announced.

The inspiration for the event is the Paris arts explosion from 1910-1920—a period of time that reshaped and redefined art through collaborations of talented artists from all over the world in all genres of artistic expression. This movement helped to define and interpret art for the rest of the 20th Century.

The festival director is Edward Cambron, a 20-year Philadelphia Orchestra Association veteran. The program will be guided by artistic producer Barbara Silverstein. The festival idea originally was hatched by Kimmel Center president and chief executive Anne Ewers about three years ago.

The festival is being financed with the help of a $10 million grant from the late Leonore Annenberg.

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