Just in case you didn’t know, the arts are back, and if you were anywhere near the block party at Cecil B. Moore Avenue and 33rd Street on Monday, you wouldn’t have to wonder.
We’re talking block party. Music. People in the street. Relief.
It continued Tuesday, this time in Malcolm X Park in West Philadelphia, with scheduled music, Mural Arts classes in graffiti art, a live DJ, music, people in the park. Relief.
Such activities, organized around the city’s parks and artists, continue throughout the week all over town.
It’s all part of Arts and Culture Recovery Week, organized by Councilmember Isaiah Thomas, the Mural Arts Program, the city Parks & Recreation Department, the Office of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy, and supported by the Forman Arts Initiative and other private organizations.
“We spent the past year listening to the arts and culture community about ways the city can reprioritize them,” said Thomas. “We have introduced legislation and advocated for new funding, but now it’s time to celebrate the arts. I am excited to work with Mural Arts on this Art-in-the-Park series to bring different types of art to different neighborhoods across Philadelphia.”
Jane Golden, executive director of Mural Arts, said the agency was eager to participate.
“Thomas has been a huge advocate for the arts and helped find money to support small arts organizations and artists struggling financially during the pandemic and in light of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund cut last year,” Golden said. “We wanted to help tell the story that the city of Philadelphia is back and stronger than before through sheer grit and the power of art.”
The Philadelphia Cultural Fund, the city’s main vehicle for arts funding for hundreds of groups citywide, saw its budget slashed last year from $3 million to $1 million as the pandemic took hold. This year Mayor Jim Kenney called for $2 million for the cultural fund; Council added $500,000 for a total of $2.5 million for fiscal 2022.
Some Arts Recovery Week highlights:
Thee Icon King Mother Jacen Moncler hosts the Philly Nostalgia vogue ball 6 p.m. Tuesday at Punchline Philly, 33 E. Laurel St.
A mural dedication for Electric Philadelphia is set for Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the Sixth and Vine Street underpass adjacent to Franklin Square, where the mural and light installation fills the underpass. At 8:30 p.m., a once-only light show will take place. Electric Philadelphia was designed by artist David Guinn in collaboration with designer Drew Billiau.
On Thursday, Arts-in-the-Park and the Mural Arts’ Women’s Reentry Pilot Program host a demonstration and competition of double-dutch and other activities, 1 to 5 p.m at Penn Treaty Park. Also Thursday, the city’s Office of Arts, Culture & Creative Economy joins with Parks & Rec to host a free pop-up concert on the Northeast lawn at LOVE Park, noon to 1 p.m.
Other Thursday events include a performance by Hip Hop Fundamentals at Triangle Park, off Upland Way in Wynnefield, at 7 p.m., followed by an outdoor screening of the movie The Croods: A New Age.
Gospel Fest will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at Triumph Baptist Church, 1648 W. Hunting Park Ave., featuring solo performances, local choirs, praise-and-worship teams, praise dancers, spoken word, and Christian comedy.