Archive: July, 2013
This month, I attended the Americans for the Arts 2013 Annual Convention in Pittsburgh, where approximately 1,000 arts professionals from around the country came together to exchange ideas and experiences — as AFTA President Bob Lynch put it, to “explore all the ways in which the arts are truly transforming America’s communities.”
The recurring theme at the convention was storytelling — how to create deeper connections through personal, authentic stories of your organization, your artists and your work. The arts are ripe with these vibrant narratives, and yet many organizations still seem to struggle with making their stories resonate.
Much like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh is a great example of a city that has been truly reinvigorated by the arts; thanks to AFTA and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, conference attendees had the opportunity to really dig in and get to know Pittsburgh’s impressive cultural scene, from performances at keynote lunches (my favorite was Balafon West African Dance Ensemble) and an opening party at the Andy Warhol Museum, to “ARTventure Tours” that explored various cultural hot spots around the city.
If fireworks are what you’re after this Fourth of July, all you have to do is look up — from Penn’s Landing to the Ben Franklin Parkway, Philly’s got spectacle covered from river to river. But if you’re looking for a more nuanced way to celebrate independence this weekend, don’t forget about some of the city’s better-kept patriotic secrets, from historic bell-ringing in Germantown to a Society Hill soda festival.
Music: Summer Nights Concert at the Penn Museum
July 3, 5 p.m.
This Latin ensemble is dedicated to the interpretation of folk and traditional music from all over Latin America and the Caribbean. Puerto Rican boleros, Cuban sones, Mexican mariachi music, Colombian cumbias and Dominican merengues are some of the many styles they perform.
Theater: Patrick Henry's speech by the American Historical Theatre at Independence Hall
July 4, 1-2:30 p.m.
Dedicated to the art of historical interpretation, the American Historical Theatre brings Patrick Henry and the PA Sons of the Revolution to Independence Hall on the Fourth. Hear an impassioned speech by the famous Virginian, and show up a bit early for a photo op.