Bella Vista to host Da Vinci Fest in October 2020

-Mark Casasanto

Already a city lush with festivals and fairs, the Bella Vista neighborhood of Philly will soon serve as a launching pad for a new and unique opportunity to get out and explore, embrace and enjoy… this time, awash in the principles of Leonardo Da Vinci. 

Born of the creative minds at the Da Vinci Art Alliance (DVAA), the first time festival is set to delve into the many passions of the Renaissance master. In opening remarks, Jarrod Markman, DVAA’s Executive Director, outlined the alliance’s mission of “community through art”. Offering that the first time festival will make Bella Vista “Philadelphia’s community hub for innovation, artistic exploration and STEAM Plus learning.”

704 Catherine Street

Nestled between the shadows of their marquee neighbors, The Saloon and John’s Water Ice, there on Catherine Street, sits the DVAA headquarters and gallery. Full disclosure, I pride myself as a native South Philadelphian to know all things South Philly. I’m embarrassed to tell you, I failed you my neighbors.

New to the Bella Vista area, three months to be exact, I vowed to walk much more for health and peace of mind. This was perfect. So off I went to Palumbo Park, and an unexpected excursion through my neighborhood. I turned off 7th Street and onto Catherine, and immediately I thought, what in the hell have I been missing? What a quaint, lovely street… Bella strada! 

Bookended by the aforementioned DVAA to the east and Palumbo Park to the west, The Fleisher Art Memorial anchors the charming thoroughfare. Honestly, it was, and will be, the perfect keystone for the launch of Da Vinci Fest. And… Palumbo Park was dressed for the occasion. 

Amidst the remarks and comments from the assembled partners and officials, the delightful piazza featured sneak peeks of what will be come in October 2020. There was a custom built, pinewood derby track courtesy of festival partner, The Bresslergroup which entertained the young and young at heart. Derby car starter kits, for the DIY set, were also available for purchase. And if the derby adventures didn’t dot your palette, The Philly Moon Men were set up under a beautifully clear sky for stargazing while DVAA’s robotic interned sketched Da Vinci inspired art works to provide for the evening’s raffles.  

“It’s very exciting,” remarked David Acosta, President of the DVAA Board of Directors. “It’s another festival that will add to the richness of experiences for communities across the city.”




Amongst the exciting news of the evening, the big reveal also included an open call for proposals on Mural Arts Philadelphia’s newest rendering. DVAA announced that beginning in January, 2020, they will begin the process which will ultimately culminate with the unveiling of the public art project on the side of the DVAA’s building, at 704 Catherine Street. The still untitled work, will be dedicated in conjunction with the debut of Da Vinci Fest in fall of 2020. 

The festival will prove to be a celebration of Da Vinci’s creativity, curiosity and overall genius. The goal is to highlight, encourage and inspire dreamers of all ages and disciplines through events, exhibits and activities with many local collaborators along for the multi-day festivities. 

To get involved or learn more on Da Vinci Fest, visit:

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