Arts Launch 2021: A FREE event celebrating the return to in-person arts. This Saturday, September 18, at Kimmel Cultural Campus 

Save the date for Arts Launch 2021: A Return To In-Person Arts on Saturday, September 18! After an 18-month closure, The Kimmel Cultural Campus partners with The Philadelphia Orchestra to usher in the return of in-person arts with a FREE reopening celebration – featuring a diverse sampling of festival-style performances and more than 50 arts organizations from across the region!

From 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., this FREE grand reopening event will take place inside the largest Kimmel Cultural Campus building – the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts at 300 S. Broad Street. Audiences will enjoy performance vignettes from varied genres throughout the public Plaza under the large glass dome, in the multiple spacious tiers, and on varied stages. Organizations from across the region will participate in the festivities – either by performing or presenting information about their upcoming programming & recruiting staff & volunteers. Guests will enjoy festival-style performances, activities, demonstrations, and giveaways. Arts Launch 2021 presented in partnership with PNC Arts Alive.

For the day’s full list of events and schedule, click here.

For participating arts organizations, click here.

“I can’t begin to tell you what it means to reopen our doors after an 18-month closure. Wonderfully, the Avenue of the Arts will again be alive with concert and theatergoers,” said Anne Ewers, President & CEO of the Kimmel Cultural Campus. “Arts Launch 2021 is just the beginning, as we invite our neighbors to return to the region’s home for the performing arts, helping us bring invigoration and vibrancy to Broad Street once again. Our reopening also embraces a new day, as we embark on a pathbreaking partnership with The Philadelphia Orchestra, working together to create a more vibrant cultural future for all Philadelphians.”

“Arts Launch 2021 is a wonderful opportunity to reimagine the power of the arts to bring joy, create community, and effect change,” said Matías Tarnopolsky, President and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra and soon-to-be President and CEO of new parent company, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. “The Philadelphia Orchestra is honored to conclude this exciting celebration, once again filling Verizon Hall with the glorious Philadelphia Sound. We look forward to sharing in this thrilling moment, reunited with audience members, as we look ahead to a bright future for the arts, together.”

“I am so excited about this new collaboration between Kimmel Center, Inc., and The Philadelphia Orchestra, one that strengthens not just the future of those two organizations, but all of the Resident Companies who perform on the Campus,” said Joan Myers Brown, Founder of Kimmel Cultural Campus Resident Company, The Philadelphia Dance Company, affectionately known as PHILADANCO!. “I’ve spent my entire life immersed in the Philadelphia arts community, and this is a game changer, one that has the power to make our city even more of an arts and cultural epicenter.”

Alongside performing arts centers nationwide, the Kimmel Cultural Campus and Resident Companies have announced mask and vaccine mandates that will go into effect with this public event. All attendees must show proof of full vaccination at the time of entry. Proof of negative COVID-19 tests will not be accepted, with the exception of children under the age of 12.

“The health and safety of our community of Philadelphia – the performers on our stages, our guests, technical crews, volunteers, and staff – is our top priority,” said Ed Cambron, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Kimmel Cultural Campus. “A recent survey indicates 99% of our audience members are fully vaccinated. We are confident that, coupled with significant HVAC improvements and mask and vaccination mandates for all on-Campus guests, attendees on September 18 will enjoy a safe and memorable afternoon of music, theater, and dance.”

Guests to Arts Launch 2021 are welcome to explore activities showcasing a variety of genres ranging from spoken word and hip-hop dance, to jazz and classical. There is something for everyone! Performances will be held on the Commonwealth Plaza stage as well as within Perelman Theater, while quieter activities, like workshops in Ballroom dancing and poetry, will take place in the Rendell Room. Vision 2020’s Women 100 Seat at the Table interactive exhibit will also be available for guests to explore. Additionally, Kimmel-partner Garces Events will activate the Balcony Bar, overlooking Broad Street.

Penn Museum will host a lounge in anticipation of their fall exhibition “The Stories We Wear”, to feature and learn personal stories related to tattoos. Additional participating organizations include African American Museum of Philadelphia, BalletX, Esperanza Arts Center, Jazz Philadelphia, Musicopia, Studio Incamminati, Usiloquy Dance Designs, Women’s Caucus for Art Philadelphia, and so many more. A full alphabetized list of participating performers and cultural organizations is below.

Kimmel Cultural Campus Resident Companies Opera Philadelphia and Philadelphia Ballet will be onsite with show costumes, with Philadelphia Ballet adding a barre demonstration; The Philly POPS, PHILADANCO!, and The Curtis Institute of Music will also have exciting performances.

For the grand finale, The Philadelphia Orchestra will perform at 3 p.m. in Verizon Hall.

“The Avenue of the Arts thrives, and in turn the City of Philadelphia thrives, when it can bask in the energy and economic and social vitality of the theaters that call it home,” said Laura Burkhardt, Executive Director of the Avenue of the Arts. “We are excited to celebrate the reopening of the Kimmel Cultural Campus and interact with so many vital organizations. After so much forced separation due to the pandemic, the inclusivity this event boasts is truly inspiring.”

As a non-profit performing arts organization, the Kimmel Cultural Campus has been severely impacted by COVID-19. Since March 16, 2020, more than 1,100 events have been cancelled, and the once bustling live performing arts industry, whose work fuels a vibrant downtown Philadelphia, went “dark”, with many organizations turning to digital presentations. The performing arts industry in the City of Philadelphia collectively yields over $4 billion, translating to nearly $600 million every year. The combined activities of the Kimmel, its Resident Companies, and its audiences generate a total economic impact within the 11-county region estimated to be more than $585 million, supporting nearly 5,000 jobs.

Special thank you to Kimmel Cultural Campus Reopening Partner, PNC Arts Alive, for their continued support. For more information, please visit PNC Arts Alive,

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