Kimmel Cultural Campus Announces Wawa Welcome America Avenue of the Arts Block Party 

-Courtesy of Kimmel Cultural Campus

The Kimmel Cultural Campus, in association with Wawa Welcome America and The Avenue of the Arts, will host a day of FREE festival-style performances and engaging activities on the Plaza stage under the soaring 150-foot glass roof, as part of the Avenue of the Arts Block Party. This celebration takes place on Saturday, June 25, 2022, from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Block Party guests can extend the outdoor festival vibe inside the air-conditioned Plaza with a lineup of Broadway cast appearances and celebrated local artists. The day includes family-friendly activities like Disney’s The Lion King mask making, a baton-making station, and an “instrument petting zoo” presented by The Philadelphia Orchestra, where visitors can get up-close with orchestral instruments. Guests can try their skills on a replica of the giant piano made famous in the classic Tom Hanks movie, Big. Plus, guests get a shot at winning free tickets, merchandise, and exclusive giveaways!

The lineup on the Kimmel Plaza stage includes:

  • Local multidisciplinary artist and former Kimmel Theater Residency Alum M’Balia Singley and Jams for Junior Jawns, the ultimate family musical experience, coming to you live from the 215 with original songs and old school favorites suitable for the little jawns, the big jawns, and all the in-between jawns.
  • Kuf Knotz & Christine Elise, fusing hip-hop and soul with bluesy beats supported by the classical harp. And you can dance to it.
  • DJ Chris Blues and The Parkside Experience, featuring 10 line-dancers leading participants in interactive instruction
  • Teaching artists from Disney’s The Lion King presenting two interactive dance workshops
  • A performance from cast members of Moulin Rouge: the Musical!
  • A performance from cast members of Jagged Little Pill
  • Songstress, activist, and lover of all things sparkly Cookie Diorio, blending genres, from showtunes to Gospel to pop
  • Considered Philly’s greatest groove band, Philly Gumbo presenting their distinct blend of New Orleans R&B, funk, reggae, blues, and soul

Courtesy of Garces Events, guests are invited to visit a pop-up beer garden outside the Kimmel building on Spruce Street, with additional concessions inside and available for purchase. Indoor refreshments include a beer cart from Yards Brewery; a champagne cart from Volvér, Chef Jose Garces’ restaurant located inside the Kimmel Center building; and food for sale at the concessions bar in the Kimmel Plaza. Concessions for the day will be coordinated with Levante Brewing, as well as Chef Garces’ restaurants Village Whiskey and Buena Onda. Volvér will be open its normal Saturday hours.

“We are excited to be part of Wawa Welcome America again this year, inviting our Philadelphia neighbors into our home to experience performances from gifted local artists and Broadway powerhouses; refreshments from our friends at Garces; and family-friendly activities,” said Matías Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. “Our talented team has curated events designed to bring us together through the power of the arts, with music every one of us can enjoy – from R&B and reggae to New Orleans jazz and Broadway. The party continues the next day, as we support the uplifting Gospel on Independence performance on Independence Mall.”

“Wawa Welcome America is a celebration of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, and we are so excited to host one of many outstanding festival programs on Broad Street in partnership with the Kimmel Cultural Campus and Avenue of the Arts,” said Michael DelBene, president & CEO of Welcome America, Inc. “With activities outside and in, we hope to see residents and guests alike out and appreciating the amazing talent, food, and culture of our great city.”

“The 2022 Wawa Welcome America festival offers an impressive lineup of diverse events taking place throughout the city, and we are thrilled to host a day of fun along Broad Street,” said Laura Burkhardt, Executive Director of Avenue of the Arts, Inc. “Alongside a lineup of events happening all day inside the Kimmel, there is so much excitement happening outside, too – from a zipline to local food trucks, live performances to a 120-foot slide, and more!”

On Sunday, June 26 at 7:00 p.m., the Kimmel Cultural Campus is once again acting as a supporting partner of the Wawa Welcome America Gospel on Independence performance. Join fellow Philadelphians for a moving and uplifting performance starring gospel legend and Grammy Award-winning singer Yolanda Adams, alongside the Welcome America Mass Choir under the direction of Austin Woodland and Zak Williams, showcasing talented singers from across the city with a special performance by The Tenors. This year’s performance, hosted by WDAS Patty Jackson, is an Ode to Freedom, celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Harriet Tubman. For more info, visit welcomeamerica.com.

Additional information regarding the Kimmel Cultural Campus’ participation in the Avenue of the Arts Block Party to be announced at a later date. For the most up-to-date information about this FREE event, please visit our website at www.kimmelculturalcampus.org. Special thanks to Dietz & Watson, the Lead Sponsor of the Kimmel’s Wawa Welcome America activities.

Avenue of the Arts Block Party street closures include Broad Street from Locust to Pine and Spruce Street from 15th to Juniper. Wawa Welcome America and Avenue of the Arts will have performances on the PNC Mobile Stage near Locust Street from 11 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., as well as at their Amphitheater near Spruce Street from 12:00 p.m. on. For more info about the Avenue of the Arts Block Party and all other events associated with Wawa Welcome America, visit welcomeamerica.com.

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