June 11th event will showcase new artistic works inspired by Philly’s Black music history

Brand-new artistic works inspired by Philadelphia’s Black music heritage will be revealed in a free event on Sunday, June 11 from 12 PM to 5 PM at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. The Black Music City Showcase, hosted by performing artist Seraiah Nicole, will celebrate the recipients of Black Music City 2023 artistic grants and showcase their never-before-seen creations. 

All of the 30 original new works that will be exhibited and performed were created within the last three months by the Philly-area creatives who were selected in March to receive 2023 Black Music City grants of between $2,000 and $5,000 each. Each new work is inspired by some of the innovations and lasting influences produced by Philadelphia’s many talented musicians throughout its history, expressed through media including live and recorded music, poetry, dance, film, video, painting, photography, fashion and apparel, handcrafted porcelain dolls and a graphic novel. 

Event schedule: 

12 PM-2:30 PM (upstairs): Gallery viewing of media and physical projects 

2:30 PM-5 PM (downstairs): Grantee awards ceremony and performance projects 

Selection of grant-winning performance projects (due to time limitation):

Kiana Williams: Dance, The Evolution of Afrodance in Philadelphia: From West Africa to the Diaspora

Zeek Burse: Music, Forbidden Fruit: A Love Story Told Through Songs, honoring classic ‘70s Philadelphia soul music  

Badd Kitti: Music and video, Life on Mars: The Cosmic Funk of Dexter Wansel 

Julia Pratt & Melvin Darrell: Music, Homecoming, honoring the Gamble & Huff songwriting and production team 

Black Music City is a collaboration between Philadelphia public radio stations WXPN and WRTI and REC Philly, a place for creators. It was created in 2020 to offer local Black artists, musicians and other creatives the financial and promotional support to help them develop new artistic works that recognize and honor the influence of Philadelphia’s legendary Black music heritage, known worldwide for many groundbreaking musical styles and artists. The amount of funds awarded has increased each year, and for 2023, Black Music City awarded $125,000 in artistic grants.

On May 23, Black Music City will be honored by The Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia at the 2023 Arts + Business Council Awards, celebrating projects that demonstrate impactful collaborations between the local arts and business sectors.

Registration to attend the free Black Music City Showcase on Sunday, June 11 at World Cafe Live (3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19014) is suggested, but not required. More information about Black Music City is available at www.blackmusiccity.com. Follow and share on social media using #blackmusiccity.

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