Philadelphia will host a weeklong celebration of local arts next month in an effort to help the city’s battered cultural institutions recover from the pandemic.
With sponsorship from the Forman Arts Initiative and support from City Council’s Arts and Culture Task Force, Philadelphia will launch “Arts and Culture Recovery Week” on July 5, kicking off seven days of events for all ages spanning a range of different artistic mediums and cultures.
These will include a kickoff block party in North Philadelphia, a celebration of Philly’s ballroom community, a gospel artists showcase, and more.
In a press call Friday, Councilmember Isaiah Thomas, who has spearheaded the task force, said the idea emerged from the group’s conversations with artists –– along with other proposals, such as more relief for businesses that fuel the city’s nightlife.
“We were able to hear narratives and different experiences artists and arts organizations were having during the pandemic,” said Thomas. “This is the next phase in that advocacy.”
Thomas’ office highlighted studies showing that investments in the arts had a positive impact on the city’s economy and tax base.
But the pandemic saw cultural and performance venues struggle, while the city slashed support for its Office of Arts and Culture. Though some of that local funding could be restored this year, Ci Lambert, a local emcee and co-chair of PHL Arts & Culture Taskforce, said the week’s events were a way to draw more attention to the arts scene in the short run.
“Everyone is still trying to figure out the budget, but there are ways we can support artists right now,” she said.
More information about the week’s events will be posted on www.acrwphilly.com.