Philly artists, musicians would get a boost under councilman’s plan

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When Philadelphia puts on a show, a city official wants to make sure local talent is represented.

If the city is picking up the tab for festivals and events, some of the money should support performers who live and pay taxes in the city, said Councilman David Oh.

“For example,  when you have Wawa Welcome America, that money is in conjunction with the city,  although the money is raised from corporate dollars in addition to city resources,” he said. “So in this situation, we are saying you give a preference for local area artists, area performers, first.”

The proposal calls for setting aside 10 percent of the funding for events such as the Fourth of July concerts to hire Philadelphia artists. It includes an exemption if a suitable performer cannot be found.

Oh also wants to give those musicians and other artists a parking break.

“What we’d like to do for Philadelphia to be a more live performing town, is that artists, the venues that have bona fide arts, would have the opportunity for 15 or 20 minutes free parking,” he said, to allow for unloading and loading up instruments and other equipment.

Both proposals will need a hearing before a Council committee as the next step.

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