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Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts has received a $250,000 grant to aid in repairs to the building’s infrastructure.
The grant for the historic jazz club will go towards its $1.2 million capital improvement campaign, as well as replacing the roof and HVAC systems. Upgrades to the electrical and plumbing systems and exterior repairs on front of the building are also planned.
During a press conference Thursday, Clef Club Artistic Director Lovett Hines said the improvements won’t just help the current state of the venue, but will also be a gift for future generations of people in Philadelphia.
“We have to realize that the Clef Club is more than just an institution for presenting, for teaching, but it has a history, a historical background that showcases Philadelphia’s input into the music, this great art form we call jazz,” Hines said. “It’s so important that we remember that the road to success and the road to our history comes through our young people.”
Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson presented a check to the club Thursday, saying it would help turn the jazz venue into a “state of the art performing arts center.”
“It’s operated by African American executives, but most importantly they play a vital role in supporting our young people,” Johnson said.
So far, the Clef Club has raised more than a million dollars for its capital improvement campaign. According to a release, former Governor Tom Wolf released $600,000 to the club as part of Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program in 2020.
The Clef Club was founded as a social club for Local No. 274, Philadelphia’s African American musicians’ union. Notable members included jazz icons such as John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Nina Simone, and Lee Morgan.
In 1995, the club moved to its current location on 736 South Broad Street, which houses classrooms, a performance space, and executive offices.
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