The second Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts is scheduled for the spring of 2013, posing the open-ended question, “If you had a time machine …?” We talk with Ed Cambron, PIFA executive director, about lessons learned from 2011.
The second Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts is scheduled for the spring of 2013, posing the open-ended question, “If you had a time machine …?”
The inaugural PIFA, in 2011, descended on Philadelphia with a huge number of events based (some quite loosely) on Paris, circa 1911. Next year’s time machine theme will allow artists and audiences to hop-scotch through various places and eras — even the future.
The concept for a major, unified arts festival that would spread across Philadelphia was hatched, in part, by Leonore Annenberg, the philanthropist who gave $10 million to the 2011 effort. Annenberg has since died, and the Annenberg Foundation is now headquartered in California. Funding for the next PIFA will be heavily reliant on corporate sponsorships and private donations.
In 2011, the centerpiece of the festival was a scale model of the Eiffel Tower installed inside the Kimmel Center, attracting an estimated 175,000 people over 25 days. Next year the Kimmel’s indoor plaza will feature an interactive time machine, the design of which is still being conceived.
Organizers were surprised last year by the popularity of the closing event — a street fair on Broad Street. It was expected to attract 50,000 people. An estimated 200,000 showed up. That, too, will be repeated in 2013.