Too much PIFA

    135 events featuring 1,500 artists over 25 days says it all.  Getting through the program guide for The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts has been a daunting task.

    135 events featuring 1,500 artists over 25 days says it all.

    Getting through the program guide for The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts has been a daunting task.

    In the weeks leading up to the festival, I made sure I had a guide handy to peruse. There’s one in my backpack, one at my desk at WHYY and a third in the magazine rack in my bathroom.

    Now that the festival has begun, I’m not much closer to weeding out venues and events. Dance, music, spoken word, theater, visual arts, acrobatics, outdoor activities, film and culinary events are among PIFA’s embarrassment of riches.

    Best of all, there’s a ton of free stuff such as happy hour concerts, French lessons and the twice-nightly light show at the impressive 81-foot The Eiffel Tower erected in the Kimmel Center’s Commonwealth Plaza.

    Still, when there are too many choices I become paralyzed, fearing I’ll miss something really good.

    People not lucky enough to be in Philadelphia this month might wonder why I don’t just shut up and be a kid in a candy store.

    Festival organizers did a great job of abiding by the terms of an Annenberg grant to blow the entire $10 million budget on the inaugural effort.  I just wish they could have spread things out more, say over two or three months.

    But since that’s not happening, I’m putting the onus on WHYY Arts and Culture Reporter Peter Crimmins and will follow his evolving PIFA recommendations.

    Enjoy!

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.