2009 Hidden City Festival


The Hidden City Philadelphia festival started as a way of celebrating the power of place through the imagination of contemporary artists. The idea was to create an avenue for the public to visit abandoned, obscure or inaccessible sites of historical interest throughout the city. To add another layer of meaning, artists of diverse disciplines and media created site-specific work that illuminated the memories (and possibly the futures) of these places. We hoped the experience would inspire people to explore the city’s history and imagine new futures for the urban landscape.

Hidden City Philadelphia was presented for the first time May 30 – June 28, 2009. The festival featured ten works by leading local and international artists created for nine sites throughout the city. Critical and visitor response was overwhelming. Six of the sites were home to visual arts installations, which were free and open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays during the festival. Three locations housed music and dance pieces and were accessible on performance days.The festival engaged 102 volunteers, 111 artists (creative and performing), and generated more than 10,000 visitors, 35 print articles, 1,100 FaceBook fans, 6,000 photographs, 1,000,000 web hits and one very unforgettable experience.