Avenue Of The Arts Turns 20


Photo: thelightingpractice.com/projects/avenue-of-the-arts

Photo: thelightingpractice.com/projects/avenue-of-the-arts

  • On Tuesday, the Avenue of the Arts host a cocktail reception celebrating the 20th anniversary of rebranding South Broad Street as Philadelphia’s Avenue of the Arts. The Inquirer reviews the urban shifts affected by Ed Rendell’s ambitious project. Although not without its share of “well-documented problems—some financial, some managerial, some related to large societal and cultural trends” (attendance for the performing arts is down across the country)—the general takeaway from the piece is that the Avenue’s turnaround has been at times misunderstood. The rebranding and added density has created a truly collaborative environment which has benefited all parties. Reputations have been made and maintained. Opera Philadelphia, unburdened from the orchestra with the opening of the Kimmel Center in 2001, has since extended its presence to other venues, producing works for the repurposed FringeArts building on Columbus Boulevard and even Independence Mall. The University of the Arts, which Kimmel Center CEO Anne Ewers calls the Avenue’s “unsung hero,” has likewise proven itself steadfast in its support for the cultural corridor.
  • This Friday, the Community Design Collaborative will host a design charette (8AM-6PM) and public presentation and panel discussion (4PM-6PM) at the Center for Architecture, at 1218 Arch Street. The day will focus on how best to transform a city-owned, 1.8-acre vacant parcel at 8th & Berks into a nexus for a thriving Eastern North Philadelphia. For tickets for Compass, Connector, Catalyst, click HERE.
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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