June 05, 2021
After a long year of pandemic-caused restrictions that closed theaters, museums and concert halls around the city, Philadelphia is launching "Arts and Culture Recovery Week" this July.
The weeklong celebration of local arts is geared towards helping local cultural institutions recover from the pandemic.
It starts July 5 and kicks off with a block party in North Philadelphia to celebrate Philly's ballroom community, gospel artists and more. The initiative is sponsored by the Forman Arts Initiative and backed by City Council's Task Force on Arts and Culture.
Many of the events in the "Arts and Culture Recovery Week" are still being planned out. From July 6 to 8, there will be Arts in the Park in partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreations and Philadelphia Mural Arts.
On July 7, the city is hosting a youth open mic for dancers, singers, actors, comedians, poets, MC's and D.J.'s at Vernon Park. The theme of the event is love and unity.
Councilmember Isaiah Thomas, who led the task force, spoke with local artists about recovery initiatives and they proposed the idea for the weeklong celebration.
The pandemic forced the closure of art and culture institutions in the city, and the city slashed support amid the budget crisis last year as well.
“Everyone is still trying to figure out the budget, but there are ways we can support artists right now,” Ci Lambert, a local emcee and co-chair of PHL Arts & Culture Taskforce, said.
This comes after City Council passed an ordinance that distributed grant funding to arts and culture institutions in the city. The ordinance, introduced by councilmembers Katherine Gilmore Richardson and Isaiah Thomas provides $1 million in grant funding to "Illuminate the Arts."
Another $200,000 will fund artists and cultural organizations that had performances or events cancelled by OACCE's Culture in Neighborhoods program due to the pandemic.