Penn Live Arts Blog

Looking Back at Toll the Bell

Posted June 20, 2024

Photo credit: Mark Garvin
On June 7, National Gun Violence Awareness Day, our season-long Toll the Bell project concluded with a sound installation at 44 sites across the city and beyond. A massive community collaboration, 66 partners came together to honor the victims of gun violence and raise awareness for those working to have a positive impact in our city. Toll the Bell was not a profile of tragedy, but a sonic device that disrupted the day-to-day and urged everyone to take action now. Read more...

The Kaplan-Perry Student Ticket Initiative

Posted June 6, 2024

It’s not every day that a college student can see Grammy®-winning artists perform up close, steps from their dorm room. At Penn Live Arts, we are thrilled to make this a reality by offering economically accessible tickets that bring our professional season artists within reach for Penn students.

This initiative wouldn't be possible without the generous support of our donor community. A special thanks goes to PLA Board Member Arthur Kaplan, C’67, and his husband Duane Perry, whose gift established the Kaplan-Perry Student Ticket Initiative. This program provides $3 tickets to Penn First Plus students, including those who are the first in their families to attend college as well as students with modest financial resources.

Read more about how we launched our partnership with Penn First Plus students in this Inspiring Impact article.

related event

Toll the Bell: A Cry for Peace on June 7

Posted May 29, 2024

Programs at the Annenberg Center have always addressed the pressing issues of the day, whether through August Wilson’s plays, campus and community-centered artist residencies, or commissions of new work such as the 2017 world premiere of A Period of Animate Existence. As one of Philadelphia's performing arts curators, my aim each year is to provide audiences with a range of performances that entertain, delight, challenge and inspire. Read more...

Announcing summer 2024 internships and funding awards

Posted May 21, 2024

As another academic year draws to a close, we are thrilled to support seven undergraduates as they prepare to pursue their professional ambitions in arts and entertainment this summer. Arts & Entertainment Career Connections, our new multi-pronged program to promote equity and exploration in arts careers, has worked with Penn alumni employers to offer three funded internships while also awarding four grants to students who independently secured related internships. This support is in complement to the robust network of funding, curated internships and professional development opportunities available to students at Penn and seeks to minimize barriers of entry in these competitive fields. This summer, students’ professional aspirations will take them to Los Angeles, New York City and even a few blocks away in Philadelphia. Read more below about these extraordinary students and their plans. Read more...

ListenUp: The Best of Burt Bacharach

Posted May 14, 2024

ListenUp

A force in American pop music, songwriter Burt Bacharach will be honored by Mark Morris Dance Group May 31-Jun 1 in The Look of Love, pairing exhilarating movement with over a dozen of the award-winning composer’s hits. Before hearing them sung live by Broadway vocalist Marcy Harriell, check out this playlist of just some of Bacharach’s greatest hits written for artists such as Dionne Warwick, The Carpenters and more. Read more...

5 Questions with Kinan Azmeh

Posted May 2, 2024

Called “intensely soulful” and a “virtuoso” by The New York Times, Syrian-born and New York-based clarinetist Kinan Azmeh joins Germany’s preeminent jazz ensemble, the NDR Bigband, on our stage May 10. Part of our ListenHear series, the performance will feature music from their 2021 album, Flow with compositions by Azmeh. In today’s 5 Questions feature, we get to know Azmeh, the outlook and influences that shape his work and the projects he is preparing to share with the world. Read more...

Announcing the 24/25 season

Posted April 19, 2024

BEYOND BOUNDARIES

In the 24/25 season, we amplify diverse artistry that transcends geographical and cultural boundaries. We push past barriers, embrace innovation and forge connections, using the universal language of music, dance and theatre to enrich our understanding of the world. Across cultures and continents, we celebrate the transformative power of a live performance to bring us together, finding joy in our shared humanity.

THE WORLD ON OUR STAGE

From Korea, England and Belgium to France, Italy, Canada and beyond, nine artists appear in our city for the very first time. To this, we add performers from Spain, India, South Africa and, of course, our own country to showcase the vibrant diversity and interconnectivity of our world. Traversing across borders, we proudly bring these renowned artists and companies to Philadelphia, many brand new to Penn Live Arts and offering exciting world, U.S. and local premieres. We set performances on ice and use virtual reality to experience dance like never before, defying conventions on how to enjoy the arts. And, we invite you to go beyond the stage for meaningful programs that encourage us to ask timely questions, dive deeper and find common ground.

A world of performing arts comes alive on our stage this season. We hope you'l Read more...

Rennie Harris Residency in Area High Schools

Posted April 4, 2024

Image credit: Edward Epstein
In a basement dance studio at George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science in North Philly, Rennie Harris Puremovement (RHPM) executive director and company manager Rodney Hill surveyed Geoffrey Winikur’s 11th grade class. They’d just completed a dance warmup led by Puremovement dancers Justine Diggs-Cunningham and Rachel Snider, building upon two weeks of improv games, conversation and monologue writing led by Penn Live Arts teaching artist Donnell Powell. The dancers’ visit was the third in a series of four visits to Carver and to West Philadelphia High School, comprising a school partnership in connection with our three-year Rennie Harris residency, sponsored by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Read more...

5 Questions with Alarm Will Sound's Alan Pierson

Posted March 27, 2024

The “reliably exhilarating new-music ensemble” (The New York Times) Alarm Will Sound returns with an evening of music by “our greatest living composer,” Steve Reich on Apr 14. Alarm Will Sound’s artistic director and conductor, Alan Pierson, connected with us for today’s 5 Questions feature, sharing insight on his journey into a career in music and his connection to Steve Reich. Read more...

UKRAINE: THE EDGE OF FREEDOM

Posted February 12, 2024

Ukraine, a country steeped in rich artistic traditions, has a centuries-old heritage of music, dance, folk traditions and visual art. But today, Ukraine is quite literally on the front line of defending freedom, a fight representative of the hope for thriving democracies around the world. How are Ukrainian artists responding? Our weeklong focus, Ukraine: The Edge of Freedom, takes a deep dive into the culture of the country, bringing to our stages Ukrainian artists from across the globe, and from within our own city of Philadelphia. Read more...