Penn Live Arts Blog

Come to our Community Open House

Posted September 6, 2022

We’re kicking off our season-long 50th anniversary celebration with a Community Open House on Friday, September 16 and Saturday, September 17. The weekend will be capped off by the 22/23 season opener – legendary gospel group, the Blind Boys of Alabama.

The festivities begin at 3:30 PM on Friday with a New Orleans-style second-line procession across the Penn campus, led by the New Breed Brass Band. Featured on Trombone Shorty's 2022 album, Lifted, and winners of New Orleans’ “Best Emerging Artist” award, this young upstart band will bring serious NOLA cred to their first-ever Philadelphia appearances. Penn Band Slam follows at 4 PM on the Annenberg Center Outdoor Plaza, showcasing The Mask and Wig Band, Penn Glee Club Band and Bloomers Band. Then, hear New Breed Brass Band pull out all the stops in a full performance in our Prince Theatre.

On Saturday, families can take the ultimate behind-the-scenes tour through the Annenberg Center with Safari, a unique and interactive journey led by the wildly creative and much-loved performers of Pilobolus. Beloved master storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston will captivate audiences of all ages with stories and songs from the African and African American oral traditions. And it’s also National Dance Day, so get ready join hip hop dancer Virgil "Lil O" Gadson in learning the official routine.

Saturday evening, our new season officially begins as the five-time Grammy® Award-winning Blind Boys of Alabama take the Zellerbach Theatre stage. With a career that spans 70 years, Blind Boys of Alabama are recognized worldwide as living legends of gospel music. Don’t miss this long-anticipated Penn Live Arts debut!

All community open house activities are free of charge, however reservations are requested and required in some cases. Seating is first come, first served. Blind Boys of Alabama is a paid, ticketed event. Check out for more information. Can’t wait to see you there!

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