PHILADELPHIA – The Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (OACCE) and the Mayor’s Office of Education are partnering to activate Community Schools as hubs of creativity. Through a three-week Arts in Action: Community Schools Series, students and community members will be invited to engage and experience new, free arts and culture activities.

“The arts are integral to education and community,” said Chief Education Officer Otis Hackney. “This partnership will draw on Philadelphia’s significant cultural wealth to bring new and exciting experiences to students and residents. We’re proud of this unique collaboration with our colleagues in the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy.”

The partnership was developed in direct response to the 2018 Community Survey on Education distributed by the Mayor’s Office of Education from December 2017- February 2018. The results of the survey identified that parents of children currently enrolled in school and current students in the Philadelphia School District desire a greater investment of arts and music in school curriculum. Arts education and exposure to cultural experiences have a proven positive influence on youth development and has the power to connect communities throughout Philadelphia.

“One of the most consistent things we’ve heard from Community School stakeholders is that they would love more social and cultural opportunities in the neighborhoods where they live,” said Community Schools Director Susan Gobreski. “Community Schools have become neighborhood hubs where many City services are accessible, and we’re excited that this now includes added arts and culture activities.”

The Arts in Action: Community Schools Series includes free concerts, dance workshops and performances, puppet and live theatre, and a community art exhibition. Public events include:

  • A hip-hop dance workshop by RHAW (Rennie Harris Awe-Inspiring Works) at Murrell Dobbins CTE High School on Saturday, May 19 from 12:00-1:00pm
  • A social dance workshop by Take the Lead Dance Project at South Philadelphia High School on Tuesday, May 29 from 4:30-5:30pm; and
  • The opening reception for the community art exhibition Journeys—A Cultural Quilt Project at George Washington High School on Wednesday, May 30 from 5:00-7:00pm. The exhibition will remain on view weekdays from May 31 through June 6 from 3:00-4:30pm.

This series is part of OACCE’s Arts in Action program that regularly brings family friendly, quality arts programming to neighborhoods across Philadelphia and supports local, creative talent.

“The arts continue to have a positive impact on our youth and communities,” said Kelly Lee, Chief Cultural Officer. “We hope that as this series grows, Philadelphians can rely on Community Schools as places to find cultural experiences that bring neighborhoods together.”

About City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy
The Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy supports and promote arts, culture and the creative industries; develops partnerships that ensure culture and creativity are essential components of Philadelphia’s community revitalization, education, and economic development strategies; and links Philadelphians to cultural resources and opportunities. For more information about the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, visit CreativePHL.org and follow @CreativePHL on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

About Community Schools and the Mayor’s Office of Education:
Community Schools are a collaboration between the School District of Philadelphia, the City of Philadelphia, and community partners. The Mayor’s Office of Education launched the Community Schools initiative to strengthen school communities by improving access to programs, services and supports for the children and families of Philadelphia. The Community Schools initiative is funded by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax. To learn more and receive updates, please visit phila.gov/education or follow @PHL_MOE on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

###