An artist-run collective and gallery space, Little Berlin aims to attract the arts and cultural performances to the local community by curating a new show every month. The panoply of musical events, art exhibitions, and badminton tournaments brings diverse media indoors and out to engage community members in new experiences. Art installations add color to the gallery, concerts fill the courtyard, and sculptures stand in the outdoor Fairgrounds. Little Berlin also streams its live performances on the Internet, connecting guest speakers with a larger audience through its Open Web Studio.
Philadelphia’s history fills the pages of textbooks across the world. William Penn, Benjamin Franklin, and the Liberty Bell fill the indexes. But these texts do little to educate people on and preserve the physical history of Philadelphia, specifically its buildings.
Enter the nonprofit Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia. Its volunteer team of tour guides leads architectural walking tours past downtown Philadelphia’s landmarks, buildings, and cityscapes, and its staff coordinates an array of events each month, which have previously included graveyard tours, concerts, and archaeological digs. Proceeds from these activities, along with various grants, are then used to preserve the Philadelphia region’s historical buildings, subsequently preserving its historical communities and the story of the city's influential past.
The nonprofit Philadelphia Photo Arts Center is dedicated to exhibiting contemporary photography, offering a wide range of engaging opportunities for anyone interested in photography and the arts through educational programs, events, and exhibitions. A team of fine-art photographers, curators, and other arts professionals initiates the snapshot curious in affordable five-week classes and workshops that are suitable for photogs of all abilities. The teen program nurtures artistic impulses during afterschool hours, handing students loaner supplies and foraying into the city during field trips.
The cello-shaped Verizon Hall serenades eyes with mahogany accents under the 150-foot barrel-vaulted glass ceiling of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. With seats for 2,500 audience members, the hall immerses both spectators and musicians in the clarity generated by its premium acoustics, which absorb vibrations from the subway tunnel below with 225 rubber isolation pads and allow for precise tuning with retractable curtains and sound-reflecting panels. Seasoned jazz artist Branford Marsalis confirmed Verizon Hall's sound acumen when he told NPR it is "the best concert hall on the East Coast."
Fashionable styles and foam-free suds coalesce during the second annual Brews and Bowties event, which pours the proceeds from its net ticket sales into the coffers of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. During three full hours of high-end sips and schmoozing, attendees transfix palates with specialty beers delivered from some of the region's finest craft breweries, including Triumph and Old Dominion. Hors d'oeuvres offset smooth guzzles, and live music encourages attendees to do the box step, foxtrot, and mountain goat kick outside the confinement of day-to-day denim wear. In and among the festivities, partygoers learn the finessing art of tying a bow tie from one of Henry A. Davidsen’s master tailors, who ensure each neck knot is snug, both sides are even, and self-destruct switches are in the "off" position.
Clean Air Council was founded on the premise that each individual deserves the right to breathe clean air, and the nonpartisan organization aims to protect that right through public education, government oversight, and community advocacy. Now with 8,000 members, the Council educates the public at its indoor air-quality resource center and has expanded its focus to include environmental impacts on children’s health, recycling, climate change, and other energy issues. The Council also hosts the annual 5K Run for Clean Air—the Philadelphia area’s largest Earth Day event and a certified green run—which serves as a community effort to decrease air pollution and support programs that reduce waste.