BENEFITING: THE COMMUNITY CULTURAL EXCHANGE
According to the UPenn Design Study in 2009, “South Street is at a crossroads. It remains a vibrant destination, drawing tourists from around the region and the world. But the street also suffers from vacancy, a mixed identity, and traffic congestion. It has struggled to connect with its closest constituents – residents of adjoining neighborhoods – who are more likely to go out of their way to avoid the street rather than take advantage of its convenient location and what it has to offer.”
The Community Cultural Exchange (CCE) wants to reverse this trend by bringing Performance on South! to the South Street business district and return the street to its vibrant musical, artistic and cultural roots, and to create a sense of community among local business owners, residents and artists who are individually drawn to the area.
The Community Cultural Exchange (CCE) is an all volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit with the mission to create community through art and culture. We do so by acting as a bridge between local art and culture groups, businesses, artists and the South Street area community. Encouraging the exchange of Philadelphia culture, we facilitate programs and events of all disciplines including musical, visual, performing, literary and wellness arts.
Our goal is to create a community art and culture center on or near South Street, Philadelphia, PA. This center will provide opportunities for an inter-generational group of people to explore their interests through education and the arts, and preserve local stories, history and culture for Philadelphia and it’s visitors.
In September of 2011, the CCE was chosen for Arts on South- the innovative program that loans unrented retail stores to local groups to showcase their artwork and invigorate the community. At the same time, the CCE was also given a donation from a local businessman to implement Performance on South!, a program to bring live performance art to South Street. The CCE accomplished this by bringing acoustic musicians, puppeteers and performance artists to South Street on Saturdays and Sundays from September-October. Although there was little time to plan and colder weather, the program was a success and the CCE is ready to make this program bigger and better than ever!
The Community Cultural Exchange (CCE) wishes to reinvent the public art project, Performance on South! (POS!) in order to create an ambiance of family fun, to increase South Street foot traffic, to provide paid performance opportunities for local artists— both seasoned and amateur— and to unite the business district through music and culture. The CCE will organize and manage family-friendly performers of all artistic media (music, dance, movement, spoken word, poetry, puppetry, opera, magic and visual arts) to perform for 3-hour shifts at six designated spots on South Street on Saturdays and Sundays from 3-6pm. Performers will receive a $50 stipend and also be allowed to busk.
The six performance spots are located: In front of Philadelphia Magic Gardens, South Street & 6th Street, South Street & Passyunk Ave, South Street and Randolph Street, South Street and Orianna Street, Beginning of South Street Bridge
The CCE will also organize and manage family-friendly performances on Passyunk Ave as part of the Arts on South’s 4th Friday program from 4-6pm. Performance Groups will receive a $300 stipend for a 45-minute performance. This stipend is larger in order to compensate larger groups.
The CCE will need $50,000 for this seven-month program in order to bring 300 performers to the street from May-October 2012, 12 performance groups to Passyunk Ave, as well as compensating four program staff positions, marketing, performance and fundraising expenses.
Goals of the Performance on South! series
• Reinventing the relationships among the various populations of the South Street area.
• Addressing and joining the cultural activities with the mix of businesses in the South Street area.
• Selling the concept to artists, musicians and promoters that South Street is a viable place for arts and culture.
• Revitalizing South Street in a way that keeps art and cultural activities accessible to all people regardless of income level.
The CCE has a history of success in bridging these particular challenges. Performance on South! will enable the CCE to unify the district, bring art and culture back to South Street and create community among residents, travelers, tourists, businesspeople and artists.