Over my 22 years at Painted Bride Art Center, I’ve come to think of the Bride as a work of art in itself, one that evolves and grows with time. It requires engaging in a creative process and time to reflect upon where we’ve been, where we are, and where we want to be.
We are looking at our space on Vine Street and imagining ways that we can literally open it up to maximize the use of our entire facility. This will allow for new activities and the creation of a public “living space” that supports creative development and fosters new ways of thinking about art making. A new physical environment will allow us to develop more innovative programming and partnership models, helping to evolve the Bride as a vibrant place. We envision the Bride to be a beehive of activity with an open exchange of ideas and artistic endeavors.
As always, Painted Bride Art Center will continue to be a model for connecting artists and their work to audiences. Our work remains rooted in our history and the values that have built this incredible legacy over the past 48 years. We are grateful for our relationships with artists, audiences, communities and supporters like you. It’s with your help that we are what we are today and I hope you will join us to see where the Bride is headed next.
Cheers to year 48, and the rest to come.
Painted Bride Art Center is home to an intimate theater and gallery in Old City, Philadelphia.
Founded in 1969 by a group of visual artists, Painted Bride Art Center is part of the Alternative Space movement of the 1960s and 70s. In an era when underrepresented artists—women, gays and lesbians, people of color, the disabled, etc.—struggled to gain recognition from commercial institutions, the Alternative Space movement was dedicated to maximizing cultural diversity and visibility in the arts.Within a small network of organizations, Painted Bride Art Center strove to grant artists of every stripe full control over their work and a platform for their vision.
45 years later, Painted Bride Art Center remains an artist-centered space, fully committed to the creative process, the artist’s role in the community, and artistic diversity.
As a multi-disciplinary arts venue, the Bride collaborates with independent artists, supporting their creative process from inception to presentation. This support manifests in myriad ways, including identifying funding opportunities, cultivating strategic partnerships for audience development, and championing artists and their work to a now international network of partners.
In its unique performance space, Painted Bride Art Center presents music, dance, and theater, as well as visual arts exhibitions in its two galleries. The Bride engages artists in outreach and workshop activities to elicit deeper, more meaningful dialogue with audiences and communities; some examples include ongoing residencies, public gallery talks where visual artists discuss creative process, post-performance meet-and-greets, and in-school presentations for students between Kindergarten and 12th grade.
Deriving its name from its original location—a former bridal shop on South Street—Painted Bride Art Center began as an effort to challenge modern assumptions about art and give every artist the platform they deserved. Today, the Bride is an innovative, internationally-lauded arts institution that remains strongly rooted in its mission and the needs of Philadelphia’s creative communities.
We value the work of artists, their importance to society, their search for individuality and authenticity, as carriers of culture and tradition and guides to living creatively. We value artists and artistic collaborations that transcend conventional ideas, rules and relationships and that present us with visions of how we might live lives of increased self-awareness.
We value the interactive participation of our audiences which allows them to more fully engage in the work and the risk they take in trying something new. We value collaborations as they propel the inventive partnership of creative minds. We value the importance of dialogue and exchange between artists and audiences.
We value communities as spheres where custom, language, tradition, and history are shared and celebrated. We value the power of a community as a space to amplify and dialog about issues pertinent to that community through art-making experiences.
We value artists, schools, organizations and businesses that we partner with to create opportunities for creative expression and further the impact of artists and their work. We value relationships that are equitable and respectful.
We value the right of all individuals to use their own language, customs, and art forms (cultural expressions). We value the individual’s right to freedom of expression and right to hold to their beliefs. We value the diversity of all peoples and the challenge diversity offers to grow beyond ourselves. We value the diversity of our artists, our audiences, our co-workers, and our volunteers.
We value education through the arts as a life-long learning process. We value mentoring and the process of learning from one another as profound forms of social development.
Ars Nova Workshop www.arsnovaworkshop.com
Asian Arts Initiative www.asianartsinitiative.org
Barnes Foundation www.barnesfoundation.org
Bread & Roses www.breadandroses.org/
Bookworms Early Learning Center http://bookwormselc.com
Campus Philly www.campusphilly.org
Drexel University’s Center for Non Violence and Social Justice http://www.nonviolenceandsocialjustice.org/
Drexel Univesity’s The Legacy Center http://archives.drexelmed.edu/
Flying Kite www.flyingkitemedia.com
Free Library of Philadelphia www.freelibrary.org
Historical Society of Pennsylvania https://www.hsp.org
Hope Partnership Charter School www.hopepartnershipforeducation.org/
Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia www.jasgp.org
Leeway Foundation www.leeway.org
Mexican Cultural Center www.Mexicanculturalcenter.org
Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church www.motherbethel.org
National Museum of American Jewish History www.nmajh.org
National Performance Network www.npnweb.org
Philadelphia Academies Inc. www.academiesinc.org
Philadelphia Jazz Project www.philajazzproject.org
Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement www.pypm215.org
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens www.phillymagicgardens.org
Scribe Video Center www.scribe.org
Small But Mighty www.smallbutmightyartsgrant.wordpress.com
Temple University www.temple.edu
The Library Company of Philadelphia http://www.librarycompany.org/
Universal Vare Charter School http://universalcompanies.org/education/vare-charter-school/
University of the Arts www.uarts.edu
William Penn Charter School www.penncharter.com