(Philadelphia, PA) The Painted Bride Art Center, Team Sunshine Performance Corporation and Theatre in the X have come together in an innovative collaboration to create a Solar Power Bank (SPB) of equipment designed for presenting performances outdoors and in non-traditional environments, thanks to the generous support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The trio of Philadelphia-based performance organizations will leverage a $135,000 investment by Knight Foundation to purchase state-of–the-art solar powered theater equipment, including sound, lighting and power generation that will allow them to take their art to broader audiences.
Philadelphia Scenic Works will join this cohort as a core service provider, collaborating with the group to create and maintain a rental program, allowing for resource sharing among the cohort and other Philadelphia organizations and artists interested in creating performances outdoors in public and in non-traditional environments.
“This is an incredible investment into our arts and culture community,” commented Laurel Raczka, Executive Director of Painted Bride Art Center. “It removes the barrier of providing professional quality technical capacity for smaller organizations and individual artists.”
This leading edge program takes Philly arts “off the grid” allowing for greater possibilities in creating non-traditional performances, resource sharing among organizations, and bringing art to communities outside of Center City. Organizations will be able to present their work anywhere, engaging broader audiences in the Philadelphia region and building a deeper appreciation for community based practices.
“As we’ve seen during the pandemic, the arts play an essential role in communities by helping connect people to each other,” said Jayne Butler, program officer for Knight Foundation’s arts program. “We’re thrilled to support the Painted Bride Art Center, Team Sunshine and Theatre in the X as they use innovative technology to expand the reach of their work, meet people where they are, and make art more accessible.”
The SPB’s pilot project will be Theatre in the X’s community based piece The West Philly Meeting, which will take place outdoors at Malcolm X Park in West Philadelphia. Free performances will take place on August 15, 28, and 29, 2021 at 5 p.m. Information and reservations at www.theatreinthex.com/upcoming-events. Team Sunshine will follow with workshop performances of a new duet about climate change, YOUR OPTIMISM IS NOT REQUIRED, at Bartram’s Garden in late September. More information at www.teamsunshineperformance.com
Painted Bride Art Center brings together artists, audiences and communities to push the boundaries of how to create and experience art. They cultivate an environment for critical dialog and playful exchange to transform lives and communities. By leveraging 50 years of experience in supporting artists, realizing projects, and building relationships across the city, the Bride is poised to model a new kind of placemaking: one that trusts in people to shape the futures of their own neighborhoods. This creative evolution enables the Bride to achieve its mission through a variety of projects that allow for adaptation, scale, and reinvention.
Theatre in the X was created in 2013 to provide the people of West Philadelphia and the African American community at large the opportunity to see professional quality theater in their own neighborhood for no cost. By removing the barriers of location and price the audience is able to experience theater that they possibly would not be able to access otherwise. Theatre in the X also provides opportunities to playwrights, actors, directors, stage managers, DJs, sound engineers and vendors of color.