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West Park Arts Fest returns on June 9!

by Adela Park and Melissa Romero on May 16, 2018

We’re excited to announce that the West Park Arts Fest returns for its 11th year to West Fairmount Park on Saturday, June 9, 2018!

Founded by West Park Cultural Center in 2008, the free arts festival will take place along South Concourse Drive in West Fairmount Park from 12 to 5 pm. The site is adjacent to the Centennial Commons along Parkside Avenue–a “new park within a park” by Fairmount Park Conservancy as part of Philadelphia’s Reimagining the Civic Commons initiative.

This free public event aims to bring communities together in the park and promote greater awareness of the area’s history and heritage, all while celebrating the arts and cultural diversity of Philadelphia.

This year, expect a wide range of performances, activities, and artwork, including:

  • Dance and music performances by West Philadelphia Orchestra, Badd Kitti, Gretchen Elise Music, Patrice and The Show, The Philly Clicks, Jasmin Yahne Dance Company, and many more
  • Children’s pavilion with family-friendly activities
  • Prototypes of the Franklin Institute’s new exhibition Game Masters
  • Make-and-take art activities by Mural Arts Philadelphia and others
  • Handmade vendor market
  • Guided historical trolley tours through the Centennial District
  • Food trucks

We’re also excited to feature the artwork of three artists at this year’s festival! The three outdoor art installations have been commissioned by the Conservancy, curated by guest curator Theresa Rose, and made possible thanks to support from ArtPlace America. Here’s what to expect from each artist:

Brian Bazemore
Mantua-based artist Brian Bazemore, aka BCASSO, is a self-taught visual artist who works with paint, photos, metal, text, found objects, and found materials. For the West Park Arts Fest, he’ll be working with elementary students, church groups, and neighbors to create Memory Garden, an interactive, proverb sign maze in West Fairmount Park that will depict memorable events in the lives of the East Parkside community.

Ruth Scott Blackson
British-born artist Ruth Scott Blackson has lived in Philadelphia for the past eight years. She utilizes process and research-based practices to create drawings, sculptures and projects that highlight the subtleties around us. For West Park Arts Fest, Blackson will be creating an interactive work and an area of rest and relaxation for festival attendees to enjoy: A tent adorned with tapestries and hanging pieces of fabric, with rugs inspired by the goods on display at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition.

Jesse Harrod
Canadian-born artist Jesse Harrod works with unexpected materials to make sculptures, drawings, and animations to create works that speak to the complexities of gender, empowerment, and support. For the West Park Arts Fest, she’ll be working with students from Martha Washington Elementary School to imagine, sew, and produce banners to be displayed at the festival.

We hope to see you out and about on June 9 in West Fairmount Park!

To learn more about the West Park Arts Fest and West Park Cultural Center, click here.