The saints of local stages, Power Street Theatre, hold a Digital Rally for Philly Arts on February 9 and 10 to bring attention to the need for the City of Philadelphia to support the arts community.
Just in time for Philadelphia’s masked City Council to sit far apart from each other and work out its budgeting decisions for the next fiscal year, one Philly theater company, Power Street Theatre up on Morris Park Road, has gathered together grassroots organizers, curators, directors and artists for its Digital Rally for Philly Arts. Streaming live for 10 hours on February 9 and 10 on Power Street’s Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts, the Digital Rally for Philly Arts hosts over 50 area artists, back-of-house types and organizations with performances and discussions. From writers, comedians, poets, musicians, dancers, theater artists, and many more.
And you know this city’s theaters and concert halls need the money now that Republicans and Democrats on a national level have not yet truly furthered the agenda, or the cash, behind Senator Amy Klobuchar’s Save Our Stages bill.
“The goal of the rally is to highlight the value of arts and culture in the city, ahead of City Council’s budgeting decisions for the next fiscal year,” said says Gabriela Sanches, in a prepared statement. Sanches is the Co-Artistic Director and Managing Director of Power Street Theatre.
“Since the last digital rally in June, we have seen a decrease in funding for essential services for the city, for public health, for the homeless, for education, and for arts and culture. This can no longer be the norm! The Digital Rally is an invitation to join communal action to celebrate arts and culture in our beloved city of Philadelphia while advocating that we be prioritized in the city’s budget as valued citizens.”
Another of its lead organizers, LaNeshe Miller-White, from the Theatre Philadelphia umbrella organization, and West Philly’s Theatre in the X, reached out to me, directly. Miller-White said that “I participate in organizing the Digital Rally for all my hats. As Executive Director of Theatre Philadelphia. As Executive Director of Theatre in the X. As an artist. And an arts lover. Theater artists are often multidisciplinary and theater productions often intersect with music, dance, and visual artists. Theater has been one of the hardest hit industries in the arts and culture sector during this time. But the city has to support the entire arts and culture ecosystem for theater and the sector as a whole to survive this pandemic. We just don’t see the financial support from our city for the arts like many other major cities in the US and around the world do and that is a shame. We’re constantly told that we need to prove the value of the arts to officials. This is one attempt to do that.”
The 2021 Digital Rally on February 9 and 10 will be hosted by Tanaquil Marquez, Nicole Stacie, Lindo Yes, and Sinta Storm. Participants include drummer Karen Smith, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright (and Lin Manuel Miranda collaborator on “In the Heights”) Quiara A Hudes and the Artblog. Tik Tok dance instruction by Taylor J Mitchell. Poetry by Rachel O’Hanlon Rodriguez. Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists. City budget discussions led by Asaki Kuruma, and many more.