About Painted Bride Art Center

Painted Bride Art Center
230 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA  19106
www.paintedbride.org

Mission:  Painted Bride Art Center brings together artists, audiences and communities to push the boundaries of how we create and experience art.  We cultivate an environment for critical dialog and playful exchange to transform lives and communities.

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.

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.

46 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. 

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.

Re-PLACE-ing Philadelphia is designed to explore and establish a new vision for the Painted Bride that includes more varied ways of working with artists and audiences and develops new forms of programming. By working with a group of accomplished artists outside of the usual spaces and channels of artistic activity, we will create new opportunities for collaboration and engagement. By bringing plural histories to the forefront and working across neighborhoods and other political and geographical divisions along with a disregard for the traditional separation among intellectual and artistic disciplines, we look to empower underserved constituencies and encourage them to take a more active role in the future of the city.

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