Philadelphia is a mecca of art, culture and entertainment. Whether you’re soaking up contemporary and classic artwork at Philadelphia’s many galleries including the renowned  Philadelphia Museum of Art, listening to symphonies that fill the air at The Philadelphia Orchestra, or catching a performance at The Kimmel Center, there’s always something going on. Every neighborhood deserves access to these quality, cultural events, which isn’t always the case. Arts in Action: Community Schools Series, a new partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Education (MOE) and the City’s Office of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy (OACCE), brings these creative experiences to Philadelphia neighborhoods and invites community members to engage with the arts through free performances, concerts, dance workshops and more.

Listening to Philadelphians

Movemakers Philly lead a dance workshop at F.S. Edmonds

The partnership was developed in direct response to feedback from Philadelphians in the 2018 Community Survey on Education. Arts and culture are an educational priority for families because they enrich youth development and bring communities together. MOE and OACCE are proud to expand this important programing to Philadelphia neighborhoods through the free Arts in Action: Community Schools Series. This series is funded by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax, which supports Community Schools across the city.

“One of the most consistent things we’ve heard from Community School stakeholders is that they would love more social and cultural opportunities in the neighborhoods where they live,” said Community Schools Director Susan Gobreski. “Community Schools have become neighborhood hubs where many City services are accessible, and we’re excited that this now includes added arts and culture activities.”

“The arts continue to have a positive impact on our youth and communities,” said Kelly Lee, Chief Cultural Officer. “We hope that as this series grows, Philadelphians can rely on Community Schools as places to find cultural experiences that bring neighborhoods together.

Upcoming Arts in Action: Community School Series events:

Three public events are coming up next week:

  • Take the Lead Dance Project will lead a social dance workshop, open to all ages at South Philadelphia High School, 2101 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19148, on Tuesday, May 29 from 4:30-5:30PM.
  • Journeys – A Cultural Quilt Project is a community-created art project exploring cultural diversity. The opening reception will take place at George Washington High School, 10175 Bustleton Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19116, on Wednesday, May 30 from 5-7PM.
  • The community art exhibition Journeys—A Cultural Quilt Project will be on display at George Washington High School, 10175 Bustleton Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19116, on weekdays from May 31-June 6, from 3-4:30PM.
Emmanuel Ohemeng III and Perpetual Motion perform at Cramp Elementary

Previous Arts in Action:Community School Series public events included a hip-hop dance workshop by RHAW (Rennie Harris Awe-Inspiring Works) at Murrell Dobbins CTE High School. Student-centered events in this series also included a hip hop dance class led by Movemakers Philly at F.S. Edmonds School, and a musical performance with Emmanuel Ohemeng III and Perpetual Motion at William Cramp School.

Here’s what’s coming soon to other schools. Note that these events are not open to the public, but are for students to enjoy during the school day:

To learn more about the City of Philadelphia’s Community Schools and upcoming programming, contact

For Arts in Action: Community Schools Series updates, visit the Facebook event page. To learn more about the many free, arts and culture events happening each week in Philadelphia neighborhoods, visit the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy’s Arts Access Calendar.

RSVP online for one of the upcoming Arts in Action events, and invite your friends and family to join you!