Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center returns to in-person performances with open house

Posted on: September 20, 2021

More than 50 arts groups were represented at “Arts Launch 2021” at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, which is operated by the Philadelphia Orchestra. Photo: Hugh E. Dillon

“It was a kind of coming-out party after 18 months of staying in … an affirmation that Philadelphia’s arts sector is back,” writes Peter Dobrin in Sunday’s (9/19) Philadelphia Inquirer. “Saturday at the Kimmel Center, … the doors were thrown open for a day of Beethoven, hiphop, opera, poetry readings, and more. About 50 arts groups were represented….. ‘Arts Launch 2021’ marked the first fully public event for the city’s largest arts presenter since it shut down for the pandemic in March 2020…. As arts groups wade into the 2021-22 season, they do so warily with a new set of [health protocols] for audiences.… In one corner of the Kimmel plaza, the Philly Pops Big Band, conductor David Charles Abell, and singer Michael Andrew paid tribute to Frank Sinatra, while in the other patrons could spin a wheel to win prizes or tickets to shows like Stomp…. About 5,800 visitors to the five-hour event were counted…. The Philadelphia Orchestra … performed … in a packed 2,500-seat Verizon Hall where they were greeted with a standing ovation before even playing a note…. A historical marker was unveiled in front of the Academy of Music dedicated to one of Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s predecessors: Leopold Stokowski.”