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The Portside Community Arts Festival Lights Up the City

portside fest


On April 25th, from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm, a dynamic and cherished local arts center will turn the streets into a living, many-faceted art project, in which everyone is invited to collaborate.

Portside Arts Center, the growing arts instruction facility and studio which has been reviving art education in Philadelphia for almost a decade, is hosting its eighth annual Portside Community Arts Festival (previously called the "LeHigh Avenue Arts Festival").

On this day, at Penn Treaty Park, a multitude of activities will be held which will expand the beauties that occur every day at Portside into a day-long event in which the whole city can participate, all thanks to Portside's heads, Kim Creighton and Jenna Wilchinsky.


Festival Activities

Engaging arts activities for children and teens have been prepared for the Festival, including face painting, tie dye, print making, sand art, drawing competitions, jewelry making, spin art, and many others.

Patrons will also be invited to attend live performance workshops, where they can witness and learn music and other performance arts. Some of these workshops will introduce the public to drum circles, authentic Mexican dancing, steel drum playing, hula hooping, and more.

Throughout the day, the Festival will also offer artisan vendors and food trucks, providing the meals, treats, and attractions while Festival-goers express their creativity and expand their minds and spirits.


philly puff

Philly Puff

One of the Festival's most fun and most unique features each year is the annual Philly Puff. This year will only be the second celebration of this particular weird and exciting activity, and truly, the people of Philadelphia are in for something spectacular.

Here, local artists will participate in an inflatable sculpture contest - an exchange of brilliant balloon pieces elaborately adorned with each artist's particular flare.

The competition is the brainchild of Portside Arts Assistant Director Jenna Wilchinsky together with fellow artists Ginger Metzger and Genevieve Geer. This was the artists' way of engaging Festival-goers who don't have children, and who are themselves artists who love to see innovative and exceptional art forms on display.

Sculptures will be judged by Philadelphia Sculpture Gym owner Darla Jackson, as well as two other judges. Entries will be given awards such as Best in Show, Best in Craftsmanship, and People's Choice.

To register, visit the Philly Puff webpage.


A Boone for Our City

OMAAT reps will be at the Festival, at the service of any who are inspired to join the Portside Arts Center and contribute to its ongoing mission of bringing arts education and appreciation to the lives of students who might otherwise have missed out.

Our readers are encouraged with the utmost enthusiasm to bring their creative spirits to Penn Treaty Park on April 25th (rain date April 26th). For more information on all the ways to get involved, see the event page.

By Bessam Idani

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