Community Highlights

Philadelphia is Alive with Culture and Style

Since the days when the writings and inventiveness of Benjamin Franklin dramatically changed the lives of his neighbors, the creative spirit of Philadelphia has thrived. Today, along with the trendy neighborhoods in Philadelphia, we are seeing hundreds of galleries, music venues, performing arts venues and art schools thriving throughout Philadelphia. Read on and learn more about the arts and culture scene in Philly.

Some of these cultural hubs, like the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Academy of Music, are nationally recognized institutions, while numerous community-based artistic efforts have gained their own momentum. One that has earned the national spotlight is the Mural Arts Program, which started in 1984 as an anti-graffiti project. Over the years, over 2,400 barren walls have been transformed into historic scenes of inspiring landscapes. You can see them everywhere as you walk around town.


Arts organizations everywhere are facing some financial challenges these days, but the ones in Philadelphia have found strength in numbers. There are over 300 non-profit cultural groups that are united in the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, whose ongoing “Campaign for Culture” works to increase art awareness and attendance at various culture events throughout the region.

Philadelphia has several major performance venues, including the Academy of Music, the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. Beyond these, smaller gems can also be found around the region, including the following:

  • Painted Bride Art Center. This is an Old City alternative arts organization that offers poetry, jazz, theatre and dance. It also mounts exhibits. Nicknamed “The Bride,” this is a professional venue where Carlos Santana, Penn & Teller, and Spalding Gray have performed.
  • Freedom Repertory Theatre. Another small but respected acting company, this is located on Philadelphia’s “Avenue of the Arts.” This African-American theater is housed in an historic mansion, presenting plays that range from its signature drama “Black Nativity” to classics by James Baldwin.
  • Temple University’s Theater Program. For affordable, outstanding drama, this university theater is a good choice. This is the longest running in the city, and features classic plays like “The Heidi Chronicles” and “Hamlet” as well as more contemporary performances. Headlong Dance Theatre. Offering dance, this theater draws on influences as diverse as ballet, tap, sign language and life experiences in its choreography that perks up the audience like no other company.
  • The Clay Studio. The visual arts are strong in Philadelphia as well, as demonstrated by the Clay Studio. Its exhibits might include gold and lapis teapots by an artist who was inspired by delicate Japanese kimonos or more whimsical items.


  • Rodin Museum. For a true Philadelphia treasure, this is one that should not be missed. Considered as the largest Auguste Rodin collection outside Paris, it displays bronze casts of Rodin’s greatest pieces, including 128 sculptures, his Apotheosis of Victor Hugo, Eternal Springtime, and a bronze cast of his immortal The Thinker.

A trending theme in the real estate market combines culture and condos in Philadelphia housing landscape. There are also quite a few townhomes and row homes in the Fairmont section of Philadelphia, just a few blocks from the Rodin Museum. This video about the Philadelphia real estate near the Art Museum helps highlight these gems.

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