The Best Arts Centers in Philadelphia

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This brief article highlighting some of the most popular arts facilities in the city is presented by the Philly personal injury lawyers of Laffey, Bucci & Kent.

Outside of the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art, there are more than just a handful of arts centers worth a visit in the city. Up next, we discuss some of our favorite ones.

The Kimmel Center

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is a large performing arts venue located at 300 South Broad Street at the corner of Spruce Street, along the stretch known as the “Avenue of the Arts”.

The Center is the home of the Philadelphia Orchestra, one of America’s “Big Five” symphony orchestras. Moreover, it’s also the home venue of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Philadanco, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and a performance series known as Kimmel Center Presents.

The 21st century center’s main stages are the elegant Verizon Hall, whose red mahogany 2,500-seat interior is shaped like a cello and features adjustable acoustical panels, and the 650-seat Perelman Theater, with an unusual rotating stage and equipment that enables chamber music, dance and drama.

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts  is the first and oldest art museum and art school in the United States. Located at 128 N Broad St, the academy’s museum is internationally known for its collections of 19th- and 20th-century American paintings, sculptures, and works on paper.

Since its founding, the Academy has collected works by leading American artists, as well as works by distinguished alumni and faculty of its school. Today, the Academy maintains its collecting tradition with the inclusion of works by modern and contemporary American artists.

Acquisitions and exhibition programs are balanced between historical and contemporary art, and the museum continues to show works by contemporary regional artists and features annual displays of work by Academy students. The collection is installed in a chronological and thematic format, exploring the history of American art from the 1760s to the present.

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Merriam Theater

The Merriam Theater, formerly the Sam S. Shubert Theatre and today located at 250 South Broad Street within the Avenue of the Arts cultural district, is Philadelphia’s most continuous location for touring Broadway show theatre.

At the Merriam Theater, visitors can get a sense of the more elaborate days of dramaturgy of the early 20th Century. The Merriam is also renowned for keeping alive the Broadway touring tradition by importing recent hits and long-running musicals for runs of varying length.

Pennsylvania Academy of Music

The Academy of Music is a concert hall and opera house located at 240 S. Broad Street in Philadelphia and which is managed through a legacy contract with the aforementioned Kimmel Center.

The hall was built in 1855 and is the oldest opera house in the United States that is still used for its original purpose. Known as the “Grand Old Lady of Locust Street,” the venue is the home of the Pennsylvania Ballet and Opera Philadelphia. It was also home to the Philadelphia Orchestra from its inception in 1900 until 2001, when the orchestra moved to the new Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Ticket sales at the Academy of Music from resident companies support everyday maintenance of the Academy, though these same sales do not provide an income stream for any capital improvement projects, leaving those investments to ownership.

Most notably, since 1962, the hall has been designated as a National Historic Landmark

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