Philly meets Paris

Marc Chagall’s “In the Night” is on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art as part of “Paris through the Window.”

If you don’t immediately see the connection between Philadelphia and Paris, we’ll forgive you — especially after this winter.

But when it comes to the arts, some think we’re poised to follow in the gigantic footsteps of the City of Lights: For three weeks this April, the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts will celebrate the collaborative spirit of the local arts community under the theme “Paris: 1910-1920.”

“When we were thinking about what the theme would be, there was this exciting moment in time in the world of art. About 100 years ago, artists around the world were going to Paris because it was a hotbed of activity,” says PIFA executive director Ed Cambron.  “It’s that creative energy that we wanted to be our theme — it’s the same spirit that was happening in Paris 100 years ago.”

While you shouldn’t expect Broad Street to morph into the Champs-Elysees overnight, The Kimmel Center will host the first-ever onstage collaboration between the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Ballet, as well as other mash-ups between local arts organizations and French guest artists.

“The fact that we have over 140 arts and cultural organizations partnering together is really a testament to the depth and spirit of collaboration of the Philadelphia arts community,” says Cambron. “This is a way of putting an exclamation point on the Philadelphia arts and cultural scene.”

PIFA must-sees

With 135 happenings, this is just getting things started:

‘Paris through the Window: Marc Chagall and his Circle’
Through May 1
The Philadelphia Museum of Art
With any PIFA ticket purchase, you’re eligible for 25 percent off admission to the Art Museum’s latest exhibit.

Questlove and Keren Ann
April 17, Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center
The Roots drummer pairs up with the Parisian singer/songwriter for a night.

Green Fairy Cabaret
April 14-17
Hamilton Garden at the Kimmel Center
This performance by the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts features two types of green fairies: acrobatic ones, and the kind that flutter around absinthe bars.

The Broad Street Fair
April 30
The festival closes with an open-air fair on the Avenue of the Arts featuring vendors, bands, food and a Ferris wheel.


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