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Kimmel Center Reveals PIFA 2018 Details

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JUST ANNOUNCED: @KimmelCenter reveals #PIFA2018 dates, return of Transe Express human chandelier & exclusive US member in @IN_SITU_Network

Press Contact:

Amanda Conte



Festival To Take Place June 1–10, 2018 

Also Announced, The Return of Transe Express, and The Kimmel Center Recognized as Only U.S.-Based Member of European Artist Network In Situ

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Philadelphia, PA, June 3, 2017) –– At a press event held this morning, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts revealed new details about the upcoming installment of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA). Kimmel Center President & CEO Anne Ewers announced the biannual Festival will be later in the year and will now take place June 1–10, 2018. Also announced, The Kimmel Center’s exclusive membership in In Situ – a network of European presenters specializing in art in public spaces. The Kimmel Center is the only U.S. member, and the affiliation allows the Kimmel Center to bring unique European performances to Philadelphia.

The Kimmel Center also announced the centerpiece of PIFA 2018 – the return of Transe Express, the French performance troupe that PIFA lovers will remember from their amazing spectacle during the 2011 Festival when more than 200,000 visitors packed the Avenue of the Arts to witness the ‘jaw-dropping sensation.’ The group will bring the World Premiere of Crystal Palace – a 30-foot human chandelier with more than 50 live performers and dancers. Crystal Palace will be a full, 90-minute performance that artistically recreates the history of dance – from The Waltz and Tango, to the Charleston, the Swing and Disco – through air acrobats and integrated dance groups.

“I am absolutely thrilled to share the news of PIFA’s return as well as our involvement with In Situ,” said Anne Ewers, President & CEO of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts during her address. “PIFA is our gift to this city, bringing together communities to share and appreciate art in all of its forms. There is much to look forward to and it all starts this weekend with the fanfare of The People’s Tower!”

“This is such an exciting celebration announcing the return of the fourth installment of PIFA,” says Meryl Levitz, President and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA®. “The city of Philadelphia looks forward to welcoming the tens of thousands of visitors who will come to our beautiful city to witness the creativity PIFA brings with the most unique art performances.”

The People’s Tower was the backdrop for today’s press conference during the PIFA Preview Celebration. Hundreds of people helped construct an 88-foot cardboard tower in Dilworth Park. The community art project will be on display until Sunday at 7:00 p.m. when the community is invited to come tear it down. The People’s Tower is being completed in partnership with In Situ and the commissioned artist Olivier Grossetête. Since its founding in 2003, In Situ has supported more than 180 European artists and gathers 25 partners from 17 countries from various backgrounds to serve artists working with, in and for public space.

More details about PIFA 2018 will be announced at a later date. There’s still time to take part in this weekend’s PIFA Preview Celebration:

PIFA Preview Celebration Weekend


Dilworth Park

June 3, attend anytime between 9:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

A new landmark for Philadelphia – built by Philadelphians! The public will help build the fantastical, epic, temporary People’s Tower and watch in amazement as it soars above Dilworth Park. The People’s Tower will stand overnight and be demolished at 7:00 p.m. the following day. For previous examples of Olivier Grossetête’s work, visit


Kimmel Center’s Hamilton Garden

June 4, 2:00 p.m.

Hear a panel of star-studded public artists, place makers, and arts administrators discuss what exactly is public space, and what it means to create art within it. Learn how public art is different from art presented in a traditional theater, and how it connects an audience.

Panelists include:

Jane Golden – Founder and Executive Director, Mural Arts Philadelphia

Robert van Leer – Senior Vice President of Artistic Planning, The Kennedy Center

Rachel Chanoff – Director, THE OFFICE performing arts + film

Linda diPietro – Artistic Director Indisciplinarte, Terni Festival (Terni, Italy)

Pierre Sauvageot – Director of Lieux Publics (Marseilles, France)

Werner Schrempf – Artistic Director, La Strada (Graz, Austria)

Anna Anderegg – Founder and Choreographer, Asphalt Piloten (Berlin, Germany)

Olivier Grossetête – Installation Artist (France)

Jay Wahl – Artistic Director, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts


Dilworth Park

June 4, 7:00 p.m.

Art is fleeting – come demolish The People’s Tower! Normally, audiences are advised not to touch the art – and certainly not to smash it – but for this ceremonial toppling, that will all be required. The community is invited to come together to topple the tower that was built the day prior.

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Located in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia, the Kimmel Center’s mission is to operate a world-class performing arts center that engages and serves a broad audience through diverse programming, arts education, and community outreach. The Kimmel Center Campus is comprised of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, SEI Innovation Studio, and the Merck Arts Education Center), the Academy of Music (owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra Association), and the Merriam Theater. The Kimmel Center is also home to eight Resident Companies: The Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, The Pennsylvania Ballet, The Philly POPS, PHILADANCO, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Curtis Institute of Music. With nearly 9,000 seats per night, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is the region’s most impactful performing arts center, and the second largest in the country. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is the season sponsor of the Kimmel Center’s 2016-2017 Season. American Airlines is the official airline of Broadway Philadelphia. For additional information, visit

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For a PDF version of this press release, please click here