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Kimmel Center Announces PIFA Preview Celebration Week with Community Art Project at Dilworth Park "The People's Tower," May 30-June 4, 2017

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Celebrate #PIFA2018 w/ a week of free events & activities incl. 88-foot cardboard People’s Tower at #DilworthPark. for more

Press Contact:

Amanda Conte



Community Invited to Help Construct and Tear Down 8-Story Cardboard Tower

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Philadelphia, PA, May 15, 2017) –– The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts has announced a PIFA preview celebration week taking place May 30 through June 4, 2017. The week of activities will celebrate the 2018 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) through free, interactive experiences, a star-studded public art panel, and a spirit of community. Details about the upcoming Festival will be announced at a press conference to be held on Saturday, June 3 at Dilworth Park.

Serving as the centerpiece of the weekend’s activities, the public is invited to help build The People’s Tower – an 88-foot cardboard structure designed by French artist Olivier Grossetête and inspired by the architecture of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. This will be the American Premiere of Grossetête’s work, presented in partnership with European artist network In Situ. Free workshops will be held May 30–June 2 to create the 1,400 building blocks of cardboard (registration required) and the weekend will conclude with the ceremonial toppling of the tower on Sunday, June 4 at 7:00 p.m.

“We’re thrilled to be able to share PIFA 2018 details in such a grand way, with the help of Olivier Grossetête’s fantastic creation,” said Anne Ewers, President & CEO of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. “The People’s Tower will be a brilliant weekend of community togetherness and artistic creation, principles upon which the Festival is built.”

A full schedule of the PIFA Preview Celebration Week events follows. All events are free and open to the public.

BUILDING BLOCKS WORKSHOPS (Registration required)

Wilma Theater

May 30 through June 2, 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and 5:30–8:30 p.m. each day

In these three-hour sessions, the public will build 1,400 cardboard sections of The People’s Tower, requiring 18 miles of tape, leading up to the ceremonial Dilworth Plaza erection and subsequent demolition. Registration at


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

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 (Switzerland)

Olivier Grossetête – Installation Artist (France)


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