Hosting spectacular Broadway and theater productions, performances of world, jazz, dance, and classical music, as well as presentations by the organization’s eight Resident Companies, the Kimmel Center truly has something for everyone. But the possibilities are endless for the variety of events that can be hosted in our spaces.
We asked the Kimmel Center’s Director of Facility Sales, Casey Rodger, to provide a behind-the-scenes look at some of the incredible events that have taken place across the Kimmel Center campus.
What is the most out-of-the-box event that has been held at the Kimmel Center and why was the Kimmel Center the perfect setting?
The Art Institute of Philadelphia’s Fashion Show! The Art Institute approached us about a fashion show that they hold annually and I knew exactly where it had to take place… the Perelman Theater. If you don’t know the center well I encourage you to take one of our daily tours at 1PM to learn about it, but the Perelman Theater is a real engineering feat. The whole Kimmel Center was built with flexibility in mind and the Perelman Theater epitomizes that perfectly. We removed the plaza level seating of the theater which is just one of the theater’s most amazing capabilities. We then brought up a flat floor that was even with the stage and “lit” up a runway right down the middle of the entire theater. It’s a real flurry of activity during a fashion show but the Art Institute pulled it off beautifully with the Perelman Theater as a backdrop.
Is there an event that has taken place in the past few months that sticks out most?
There are a lot of exciting events that take place here at Kimmel Center Campus so it is hard to narrow it down but I do have to say that there is a special place in my heart for our Annual Antiques and Vintage (Flea) Market. Thousands of people come by and enjoy the space while shopping for interesting and fun items. It’s free and accessible to anyone so it really brings the community out and I love to see that. It reminds me of when I was a kid going to and exhibiting at these markets with my folks so I love seeing the children who come and get excited about a vintage toy or item.
For people looking to rent a space for an event, what do you think would surprise them the most about the Kimmel Center?
People find the amount of space and options that we have to be very surprising. A lot of folks don’t realize that we not only have the Kimmel Center but also the Merriam Theater and the Academy of Music as part of our repertoire. Within all of those venues there are options for small gatherings to large scale productions and we can handle it all!
Why should people looking to hold an event look to have the Kimmel Center as one of their top options while in Philadelphia?
I think people don’t realize how approachable and easy to work with we are. If they are looking for a one stop shop then we are it! Our clients bring the guests and we handle the rest. The fact that we are located downtown close to everything is a real benefit as well. It’s easy for guests to book hotels nearby whether they are coming for a convention or a wedding and have everything right at their disposal. Whether we are hosting a small social gathering, a large scale Gala or theater production, our staff is experienced and knowledgeable about it all.