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Where to Find Arts & Culture Events, Exhibits and Deals During the DNC

The Democratic National Convention takes over the city July 25-28, so it’s the perfect time to show off our world-class cultural community to the thousands of visitors, media representatives and locals who will be here to partake in the fun and be part of history.

Phillyfunguide has the details on all the best events (for the DNC and beyond!). Check out our special section for DNC-related events, deals and activities. Some of the events we’re most excited about include:

  • Soap Box for Cultural Equity: The Brandywine Workshop and Archives on South Broad Street kicks things off with this pre-convention lineup of speakers on how STEAM education improves student performance and builds more equitable communities. The Soap Box runs July 23-24 from 3:30 to 7:00 p.m. each day, followed by poetry and jazz performances each night.
  • Broad Street Stages: The Cultural Alliance has partnered with the DNC’s local Host Committee and Avenue of the Arts Inc. to organize a series of outdoor performances along Broad Street between the Convention Center and Pine Street.
  • Mighty Writers World Record Attempt: Join this literacy organization on July 26 at 10:00 a.m. as it attempts to draw 3,000 young people to the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art to set the Guinness World Record for most kids writing in the same place at the same time. Participants will be writing on the theme of “If I were President…”
  • Make Art Philly: The Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy will host Make Art Philly, a day of art-making and crafting all around the theme of voting in City Hall’s historic courtyard on Wednesday, July 27, from 10-2PM. Cultural organizations from throughout Philadelphia will share their art-making skills, allowing visitors to participate in activities including screen-printing with the Print Center, collaging with the Dumpster Divers of Philadelphia, button-making with the Main Line Art Center, puppet making with the Mann Center, clay working with the Clay Studio and many other family-friendly activities. The voting themed art-making is an extension of Philly VOTE and Get Out the Vote Art in City Hall exhibitions.
  • Voices of Voting: Philadelphia’s citizen watchdog group, the Committee of Seventy, has partnered with award-winning theater artist David Bradley on this short play that ties the voting rights struggles of the 1960s to today’s challenge of engaging young people in the electoral process. There will be multiple shows daily July 25-27 at Science Leadership Academy, at 22nd and Arch Streets. Reserve free tickets here.
  • Youth Art Contest: The Fleisher Art Memorial ran a statewide youth art competition on the theme of “We the People.” Winning submissions will be displayed around the city at convention-related sites. 
  • Common Ground: Philly’s own public-art superstar Meg Saligman will install an interactive, multidimensional piece in the main atrium at the Free Library that explores how civic engagement and politics contribute to the public good. July will be a busy month for Saligman and her team: this piece will also be featured at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland from July 18-21 before getting packed up and reassembled here.
  • Donkeys Around Town: Surely by now you’ve seen or heard of the 57 painted fiberglass donkeys that have taken over the city. But did you know that many of them are conveniently located at cultural venues? Sites include Academy of Natural Sciences, African American Museum of Philadelphia, Clef Club, The Franklin Institute, Free Library, Kimmel Center, Library Company, National Constitution Center, National Liberty Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Suzanne Roberts Theatre. See ArtJawn’s full list of sites here.
  • Broad Street Beautification: The Mural Arts Program and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society are both working to make the DNC’s main artery more attractive. On the north side of City Hall, PHS is sprucing up the stretch of Broad Street near the Pennsylvania Convention Center. On the south side, Mural Arts will install artist Mat Tomezsko’s mile-long work “14 Movements” along 14 blocks of the Broad Street median from City Hall to Washington Avenue.

See the full list of DNC and Presidential themed events, deals and more on Phillyfunguide!