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Philly Tech Week 'TechniCulture' Event Highlights Collaborations between Technology Partners and Arts Groups

Philadelphia—On Friday, April 17, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance presents TechniCulture, an official Philly Tech Week event. Through TED Talk-like presentations, TechniCulture will showcase some of the leading collaborations between Philadelphia’s arts and cultural community and the tech sector. The event will be held at the Chemical Heritage Foundation from 8:30am-12:30pm, and is sponsored by Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. with additional support from The Pew Charitable Trusts.

The keynote speaker for TechniCulture is Youngmoo Kim, Director of Drexel University’s ExCite Center and 2012 Philadelphia Geek Awards “Scientist of the Year.” Kim’s keynote will focus on how artistic creativity and technological innovation are inextricably linked, and how the power of STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics + The Arts) can fuel joint innovation.  

“We believe that arts and culture, in collaboration with science and technology, will be the driving force of innovation in the 21st century,” said Maud Lyon, President of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. “The future will be an arts and design revolution, not an industrial revolution.”

Presentations will be moderated by Natalie Nixon (Director, Strategic Design MBA, Philadelphia University), and feature partnerships in two categories: Artistic/Curatorial projects and Business Planning. Scheduled presentations include:

  • “LiveNote™ Nights at the Orchestra” (Philadelphia Orchestra): LiveNote allows concertgoers to access information about the works they are hearing, following the music with real-time musical, emotional and historical highlights. The app gives the audience both historical and musical information about the concert. Presenters: Ezra Wiesner (Managing Director of Information Technology, Philadelphia Orchestra) and Ryan Fleur (EVP of Orchestra Advancement, Philadelphia Orchestra) with Youngmoo Kim.
  • “Keys to the Collection” (Barnes Foundation): Three years in the making, this interactive app is targeted at engaging 7-to-14-year-olds and connecting them with the Barnes' world-renowned collection.  Users create an Avatar that is guided through the collection by Fidele, founder Albert Barnes' dog. “Art is an illusion,” said Lynn Berkowitz of The Barnes Foundation. “Let’s use that illusion as a way for kids to explore the museum with the help of a familiar screen.” Presenters: Lynn Berkowitz (Manager of Family Programming, The Barnes Foundation), Steve Brady (Director of Information Technology, The Barnes Foundation), and Kevin Gross (CG Artist and Game Designer)
  • “Nightscape” (Longwood Gardens): Nightscape takes guests on an immersive evening journey around Longwood Gardens, where they will encounter moving imagery and light choreographed to music and brought to life by the natural canvas of Longwood’s plants, leaves, trees and lakes. Presenters: Marnie Conley (Chief Marketing Officer, Longwood Gardens) and Ricardo Rivera (Creative Director, Klip Collective)
  • Unknown Territory Artist-In-Residency (The Hacktory): Residencies at The Hacktory train Philadelphia-based emerging and established artists (with little or no programming experience) how to write code so they can use software technology directly in their creative process. Presenters: Georgia Guthery (Director, The Hacktory) and Michael Kiley (Artist-in-Residence, The Hacktory)
  • “The Language of Digital Impact” (Bluecadet): Museums, not-for-profits, and other mission-driven organizations increasingly use innovative digital "products" (including responsive websites, mobile applications, and in-gallery interactive installations), but cultural groups also need to use the critical feedback structures that commercial brands rely on to manage resources and measure success. While the language of these feedback components – ROI (return on investment), KPIs (key performance indicators), etc. – may seem corporate and impersonal, it represents information that is essential to any project or organization’s effective management and overall vitality.  Presenter: Josh Goldblum (Founder + CEO, Bluecadet)
  • The Virtual Organization: MY Access! & Google Tools (Mighty Writers): Mighty Writers will talk about how an after-school writing and mentorship program has become a “virtual organization” that uses a wide range of online and digital resources. Mighty Writers uses Google Docs & Google Sites as collaborative staff/volunteer spaces; MY Access! software for student writing assessments; Class Dojo as an in-class behavior management tool, and several other online tools in the day to day operations of this innovative organization. Presenter: Rachel Loeper (Education Director, Mighty Writers)
  • “You In Flowers” (Philadelphia Museum of Art): This touchscreen for the upcoming Art of American Still Life exhibit encourages playful social interaction and sharing. Representatives from the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Night Kitchen Interactive will draw on this project and 15+ years of collaboration to discuss the promises and pitfalls of arts and technology partnerships. Presenters: Bill Weinstein (Director of Information & Interpretive Technologies, Philadelphia Museum of Art) and Matthew Fisher (President, Night Kitchen Interactive)
  • “Digital/Social/Visual” (Curalate): Brendan Lowry gives his perspective on digital marketing through visual marketing platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr & Facebook.  With the huge popularity of online social networks, firms can analyze and exploit social images to build effective and successful online marketing campaigns. Presenter: Brendan Lowry (Marketing Director, Curalate)
  • Like, Link, Share: How Cultural Institutions Are Embracing Digital Technology: This 2014 study commissioned by the Wyncote Foundation gives examples of legacy cultural institutions in Philadelphia and across the country that are successfully embracing digital media in their work, whether in artistic creation and artistic programs, audience engagement activities, fund development or operations. Presenter: Sarah Lutman (Founder, Lutman & Associates)

The presentations will be followed by a Q & A and networking.

“There is a burgeoning, cutting-edge technology community in our region, which happens also to be marked by an unusually rich heritage of arts and culture institutions in need of technology solutions,” said Stephen Goodman, TechniCulture Co-Chair and partner at Morgan Lewis. “The successful community of the future is one built on collaboration and creativity, and I can think of no better means to bring these two rich resources together than the TechniCulture event.“

For more information on TechniCulture, visit The Alliance also encourages attendees to participate in the online conversation around the event using #TechniCulture.


Established in 1972, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance is the region’s leading arts and cultural advocacy, research and marketing organization. Our mission is to “lead, strengthen and give voice to a diverse cultural sector that is making Philadelphia a world-class region to live, work, and play.”  Our membership includes over 400 organizations ranging from museums and dance companies to community art centers, historic sites, music ensembles and zoos. Our members, as well as the cultural community as a whole, count on the Alliance for signature research reports on the health and growth of the sector; grantmaking in partnership with the Pennsylvania Council on the arts; robust professional development and membership services; marketing and audience development through our signature consumer marketing programs, and Funsavers; and leadership in policy and community engagement through our GroundSwell advocacy initiative and STAMP teen program. For more information on the Cultural Alliance, please visit