Kimmel Center announces program details for the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts

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 (Philadelphia, January 21, 2016) –– The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts announced today new program details for the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA), including the design concept for the Festival’s centerpiece – an original, interactive Plaza installation by 2015 MacArthur Genius set designer Mimi Lien, lighting designer Tyler Micoleau, and sound designer Nick Kourtides, that utilizes the Kimmel Center’s vast vertical space. Other highlights announced during the January 21st event include the unveiling of Penn’s Landing as the location for PIFA’s Grand Opening performance of Article 13; performers for the Festival’s Gala performance; involvement of local video artists Klip Collective; the locations of public water fountains where French performance group Aquacoustique will perform; details of the project by The Clay Studio and artist Shay Church; and more.

PIFA takes place April 8–23, 2016.

During the event, media, partners, and key stakeholders heard directly from Lien the details on her concept for the large-scale installation that will consume the cavernous lobby of the Kimmel Center. A kinetic, modernist tree sculpture will live on Commonwealth Plaza during the daytime and serve as an interactive gathering place, inviting audiences to move throughout it. Each evening at 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., the kinetic sculpture will undergo multi-sensory transformations facilitated by live performance and accompanied by light and sound, illustrating nature growing from an urban space.

Lien was part of the creative team behind the Eiffel Tower sculpture and light show during the first PIFA in 2011. The popular spectacle was witnessed by thousands of visitors daily during the Festival.

Among the other updates announced, the location for the large-scale experiential performance of Article 13 was revealed as Penn’s Landing. The multi-dimensional performance will encompass the space equivalent to nearly two football fields. Comprised of fire, sand, water, video, and performance, audience members wander through the performance, taking in the stories, sights, and sounds of migrants in search of a better world, including some participants from Philadelphia.

“We’re thrilled to welcome the return of Mimi Lien to the Kimmel Center. A 2015 recipient of the MacArthur Genius Award, her creative brilliance will be prominently displayed on Commonwealth Plaza with her Kinetic Tree installation,” said Anne Ewers, President & CEO for the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. “And it is a great privilege for us to be able to spread PIFA beyond the Kimmel Center campus to the pockets of this city that we all know and love. Art has the unique ability to bring people together and can’t wait to experience that throughout PIFA 2016.”

A 16-day celebration of art, PIFA showcases innovation and a breadth of local and international performances and installations, all curated by the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. With more than 60 events across genres and art forms, PIFA is bookended by Article 13 – a grand-scale fire, sand, and water installation that tells the story of migrants around the world – which serves as the grand opening of the Festival and culminates with the celebrated PIFA Street Fair.

In addition to the plaza installation, details of several other PIFA performances have been announced and are bolded throughout the listings below.


Tickets to individual performances are on sale to the public now and start at $10. Many of the performances listed below are free. Please check www.kimmelcenter.org/pifa for the most up-to-date pricing for each show.

Multi-event ticket packages are also available and include the PIFA Sampler Pass (three shows), PIFA Immersion Pass (five shows), or the PIFA All-Access Pass; all come with a wide range of added benefits including access to exclusive events.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting kimmelcenter.org or calling 215-893-1999.

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