Philadelphia Celebrates 20 Years!

For their 20th Anniversary, the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy in Philadelphia created a video of past participants to provide insights on what the program means to them and to help get people excited about the upcoming contest and exhibit. The video was part of their strong social media campaign they did for this year’s show. Their marketing certainly paid off as this was their largest show to date and included 235 pieces of art that were displayed throughout four different floors of city hall. Even with a record-breaking year, Kelly Lee, Chief Cultural Officer for the city told us she is already focused on topping their numbers again next year! 
Longtime coordinator Tu Huynh and his team put on a fantastic ceremony and reception to honor the artists. Their judges included news broadcaster Jeannette Reyes from 6ABC, Arleen Olshan from the Mount Airy Art Garage and Brian Abernathy, the City’s Managing Director. Not only did Jeannette Reyes speak so eloquently about the Best of Show winner at their reception but Mayor Kenney gave opening remarks and stayed to congratulate artists and take photographs with guests. In addition to the officials that helped to celebrate the artists, the NAP invited friend of the foundation Victoria Wyeth to speak and present the Art Education Award. Victoria is the only grandchild of iconic artist Andrew Wyeth and is an advocate for the arts. She is especially passionate about the youth, so it was only fitting that she presented the Art Education Award to Youth 12 and Under artist, Lainey Gorey (pictured right).  
We are so thrilled with the dedication and passion that Tu has for our program that the NAP team presented him with a piece of art by a Philadelphia artist to honor the occasion of their 20th anniversary. The City of Philadelphia is close to our hearts as it was the location for the very first National Arts Program exhibit in 1985. For that reason and so many more we look forward to the next twenty years to come! Tu told us that he heard people commenting, “it was the best event yet for the NAP at City Hall” and we couldn’t agree more!