The Philadelphia Orchestra Shares Stories that Inspire, Connect, Challenge, and Unite

OrchestraImage by Ioana Sasu

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Dedicated to fostering community connection and insightful conversation, The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Our City, Your Orchestra series and HearTOGETHER podcast return for a second season beginning in October and continuing throughout the 2021–22 season.

Our City, Your Orchestra, a series of free online concerts performed by small ensembles at Black-owned businesses, non-profit institutions, and iconic cultural locations throughout the Philadelphia region, will return with new monthly, two-part episodes. Each episode will be available for FREE at www.philorch.org/ocyo on the 1st and 15th of the month. Season two will feature the following collaborations:

  • October 15: Asian Arts Initiative
    Connecting cultural expression and social change, Asian Arts Initiative uses art as a vehicle to explore the diverse experiences of all communities that include Asian Americans. Located in Philadelphia’s Chinatown North, Asian Arts Initiative is a multidisciplinary arts center offering exhibitions, performances, artist residencies, youth workshops, and a community gathering space where anyone can create art that reflects our lives, and think critically and creatively about the future we want to build for our communities. Philadelphia Orchestra musicians join with Asian Arts Initiative staff for a diverse program incorporating song, percussion instruments, and dance.
  • November 1 & 15: Grant Blvd
    Grant Blvd is an ethically sourced, sustainable clothing store in West Philadelphia that uses upcycled garments, deadstock fabrics, and vintage fashion to create employment opportunities and raise awareness for marginalized communities. Orchestra members Gloria dePasquale, Jennifer Montone, Olivia Staton, and Philippe Tondre perform works that connect to Grant Blvd’s mission.
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Central to the Orchestra’s mission to connect with communities through music and dialog, Our City, Your Orchestra celebrates the diversity and vibrancy of the Philadelphia region. Musical selections are chosen specifically for, and in collaboration with, each organization to showcase its unique mission, and interviews help tell the inspiring stories of each location. Additional partners to be announced.

Our City, Your Orchestra is supported in part by the William Penn Foundation, with additional support provided through the PNC Arts Alive initiative, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Presser Foundation.

Also returning in  October, new episodes of the HearTOGETHERpodcast, featuring artists and activists who share their personal and professional experiences working for racial and social justice and creative equity, will continue to cultivate crucial discussions of inclusion and openness in the world of orchestral music. Season two will feature the following conversations:

  • October: President and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra (and soon-to-be President and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc.) Matías Tarnopolsky shares his background in arts administration, insights into leading a 120-year-old performing arts institution through a worldwide pandemic, and the importance of spearheading change through the lens of IDEAS (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access Strategies).
  • November: Pianist and arts advocate Lara Downes discusses her life in music and work prioritizing and amplifying underrepresented voices.
  • December: “New renaissance artist,” experimental filmmaker, composer, and performer The Honourable Elizabeth A. Baker shares how art can act as a catalyst to inspire deeper thought.
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Additional guests to be announced. New episodes will be released monthly on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more, as well as at www.philorch.org/heartogether.

HearTOGETHER is supported by lead corporate sponsor Accordant Advisors. Additional major support has been provided by the Otto Haas Charitable Trust.

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