PIFA 2016 Opens With A Gala To Remember for the Ages, Dinner, a Performance and Lighted Horses Perform in Rittenhouse Square

Good Thursday day, hope you are well. Oh I can’t believe I missed yesterday’s post. I was overwhelmed with how many events I shot over the weekend and juggling where I should put them, and who could take them and I forgot about me and my little blog. Well today we’re getting a most extraordinary event that only happens every two years in Philly. It’s Philadelphia International Festival Of the Arts‎ or PIFA for short. These photos, and some of which I am not publishing here, may go in the June issue of Philadelphia Magazine. I’m posting the video of the Kinetic Tree experience, listen along while you read the entry, and towards the end it finally opens.

I see now the IPhone quality is not a superior as the camera quality which you’ll see at the end of this entry. By all means go see the Kinetic Tree in person. There are two performances nightly, 7PM and 10PM, both are different. The Kinetic Tree  MIMI LIEN, NICK KOURTIDES, TYLER MICOLEAU


  PIFA began in 2011, It’s a 16-day celebration of art and community, April 8 – 23, 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 and sand installation that tells the story of
immigrants around the world – which serves as the grand opening of the
Festival and culminates with the celebrated PIFA Street Fair.

AND 75% of the performances are free Anne Ewers,  President & CEO of Kimmel Center, Inc told the guests gathered in Verizon Hall for a concert after dinner was served. With her on stage were the Gala co-chairs: Alfred P. West, Founder, Chairman and CEO of SEI Jami Wintz McKeon, Chair of Morgan Lewis and Bockius

The evening began with a Cocktail Reception, generously hosted by M&T Bank and Wilmington Trust. Then a delicious Garces Catering dinner was served. This was the clever first course, which represents the theme of PIFA 2016 – “We Are What We Make”, this is a soup, with ingredients on the sides of the dish. After the servers pour the broth you add any of those ingredients you like.

Each table carried the theme of the various shows that would be performed during the PIFA 2016 gala. This table has an inspiration of the Kinetic Tree, the PIFA Plaza Installation

The gala brought out the who’s who in the philanthropic, art patron society of Philadelphia

Including the most philanthropic athlete of our time, here in Philly, Connor Barwin, who was sporting snazzy sneakers with his black tie. This seems to be the latest trend, as Elizabeth Wellington from the Philly Inquirer would tell you. Look for Connor to attend the Mural Arts Wall Ball coming up 5/26/16 at The Fillmore. 

 Thanks to Jay Wahl, Artistic Director, Programming &
Presentations, Kimmel Center, Inc. for curating many of the programs
you’ll see during PIFA.
 PIFA Committee Co-Chairs:  Honorable Marjorie “Midge” Rendell and Ron Biscardi (not pictured)
Retired Judge Arthur Tilson and Dr. Thomas J. Killeen III, MD with Judge Rendell.
Ginny Susini, Assistant Vice President & Banking Advisor at PNC Wealth Management , Karin Copeland, ‎Vice President Strategic Alliances, Executive Director Arts + Business Council Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and Christina Wong, Vice President at ESM Productions
I always tell people who want to network, and I’m talking about great people network, head to an Arts & Biz Council event. Here are a few coming up.


 Jeff Zudeck, Emily Biscardi, Angela Parsons, Sean Denham and Valentino DiGeorgio
 Barbara Cooke and Jeanne Isaacman
 Teresa and Greg Rodgers with Anthony and Gabriella Peracchia
 Bernice Chen and Scott Alcott



 We Are What We Make – I’d like a pair of these please!
Darrel German  Senior Vice President – Business Banking Area Manager at Wells Fargo and Lenora German




 Arts patron Louise Reed (standing), with Pa Ballet Artistic Director Angel Corella and Ed Gray, President of the Pa Ballet Board, await for dinner to be served.
 Harold and Lynne Honickman with Sr. Mary Scullion, Ex director of Project Home
 550 guests were seated for dinner
 With the decor done by Uncommon Events, and Cashman & Associates doing the PR for the event.
Anne said there were more sponsor tables bought this year than in previous years, and this was thanks to the gala co-chairs
 Art patrons Richard and Diane Woosnam – they are both so warm and wonderful, impeccably dressed and informative.


 Concert Performance Rhiannon Giddens, who did covers of Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline to name a few. The audience, and I really enjoyed her performance, which was a little bit country,  rock and roll, and gospel.
For her final number, Giddens was joined by French performance troupe Compagnie des Quidams, who performed their unique show FierS à Cheval, or “Proud Horse” – an interactive show with a fantastical group of inflatable horse puppets!
 This continued in Commonwealth Plaza, then out on the street they paraded up Broad Street
To Rittenhouse Square and this fabulous performance below, before heading back to the Kimmel Center to be put in the stable for the night.