2018 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts Gala

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts kicked off the 2018 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) with a black-tie gala on Thursday night May 31, 2018.



Guests were greeted at the gala by a Dragon Performance from the Kimmel Center’s ShowStoppers students as they enjoyed a cocktail party followed by a sit down dinner by Garces Events. I was a bit obsessed by the dragon as you’ll see.

There were pop-up performances by various entertainers including the West Philadelphia Orchestra, who maintained their balance very well on the Kimmel Center steps, which provided amazing acoustics for their fantastic performance. I really love their music.  There were also performances by Melvis Santana & Ashedi , a creative music program by jazz students; After dinner guests headed into Verizon Hall for a performance by Toshi Reagon.


What gorgeous decor Pencora did with the gala; The lampshades are part of the PIFA celebration. You’ll recall in the past they’ve had a few spectacular center pieces in Commonwealth Plaza, including the popular Eiffel Tower. The lampshades are so clever, and make for a great background for selfies so stop by.

Don’t forget to check out the schedule of PIFA events HERE. There are a lot of unique performances happening that are once in a lifetime

Joan Roebuck-Carter, Senior Director of Institutional Support Kimmel Center and Julie Rafferty

Sheila Burstein, Larry Burstein and Barbara Vetri

Sanjay Sharma and Archana Sharma

Dr. Lynn Dever, Jim Dever, Bank of America global commercial banking (GCB) market executive for Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Delaware, Casey Satell, The Franklin Institute and Mark Mills, The Franklin Institute


Chris Rinaldi, President and CFO of Jacobs Music and Gabrielle Rinaldi

Tonight’s Pick: Doggie Hamlet Monday, June 4 

Very clever creating a “bar” at the base of the staircase where the entrance of Volver is located.

Michael Innocenzo, Peco’s President and chief executive, Romona Riscoe BensonManager of Corporate Relations of Philadelphia Electric Company (PECO)  and Jeff Guaracino, Welcome America President and CEO

The Hillzinger Family

Teresa Bryce Bazemore Chair Elect of the Kimmel Center Board of Directors with Anne Ewers, President & CEO of Kimmel Center


Dr. Nina Radcliff, does not disappoint in bringing the fashion. She told me the butterflies on her dress were her daughter Carmen’s hair clips.

The names for the folks in this shot were lost in translation. If you have them please send them to me at HughE@PhillyChitChat.com, I’d like to use this shot in Philly Mag in August. Thanks


Stop by and see the amazing lamps

Concert Performance, An irresistible musical event featuring Toshi Reagon & special guests  

Proceeds from the PIFA Gala support the Kimmel Center’s vital, year-round, free arts education programs for K-12 youth and bring free community programming to broad and diverse audiences in Philadelphia.