Philly ReACTS

First Person Arts

2013
$74,230

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Philly ReACTS audience member contributes to the flag project. Photo by Michael Perez, courtesy of First Person Arts.

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First Person Arts storyteller, R. Eric Thomas, interviews a Philly ReACTS audience member for the First Person Arts Podcast. Photo by Michael Perez, courtesy of First Person Arts.

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A diverse and engaged audience gathers for a Philly ReACTS event at City Hall. Photo by Michael Perez, courtesy of First Person Arts.

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Dancer and actor Khalil Munir delivers a moving performance during Philly ReACTS. Photo by Michael Perez, courtesy of First Person Arts.

Philly ReACTS is a series of multidisciplinary public performances that will take place in response to current, sometimes divisive events. Compared to programs such as the First Person Arts Festival, now in its eleventh year, and bimonthly story slam competitions, Philly ReACTS will move First Person Arts beyond its usual focus on the ordinary events of daily life, focusing instead on extraordinary events that have the power to affect us all. A cross-disciplinary team comprised of historians, archivists, artists, journalists, and activists, will devise and test the framework for a performance that occurs within two weeks of a singular triggering event that reverberates throughout the public sphere. These gatherings will encourage spontaneous responses and engender face-to-face discussions, reflecting divergent perspectives on the issues at play while providing historical context. The team will choose a historic Philadelphia site for each performance that is of particular relevance, as a means of revealing relationships between the past and present day.