A diverse and engaged audience gathers for a Philly ReACTS event at City Hall. Photo by Michael Perez, courtesy of First Person Arts.
Philly ReACTS audience member contributes to the flag project. Photo by Michael Perez, courtesy of First Person Arts.
First Person Arts offers bi-monthly story slams, classes, and an annual festival dedicated to transforming real life into documentary art. Stories told through First Person Arts may be highly ordinary or, as in the case of the Center-funded Philly ReACTS series, may focus instead on extraordinary events. In the ReACTS series, a cross-disciplinary team comprised of historians, archivists, artists, journalists, and activists, will harness the power of storytelling and history to provide context and constructive conversation in response to challenging current events. With Center support, First Person Arts has also increased the ambition of its annual festival with the commission of a new work by playwright, actor, and journalist Dan Hoyle—the organization's first solo work of documentary theater. Hoyle is at work with director Ed Sobel on a show focused on our societal transition from the analog to the digital experience. In 2010, the Center supported a pilot project that allowed First Person Arts to explore the relationships between people, objects, and stories through the First Person Museum.