Highlight of the year: “With more than 70 student performances each year, it is impossible to choose one stand-out,” says Ty Furman, Director of University Life Arts Initiatives. “However, we are very proud of our collaborative charity shows.” In 2009, that included a Charitable Laughter fundraiser on Oct. 9, through which The Mask and Wig Club, Bloomers, Without A Net, Simply Chaos and Pennsylvania Six-5000 raised $1,000 for Art-Reach — a local arts nonprofit.
The fall of 2009 also included several large-scale events for Penn’s academic theme year, Arts & the City Year [“In the Spotlight,” September|October 2009]. On November 20, from 9 a.m. to midnight, students participated in Penn’s first-ever Campus Arts Crawl, which featured more than a dozen events throughout the campus and culminated with a music/video installation at the Annenberg Center. The latter drew about 500 students, according to Furman.
What’s coming in 2010: The Performing Arts Council will hold two additional charity shows, Furman says — the Emily Sachs Dance Benefit on Jan. 29 will feature more than a dozen University dance groups and help support asthma research, and on Feb. 13, more than a dozen student a cappella groups will present a charity performance to benefit the American Heart Association.
Arts & the City Year will continue through the end of the academic year. Next up: a visit from writer/actor Anna Deavere Smith on Jan. 26.