Avenue of the Arts – The Avenue of the Arts is a city designated arts-based cultural districton a segment of Broad Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that includes many of the city’s cultural institutions, most notably the theater district south of City Hall.
The name “Avenue of the Arts” originated in a strategy by mayor Ed Rendell to redevelop South Broad Street in Center City. The Avenue of the Arts originally ran along Broad Street from Locust Street south to Lombard Street. The Avenue’s definition was expanded to North Broad Street by city planners under mayor John F. Street’s administration to encourage further development in the area. The Avenue of the Arts is overseen by the non-profit organization Avenue of the Arts, Inc. led by Executive Director, Paul S. Beideman.
The Avenue of the Arts is the locale for many of the city’s large theatres, including the Kimmel Center (home of the Philadelphia Orchestra), the Academy of Music, Merriam Theater, Wilma Theater, Liacouras Center, and Suzanne Roberts Theatre. Buildings for the University of the Arts are located just south and east of the Kimmel Center; the Merriam Theatre is often used for high-end productions involving the school.
Philadelphia International Records’ offices and gift shop is also located along this strip. Just south of the strip is the Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts, and on Broad Street in this vicinity, just north of City Hall, is the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, which, founded in 1805, is America’s oldest art school and museum and boasts a distinguished collection of American art.
Several parking garages and public transportation services provided by SEPTA, including the Broad Street Line, several bus lines, Regional Rail service at Suburban Station, and nearby stops of the PATCO Speedline make the Avenue of the Arts highly accessible to visitors.
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