3 Philly LGBT Groups Win Knight Arts Grants

andy a popera bearded ladies

The Knight Foundation just announced that 19 local arts organizations and artists will receive sizable funding for future artistic endeavors, and three on the list are LGBT groups, receiving a total of $140,000. The purpose of the grants is to fund local artistic outfits that present the “best ideas that inspire, inform, connect and create a sense of belonging in the city’s 365 neighborhoods.”


I was really excited to see that Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus has received $15,000 to present "Who I Knew," a concert series that will be performed for area high schools. The show incorporates contemporary music, Broadway standards, and stories from community members about the first time they became aware of their sexual orientation. PGMC says it aims to convey a message that "challenges homophobia and negative stereotypes among local youth." The show — quite a colorful spectacular — premiered at the Prince Music Theater in March. You can see photos from that run here.

The Bearded Ladies Cabaret — led by John Jarboe — must be jumping off the roof this morning. The group received a whopping $75,000 to develop and produce Andy: A Popera, an in-development project that debuted at the Philadelphia Museum of Art a few weeks ago. Over the coming weeks, the show will continue to evolve through a series of pop-up performances everywhere from street corners to grocery store aisles (presumably somewhere near the Cambell's Soup section.) In the final stages, the Bearded Ladies will team with Opera Philadelphia for a sure-to-be-booming stint at Wilma Theater. Follow the Bearded Ladies whereabout via its website.

BalletX also received a hefty grant, $50,000 that will be used to commission new performances in the upcoming seasons. One such project is this summer's Sunset, 0639 Hours, a world-premiere ballet by Co-Artistic Director Matthew Neenan. The performance is part of a new initiative that pairs choreographers and composers to create new works with live music. In the case of Sunset, Neenan worked with Philly-based composer Rosie Langabeer. Tickets are already on sale for that show, which takes place July 9-13, here.

For a full list of Philly recipients, which also includes The African American Museum in Philadelphia, Chemical Heritage Foundation, and Mighty Writers, go here.

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