It was a kind of coming-out party after 18 months of staying in. A reconnection between Philadelphia’s artists and the culture mavens who have missed them. An affirmation that Philadelphia’s arts sector is back.
This was the hopeful messaging Saturday at the Kimmel Center, where the doors were thrown open for a day of Beethoven, hip-hop, opera, poetry readings, and more. About 50 arts groups were represented, and the event, dubbed “Arts Launch 2021,” marked the first fully public event for the city’s largest arts presenter since it shut down for the pandemic in March 2020.
Of course, the public health crisis isn’t over. As arts groups wade into the 2021-22 season, they do so warily with a new set of requirements for audiences to be vaccinated and masked and, in some cases, distanced. Still, with their finances battered and a newly urgent sense of mission, arts leaders regarded Saturday