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Portside Arts Center

Overview: The Portside Arts Center (Portside) is a non-profit community-based educational arts center located at 2531 E. Lehigh Avenue, on the border of the Fishtown and Port Richmond neighborhoods in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, situated to serve over 150,000 residents. In 2007, Kim Creighton, 20- year resident mosaic and metal artist, purchased the two-story 6,000 square foot building on E Lehigh Avenue. Before purchasing the building, Kim surveyed the surrounding neighborhoods and found that there was a definite need for visual arts, performing arts and music education. According to the 2000 US Census, there are over 29,000 children between the ages of 5 and 19 years old in our targeted neighborhoods. We have learned that our local schools have limited or no visual arts programs as part of the curriculum, as well as, limited or no after-school programs offering visual and performing arts. Kim Creighton, along with friends and volunteers, worked tirelessly to renovate and transform a warehouse filled from floor to ceiling with furniture, old machinery, clothes, and collectables into 2 visual art classrooms, a performing arts room, and a music studio with private lesson booths. In 2007, the Portside Art Center received their 501 (c)(3) Non-Profit status and proudly opened its doors in January 2008. Once students stepped inside the beautifully rehabbed space to take one class, the Portside's popularity grew and more and more students, young and old signed up to take classes. Since 2008, the Portside has received no less than great reviews and feedback from members of the community, media, local businesses, politicians, and schools. At present, Portside rotates over 60 different music, visual, and performing arts classes to children, teens, adults and seniors. Unique to Portside are our teachers who are working artists hired as independent contractors. This arrangement allows our teachers creative freedom to construct their own curriculum; which, in turn, enables the Portside to offer many different types of classes to the community. Our mission is to empower the children and adults of our community with opportunities to develop their artistic abilities, awaken the imagination, and build self-esteem and confidence. Through the Arts we provide a safe haven for our community to nurture creativity, diversity, literacy and health for the betterment of all. By building self-awareness, and appreciation of one's own inner creativity and artistic skills, we aim to transform the lives of individuals, improve their academic and economic success and awaken a person's social and civic sense in order to raise the quality of life in our neighborhoods.

Topics covered: Visual Arts: Drawing Club, Arts & Crafts, Girl Power, Art Projex, Mosaic, Stained Glass, Glass Fusing, Upholstery, Comic Book workshop, Air Brush, Beer Brewing, Photography, Jewelry making, Art Therapy, Mommy & Me, Karaoke Performing Arts: Children Acting, Teen Acting, Ballet, Hip Hop, Yoga, Music & Movement Music Program: Voice, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Drums, Keyboard, Violin, Viola, Upright Bass, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, In home private Keyboard, In home Private Guitar, Music Therapy

Street Address: 2531 E. Lehigh Avenue

City: Philadelphia

Province: Pennsylvania

Country: United States

Web site: www.portsideartscenter.org