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Dance Finalists named in Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia


The Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia is a $9 million initiative to draw the best and most innovative ideas out of local organizations and individuals seeking to transform the community through the arts. Sixty-nine innovative ideas were chosen as finalists this year, many from the Philadelphia dance community. Arising from more than 1,200 applicants, the finalists below represent the rich cultural and artistic diversity of the city.

Congratulations to all the finalists…

BalletX. To further the careers of young dancers by teaching them how to be dance instructors through a mentorship program.

idiosynCrazy productions. To build community around contemporary dance in Philadelphia through free professional dance training offered by a diverse group of local, national and international teachers.

Kulu Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble. To enable audience members to become performers by inviting them to participate in master classes, rehearse and perform a new work blending traditional African dance with hip-hop, funk and soul.

Mascher Space Cooperative. To offer support for local dance artists by providing space and funding to help them deepen technical skills and relationships.

Pasión y Arte. To celebrate the contributions of Flamenco dance by producing a two-week festival including an educational symposium and performance by groundbreaking Flamenco artist Israel Galvan.

Sruti, The India Music and Dance Society. To celebrate Indian music and introduce it to a young and urban audience by offering a concert series with rotating ensembles of professional musicians.

Dance/USA Philadelphia. To raise the visibility of live dance by creating a pop-up studio in a highly visible public space where local companies will perform for passersby.

And a few others who incorporate dance with other arts genres…

Network for New Music. To celebrate the unveiling of Dilworth plaza and its new interactive steam sculptures by offering a free outdoor choral and dance performance.

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s Performing Arts Office. To offer after-school art programming for children by placing teachers in each of the eight city districts to give instruction in singing, acting and dancing.

For a full list of all of the Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia finalists, visit

- Steven Weisz

Founder & Editor
While not a dancer himself, Weisz’s love for the arts and dance started as a child growing up in New York City. With parents, who were strong supporters of the arts and part of a community with an incredible array of notable artists in music, dance, theater and fine arts, Weisz’s access and affinity for the performing arts took root. Upon attending college in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania in the mid 70’s, Weisz started performing as a puppeteer, magician, juggler and fire eater as a means of supplementing his income. This soon grew in to what became Rainbow Promotions Inc., one of the largest entertainment and special events producers in the region. It was here that he began to promote and book dance for major events throughout the city. Many of the dancers he worked with in the early days of his company are now major choreographers in Philadelphia. At the same time, Weisz’s interest in computers and the early developments of what is now known as the Internet, led him to also start another company, Delaware Valley On Line, which became one of the first regional ISPs. It was this combination of event production, internet development and event marketing that led him to examine the use of the internet as a means to promote the arts. Dance continued to be a major interest for Weisz and in 2005 he founded PhiladelphiaDANCE.org as a major online resource to promote dance in the city. It was soon after that the Dance Journal was also founded as a way to provide an outlet for writing on a range of topics that encompass the ever growing and emerging dance community in the region. Weisz continues to run both PhiladelphiaDANCE and The Dance Journal on purely a voluntary basis with no income derived from any of his projects. He is also the Artistic Director of Graffito Works, a unique platform for dancers and performing artists to create site-specific work and to make it readily accessible to the public.

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