September is a month when the creative economy is always front and center. New fashion looks, new theater seasons, and major exhibitions opening. This year, it’s already clear there’s no stopping organizations like the Fringe Festival or institutions like PAFA from figuring how to do things in person and virtually. We recognize there are still many organizations figuring out how to pivot online, and so we’ve launched our Digital Drawingboard program, which will convene 30+ arts leaders for learning and discussion about this year’s unique challenges.

September is also a time for innovation. As we open the new season, how will we make our work, our programs, our products different and better? Two festivals and our own upcoming event try to answer this question. BPHL Innovation Fest is highlighting why Philadelphia is a great place to live and work, and inspiring the city to dream up new ideas and businesses. The 10th annual Philly Tech Week is a week-long celebration of technology and innovation in the region, spotlighting our strong tech ecosystem. We’re excited to have our own Defining Innovation event on September 24th with Whole Foods Market Co-Founder John Mackey, sponsored by CapTech, Fair Trade Outsourcing, Agile Cat and SEI.

September always offers inspiration. Art is Essential recognizes the role that artists play in generating that inspiration and actually pays them $1,000 for it. Wherever you are finding your creativity this month, we hope it’s a good one. These programs and events show that while this September will be different, it can still be a time of connection, understanding and hope.


Diana Lind
Executive Director
Arts + Business Council

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