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Arts and Culture

Creative expression in its various forms is a powerful aspect of community building. From visual arts and dance to music, writing, and spoken word, participants come to learn new skills, develop their own original work, and share creative accomplishments. The Dornsife Center offers a community canvas for artists, designers, writers, and dancers from both Drexel and West Philadelphia to create new projects together.

BRING IT FROM HERE: the 2016 Writers Room Big Read launch

Writers Room was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Big Read grant in 2016. Zora Neale Hurston's celebrated novel Their Eyes Were Watching God was the focus, and the form was a seven-week celebration of Hurston's life and work, taking a cue from the notion that Hurston wrote the novel in seven weeks. The Big Read featured a launch keynote and celebration, workshops on field recording, a cooking workshop, dance and movement programming, a "'Zines for Zora" project, and a collaborative reading of this special novel.



Community writers come together in this program to develop, workshop, and share their original work in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Coordinated out of Drexel's Writing Center and Department of English and Philosophy, Writers Room produces an annual anthology, accompanied by a public reading event, and hosts engaging writing workshops and classes through the year. You can read about our writers and see their work at the Writers Room website here.

Writers Room 2016 Anthology Reading


Drexel's Department of Performing Arts offers free dance classes designed for both children, adults, and seniors: creative movement, ballet and jazz, choreography and modern dance, adult movement, and senior dance fitness. 


The Department of Performing Arts brings us free music lessons in voice, guitar, and percussion for young people ages 9 - 17, while the Music Industry Program offers computer-based music production workshops for teens and adults.


Artists from Drexel, Mantua, Powelton Village, and West Philadelphia display their visual arts projects and perform at special events. At each monthly community dinner we share a visual arts mini-exhibit, while local musicians entertain. Events like the Big Read have brought community artists together to create exciting collaborative projects.

West Powelton Steppers performing with the funk band Darla