PHILADELPHIA — Furthering its mission to promote and interpret public art in Philadelphia, the Association for Public Art (aPA) has launched the newest phase of its award-winning Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO, featuring 30 new audio programs for artworks located throughout Fairmount Park and Center City, including new stops for sculptures on and around City Hall and in Rittenhouse Square.
This innovative multi-platform audio program, started in 2010, now includes a total of 65 audio programs featuring more than 150 “voices” — people from all walks of life who have connections to the public artworks that enliven Philadelphia’s outdoor spaces. Phase 2 voices include Mayor Michael Nutter; artist Claes Oldenburg; David Kim, concert master and solo violinist with the Philadelphia Orchestra; Timothy Rub, director and CEO of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Judith F. Dolkart, deputy director of art and archival collections at the Barnes Foundation; Kay Buffamonte, lead keeper of the “Big Cat Falls” at the Philadelphia Zoo; Dorothy Lichtenstein, widow of artist Roy Lichtenstein; and many more.
Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO is available to the public for free on multiple platforms, including: cell phone, by calling (215) 399-9000; a new and improved mobile app for iPhone or Android; or audio download/streaming audio on the official program website, museumwithoutwallsaudio.org. The expansion of the audio program also includes 17 new permanent sculpture signs that are being installed throughout the Park and Center City.
“Since its launch, the program has resulted in over 25,000 audience contacts, and feedback — both from users and the field — has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Penny Balkin Bach, executive director of the Association for Public Art. “Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO enables us reach a large cross-section of people, and brings much-deserved attention to Philadelphia’s exceptional collection of public art.”
The narrative structure of Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO offers a fresh approach for talking about public art and reaching new audiences. Each narrative complements the viewer’s experience of outdoor sculpture with a program that is as unique as the artwork it describes, featuring different voices, themes and production styles, produced by award-winning public radio producers and journalists. Programs explore personal and cultural connections to the art, while offering insight into the artists and their processes, what the sculptures represent, the history surrounding the works, and why the pieces were commissioned and installed at specific sites in Philadelphia.
PHASE 2 ARTWORKS
Works in Phase 2 of Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO include Claes Oldenburg’s iconic Clothespin near City Hall; Roy Lichtenstein’s colorful Brushstroke Group outside the United Plaza Building at 17th and Market Streets; Paul Manship’s Duck Girl in Rittenhouse Square; Martin Puryear’s Pavilion in the Trees at the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center; Jody Pinto’s Fingerspan, a functional bridge located along the Wissahickon Creek trail; the monument to Frank L. Rizzo outside the Municipal Services Building at 15th Street and JFK Boulevard; and many more.
PHASE 2 PRODUCERS
All of the audio programs were created by experienced producers using professional-quality recording and editing equipment, and mixed by an audio engineer for optimum sound quality. Segment producers include John DeLore, writer, musician and audio engineer at WNYC; Alex Gallafent, New York-based correspondent for PRI’s The World; Marit Haahr, consulting producer for Tablet magazine and former story editor for VH1; Jenny Lawton, editor of studio360.org; John Myers, producer for WHYY’s Fresh Air Weekend; Sarah P. Reynolds, host of NPR’s Weekend Edition and All Things Considered; Yowei Shaw, director of Philly Youth Radio; and many others. The project has been developed in collaboration with Fairmount Park, one of the nation’s oldest and largest park systems, with the support of the Park’s historic preservation staff.
EXPERIENCE MUSEUM WITHOUT WALLS™: AUDIO
Philadelphia visitors and residents can experience Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO programs for free on the street by cell phone, mobile application, audio download, or streaming audio on the official program website: museumwithoutwallsaudio.org.
- Permanent outdoor signage located at each sculpture features dialing instructions for accessing the program by cell phone by calling (215) 399-9000.
- The official Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO website, museumwithoutwallsaudio.org, offers online audio slideshows for all 35 audio programs, and high-quality stereo downloads of each program for use on personal iPods, MP3 players and other audio devices.
- An official Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO mobile app is available for use on the iPhone and Android platforms.
- A free map and guide is available at the Fairmount Park Welcome Center in LOVE Park and local visitor centers and nearby cultural institutions.
- The Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO website also promotes user-generated content, inviting Philadelphia visitors and residents to send in their own stories and submit personal photos of favorite public art works.
ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION FOR PUBLIC ART
The Association for Public Art (aPA, formerly Fairmount Park Art Association) commissions, preserves, promotes and interprets public art in Philadelphia. Since its founding in 1872, aPA has worked with artists, communities and civic leaders to make encounters with art a part of everyday life, creating a Museum Without Walls that is free and accessible to residents and visitors. As the nation’s first private nonprofit organization dedicated to integrating public art and urban planning, aPA has an unparalleled and pioneering history, characterized by artistic excellence, creative initiative, collaboration and civic engagement. Working closely with city agencies, aPA remains today a central resource and contributor to Philadelphia’s enduring reputation as an important place to view and experience the evolution of public art. Through aPA’s free, interactive public programs, website and publications, Philadelphians and visitors are invited to experience civic spaces enlivened by artists and art; to discover the city’s vast collection of public art; and to connect to a shared cultural legacy. For more information, visit associationforpublicart.org.