ABOVE PHOTO: Marvin Sapp
An exhilarating array of original, artistic programming will link the arts with civil rights history as the Mann continues the Philadelphia Freedom Festival, it began February. The Philadelphia Freedom Festival is a seven–‐month endeavor to commemorate the life and legacy of Octavius V. Catto, a 19th–‐century Philadelphian and African–‐American civil rights pioneer who was a tireless advocate for equality in the city and the nation.
The re–‐emergence of Octavius V. Catto as an extraordinarily important figure in Philadelphia’s 19th–‐century history, and indeed in the history of the nation’s civil rights movement, motivated the creation of the Octavius V. Catto Memorial Fund. The principal purpose of the Fund is to erect a permanent memorial in Catto’s honor, befitting the stature of one of the city’s greatest citizens. The memorial will be erected on the southwest apron of City Hall where Catto can be seen alongside other historical figures. The Catto statue will be the only public work of art in the City of Philadelphia dedicated to a sole African American.
The Festival events include in–‐school participatory workshops, a master class with commissioned composer and Philadelphia native Uri Caine, an old–‐fashioned spiritual revival with blended voices from the local church community, a spoken word performance, scholarly panel discussions, engaging youth performances, and a celebration honoring some of Philadelphia’s leading African–‐American women. The culmination of this groundbreaking festival is a concert on the main stage at the Mann featuring award–‐winning gospel artist Dr. Marvin Sapp, a 300–‐voice gospel choir, and the premiere of Caine’s original orchestral composition inspired by the life of Catto to be performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra. Several of the events will be free and open to the public.
Sing Freedom Sing July 19, 2014 Main Stage Concert at the Mann 8 – 10 p.m.
The premier event of the festival, this concert will feature special guest artist Dr. Marvin Sapp along with the Philadelphia Orchestra, a 300–‐voice choir, headline soloists, and praise dancers. The concert will also feature the original composition of Philadelphia native Uri Cane, commissioned for the 2014 Philadelphia Freedom Festival. Pre–‐concert event on PECO Plaza featuring the “Trailblazers to Freedom Digital Interactive Media Traveling Trunk”, Catto re–‐enactor Robert Branch, and Enon Children’s Choir.
Freedom Youth Jamboree July 29, 2014 Young People’s Concert Series
11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
A free summer children’s concert featuring the Rock School of Dance Education performing “Catto at the Bat,” a classical baseball ballet on pointe, and the Philadelphia Boys Choir performing Negro Spirituals and traditional Gospel music.
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC