On August 29, 2018, I had coffee with Jessica Scipione, Development Director at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center (PPAC).
I have seen many changes at PPAC in recent years, including Jessica’s arrival. The artist lab, where I make my prints, and the exhibit space have changed little, but much else has, especially outreach into the neighboring community.
Four years ago, in partnership with The Print Center, the annual Philadelphia Book Arts Fair began. PPAC’s Teen Photo program has really taken off, introducing many young people to the art of photography.
Most recently, the PPAC launched the Women’s Mobile Museum, a year-long artist residency, apprenticeship program, studio space, and exhibition offered to ten women photographers who otherwise had little connection to the world of art.
The workshop and class offerings have exploded, especially in the last year.
I am delighted with all of these developments at PPAC even though I am no longer a book publisher, no longer a teen, and am a guy too old to learn much.
Jessica and I did talk about possibilities that might benefit my local photography group, the Brandywine Photo Collective. Jessica offered to arrange a tour of the PPAC for our group, and I assume would be willing to do the same for your group. We also talked about the possibility of our group giving a show-and-tell one evening at PPAC. If that happens and is successful, perhaps PPAC could arrange similar presentations by local photo groups.
Meanwhile, the PPAC is looking forward to the years to come. Shall it stay in the current space or find something better? Can the leadership transition smoothly from the founders to new leaders with new ideas? How shall it evolve through the 2020s?