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The Post  
Council to hold expansive hearing on reopening and funding Philadelphia's creative economy 5/7 9a-1p
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 05/06/21 8:11 pm | updated: 05/06/21 8:11 pm
Philadelphia City Council's Committee on Global Opportunities and the Creative Innovative Economy - chaired by Councilmember David Oh - will host 30 expert witnesses from Philadelphia's diverse creative economy to explore solutions for accelerating the industry's reopening and recovery.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Philadelphia's internationally recognized creative economy generated over $900 million in household income, $157 million in tax revenue, and sustained 37,000 jobs. Today, the industry is reeling from a year of public health restrictions, mass closures, mounting debt, and widespread budget cuts.

Last year, the Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy was cut from Philadelphia's operating budget. The operational functions of the office were transferred to the Managing Director's office. In FY21, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund (housed under the office) did receive $1 million in the final budget passed by Council, one third of its FY20 budget of $3.1 million. The FY22 proposed budget is $2 million. (see also:


Councilmember Oh is holding the hearing - pursuant to Resolution No. 200339 - to receive direct input from industry stakeholders on how best to reopen the economy and to better understand what funding will be required to sustain the industry's recovery in the months and years ahead.

The hearing will feature representatives from the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Ballet, World Cafe Live, Chris' Jazz Cafe, Milkboy Philadelphia, Local 77 Musicians Union, Philadelphia Fashion Week, and Council's Task Force on Arts and Culture, among others.

Additionally, several technology executives will appear before the Committee to discuss possible technological solutions - including cutting edge ventilation and COVID-19 testing systems - for reopening large-scale events. Among them is Wolfgang Gruber, CEO of the German technology firm Semic RF. The company is developing a smartphone app that can provide a COVID-19 test result with 95 percent accuracy via a picture of the eye. The app then provides the user with a digital QR code to be scanned at an event, such as a concert or sporting event.

The hearing will feature testimony from venue operators, creative entrepreneurs, heads of arts and culture organizations, independent performers, and technology executives.

WHEN: Friday, May 7, 2021, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
WHERE: Comcast Ch. 64, Verizon Ch. 40,

The full list of witnesses is as follows:
Wolfgang Gruber - President and CEO, Semic RF
David Ivory - President, Phila. Chapter, National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences
Dr. Christina Rahm Cook - Scientist, Researcher, Healthcare Consultant
Kevin Parker - Co-Founder, Philadelphia Fashion Week
Ori Botenski - CEO, Eagle X Pro
Sharon Pinkenson - Executive Director, Greater Philadelphia Film Office
Joseph Mirabile - President and CEO, United Safety and Survivability Group (USSG)
Bernard Resnick - Entertainment Lawyer, Professor, Villanova School of Law
Terry Cooke - Founder, Keystone COVID Response
Shelly Power - Executive Director, Pennsylvania Ballet
Adam Goodman - Partner, Goodman Properties
Greg Maughan - Founder, Executive Director, Philly Improv Theater
Joseph Wooten - Musician, Steve Miller Band, The Hands of Soul
Raheem Manning - Co-chair, City Council Arts and Culture Task Force
Dawn Summerville - Deputy Director of Commerce, City of Philadelphia
Ciarra Lambert - Co-chair, City Council Arts and Culture Task Force
Mark DeNinno - Owner and Operator, Chris Ja. Cafe
Jillian Bullock - Filmmaker, Founder, Jillian Bullock Enterprises, LLC
Kerri Park - COO, World Cafe Live
Nakia Dillard - Founder and Director, Instructor at Aiken Performing Arts
Tommy Joyner - Owner and Operator, Milkboy Cafe
Shameka Sawyer - Creative Director, 5 Shorts Project
Avram Hornlk - Owner, FCM Hospitality
Eli Blevins - CEO, Lu Entertainment
Lu Blevins - CEO, Lu Entertainment
Matias Tarnopolsky - President and CEO, Philadelphia Orchestra
Louis Scaglione - President, CEO, Musical Director, Philadelphia Youth Orchestra
Jimmy DaSaint - Author, Artist, Entrepreneur
Ellen Trainer - President, Local 77 Philadelphia's Musicians Union
DJ Casper - Songwriter, Producer, DJ

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