Painted Bride Art Center

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Coordinates: 39°57′21″N 75°08′38″W / 39.9557°N 75.143878°W / 39.9557; -75.143878

The front of the Painted Bride Art Center, showing Skin of the Bride, a mosaic by Philadelphia artist Isaiah Zagar which covers the entire building; the text along the top says "The Bride has many suitors, even", a reference to Marcel Duchamp's The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even
Detail of the mosaic over the main entrance

The Painted Bride Art Center, sometimes referred to informally as The Bride, is a non-profit artist-centered performance space and gallery particularly oriented to presenting the work of local Philadelphia artists, which presents dance, jazz, world, folk and electronic music, visual arts, theatre and performance art, poetry and spoken word performances.[1][2] It is located at 230 Vine Street between N. 2nd and N. 3rd Streets in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,

The Painted Bride was founded as a gallery space in an old bridal shop on South Street in 1969 by Gerry Givnish, Sylvia and Larry Konigsberg, and other visual artists. Its name derives from a mannequin placed in the shop's window, which became an attraction as people came by to see what provocative outfit it was wearing, or what lewd position it was placed in. In 1973, the gallery gave rise to the Painted Bride Quarterly, a poetry and literary journal, and in 1982 it moved to its current location.

The Bride, which is part of the National Performance Network[3] includes a 225-seat performance space – the Gerry Givnish Theatre – and has several galleries in which to mount visual arts shows. The New York Times referred to the center as a "wonderful, welcoming and often edgy" venue which "set the trend of cultural activity in Old City" when it was founded.[2]

The center receives funding from numerous sources. In 1984, it was the only Philadelphia arts institution to be awarded a $100,000 challenge grant by the National Endowment for the Arts,[4] but by 1996, with Federal grants to the arts diminishing, it received only $10,000, which was $20,000 less than had been budgeted for that performance year.[5] The center also receives funding from the City of Philadelphia [6] and the Pew Charitable Trust.[7]

The outside of the former industrial building The Bride is located in is completely covered by Skin of the Bride, a mosaic by Philadelphia artist Isaiah Zagar, which he created between 1991 and 2000 and donated to the center.[8]

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