Moore Wins Knight Arts Challenge

For Immediate Release
April 23, 2012

(PHILADELPHIA, PA) – In the summer of 2013, The Galleries at Moore College of Art & Design will create an urban “drive-in” movie theater experience on The Parkway, thanks to support from the  John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The audience need only bring a blanket or lawn chair. The films are free and, in place of the traditional concession stand, Philadelphia food trucks will serve up a variety of street snacks.

From June through August, a series of independent films made by Philadelphia-based filmmakers will be presented on a large outdoor screen in an open, grassy area in Aviator Park across from Moore College of Art & Design at 20th Street and The Parkway. The filmmakers will be present to introduce their work and participate in a Q & A session with moviegoers following the credits. In the spirit of classic drive-in theaters, video works and short films by area artists and filmmakers will precede feature presentations. The Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia grant will underwrite the first two seasons of the series.

“By reclaiming a disappearing American cultural phenomenon and redefining the experience for a new, urban audience, the series will rekindle the spirit of community that existed around the original drive-in theaters” says Kaytie Johnson, director and curator of The Galleries at Moore. “Not only will the project further animate The Parkway as a cultural gathering place, it will bring exposure to the work of area artists and filmmakers by allowing them to present their work to a broad public audience.”

“The arts have an incredible power to activate everyday spaces, transforming them into the staging grounds for collective events that build great communities. We’re excited by this twist on a classic, and how it will use the idea to feature local artists and foods,” said Dennis Scholl, vice president for arts, Knight Foundation.

Through its take on the traditional “drive-in,” The Galleries at Moore will initiate creative conversations that extend beyond gallery (and theater) walls and provide educational programs that connect the public with artists and their ideas. The project expands The Galleries’ longstanding dedication to showcasing the work of emerging Philadelphia-based artists and its role as a venue for exhibitions and programs focusing on innovative ideas in contemporary art and visual culture. The series also furthers Philadelphia’s commitment to animating The Parkway.

The Galleries at Moore were among 1,267 applicants who answered the question: “What’s your best idea for the arts in Philadelphia?”  A diverse group, including individual artists, artist collectives, community groups, jazz and classical music organizations, theater companies and educational institutions offered a wide array of innovative ideas, but only fifty-five – including The Galleries at Moore – were selected as finalists. The winners of the 2012 Knight Arts Challenge were announced during a special reception at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on April 23.

The Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia is a three-year, $9 million initiative to draw the best and most innovative ideas out of local organizations and individuals seeking to transform the community through the arts.  For more on the series and The Galleries at Moore visit

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About The Galleries at Moore

The Galleries at Moore present a diverse range of exhibitions and educational programs that offer insights into the work of established and emerging regional, national, and international artists and designers. In addition, The Galleries serve as a forum for exploring contemporary issues and ideas that enrich the artistic and intellectual climate of the College, the Greater Philadelphia community, and beyond.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. Knight believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. Now in its second year, the Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia is a three-year, $9 million community-wide contest seeking the most innovative ideas in the arts to engage and enrich Philadelphia’s communities. For more, visit and

Moore College of Art & Design educates students for inspiring careers in art and design. Founded in 1848, Moore is the nation's first and only women's art college. Moore's career-focused environment and professionally active faculty form a dynamic community in the heart of Philadelphia's cultural district. The College offers nine Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees for women. A coeducational Graduate Studies program was launched in summer, 2009. In addition, Moore provides many valuable opportunities in the arts through The Galleries at Moore, a Continuing Education Certificate program for adults, the 91-year-old acclaimed Youth Art Program for girls and boys grades 1-12, The Art Shop and the Sculpture Park. For more information about Moore, visit
Published on April 24th, 2012