Fairmount Park Art Association
In June 2010, the Fairmount Park Art Association launched Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO, a multi-platform, interactive audio experience for Philadelphia’s preeminent collection of public art and outdoor sculpture. This innovative program invites passersby to stop, look, listen and experience public art in a new light, through professionally produced three-minute interpretive audio segments revealing the untold histories of 51 outdoor sculptures at 35 stops along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Kelly Drive. The diverse narratives are told by over 100 authentic voices with personal connections to the artwork. Accessible through multiple platforms, Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO is available to the public for free on the street by cell phone by calling (215) 399-9000, mobile application, audio download, or streaming audio on the official program website at museumwithoutwallsaudio.org.
The “authentic voice” narrative structure of Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO offers a fresh approach for talking about public art and reaching new audiences. Each narrative compliments the viewer’s experience of outdoor sculpture with a program that is as unique as the artwork it describes, featuring different voices, themes, and production styles, produced by award-winning public radio producers and journalists. Programs explore personal and cultural connections to the art, while offering insight into the artists and their processes, what the sculptures represent, the history surrounding the works, and why the pieces were commissioned and installed at specific sites in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia has more outdoor sculpture than any other American city, yet this exceptional collection too often goes unnoticed by residents and visitors. “Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO is ultimately about discovery,” says Penny Balkin Bach, Executive Director of the Fairmount Park Art Association. “The program is a gateway to a larger cultural experience – someone might walk by a sculpture hundreds of times, without ever stopping to think much about it. There is a distinctive story, civic effort, and creative expression behind every public sculpture in Philadelphia. We’ve worked with an outstanding team of professionals to develop a unique program to tell these stories – one that we hope will be a model for public art in other cities across the country.”
As the nation’s first private, nonprofit organization dedicated to integrating public art and urban planning, the Fairmount Park Art Association, founded in 1872, commissions, conserves and interprets outdoor sculpture throughout Philadelphia. Public art in Philadelphia has been initiated by a wide range of individuals, organizations, and agencies. The Fairmount Park Art Association was directly involved in the acquisition and conservation of many of the 51 sculptures featured in the first phase of Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO. The Art Association plans to expand the program in the future to include more of the city’s public art.
“The Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO program will provide a high quality way for more people – from tourists to residents – from art enthusiasts to recreational users – to access information and experience outdoor sculpture in an innovative, engaging, fun and meaningful way,” says Meryl Levitz, President and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation.
EXPERIENCE MUSEUM WITHOUT WALLS™: AUDIO
Accessible through multiple platforms, Philadelphia visitors and residents will have the opportunity to experience Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO programs for free on the street by cell phone, audio download, or streaming audio on the official program website: museumwithoutwallsaudio.org
- Permanent outdoor signage located at each sculpture features dialing instructions for accessing the program by cell phone by calling (215) 399-9000.
- The official Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO website offers online audio slideshows for all 35 audio programs, and high-quality stereo downloads of each program for use on personal iPods, MP3 players and other audio devices.
- An official Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO mobile application is available for use on the iPhone, Blackberry, and Android.
- A free map and guide is available at the Fairmount Park Welcome Center in LOVE Park and local visitor centers and nearby cultural institutions.
- The Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO website also promotes user-generated content, inviting Philadelphia visitors and residents to send in their own stories and submit personal photos of favorite public art works.
The Fairmount Park Art Association is the nation’s first private, nonprofit organization dedicated to integrating public art and urban planning. Founded in 1872 by concerned citizens who believed that art could play a role in a growing city, the Art Association initially focused on enhancing Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park with sculpture. The organization’s work soon expanded beyond the park to the city as a whole, and today the Art Association commissions, conserves, and interprets public art in neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia. The Fairmount Park Art Association works closely with the City’s Public Art Office, Fairmount Park, and other organizations and agencies responsible for placing and caring for outdoor sculpture in Philadelphia. Visit www.fpaa.org for more information about the Art Association, a public art map with descriptions of over 100 works of outdoor sculpture, and tips for learning about public art in Philadelphia and other cities.
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Fairmount Park Art Association
1616 Walnut Street, Suite 2012
Philadelphia, PA 19103-5313