The Rotunda

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therotunda.org

The Rotunda.
The Rotunda gives the following descriptive information:
The Rotunda, located at 4014 Walnut Street in Philadelphia, PA, is a community-gathering place that is fueled by the belief that art is a catalyst for social change and that the arts can lead to the formation of meaningful partnerships between the University of Pennsylvania and surrounding neighborhoods. Over 300 events are offered every year, including live music, film, spoken word, theater, art, dance, education, youth programs, arts incubation, and various experimental genres. As an alcohol-free, smoke-free venue, The Rotunda provides a critical social alternative for all ages. At its core, The Rotunda is a shared space fostering learning, enrichment, and community support while empowering the public to present, produce, and promote their work.

History

Built in 1911 as a house of worship originally for the First Church of Christ Scientist, it was designed by Carrere and Hastings, the New York-based firm who set the tone of the American classicism of the twentieth century. With its low, tile-roofed narthex, circular main hall (AKA the sanctuary), and oversized windows, The building is of unsurpassed simplicity and elegance recalling Early Christian spaces such as Rome’s Santa Sabina. The University of Pennsylvania purchased the building in 1996 as a strategic acquisition tied to a large scale community investment strategy known as the West Philadelphia Initiatives.

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