We are First Person Arts, a Philadelphia nonprofit organization that celebrates the power of the personal. Our storytelling, social impact, and festival programs reinforce our mission: everyone has a story to tell, and sharing these stories connects us with each other and the world.
Whether you consider yourself an artist or observer, you have a story. And we have a way for you to share it, at a StorySlam, through a memoir writing class, or at the annual First Person Arts Festival.
“FPA has created more than an arts org. More than a community. It’s a family.” –SM Shrake, Founder of Washington DC’s Story League
“I feel like I am part of the FPA family when I attend any event. Everyone in Philadelphia should see a Slam. It might change your life. Honestly.” – Sarah P.
“Simply Amazing. Drop everything and get out to one of their events!” – Mel Orpen
“When it comes to unique forms of entertainment in Philly it really doesn’t get any better than First Person Arts. From their highly addictive First Person StorySlams that they hold each month, to their annual festival of memoir and documentary art, to the hilarious Youtube channel that is used to document it all; they are the masters of making stories from average joes like you and I so damn entertaining!” – Bill M.
“When I started going to StorySlams it was all about me. I wanted my words, my stories, my experiences to get “out there” to the public. FPA was my vehicle. But it’s not all about me anymore; It’s about all the storytellers who have the guts and bravery to get up there on stage and bare their souls. These are amazing people who give of themselves with humor, pathos, and reality. They are sharing their lives and it is awesome. We are a group of people who are fearless in our fear. We open our hearts and share our souls and allow ourselves to be judged by the world. That’s pretty amazing. I’m glad I opened my mind and allowed myself to listen.” –Kitty Hailey
“I was certainly looking for a group of people who enjoyed spilling their inner secrets and personal anecdotes the first time I saw a First Person Arts show in late 2012. Each time I come back to an FPA event, I meet a few more people and connect with Philly’s interpersonal landscape. Though I’ve never arrived on stage, I’ve grown as a person having interacted with each performer’s story, and what their message has to teach me. I’ve been able to find my own narrative and remember where I call home now.” –Ryan McAlpine