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WebPanel_2013 Festival


The 12th Annual First Person Arts Festival

Presented by Penn’s Master of Liberal Arts Program and Harmelin Media

Christ Church Neighborhood House and other venues throughout Philadelphia, PA
November 6-16, 2013

The only festival of its kind in the world, the 12th Annual First Person Arts Festival featured powerful personal stories from leading national artists and everyday people.


2013 Festival performances included an evening of Conversation and Song with Sonia Sanchez, Toni Morrison, Rita Dove, and Ruth Naomi Floyd; master storyteller Mike Daisey; the return of Kevin Allison’s RISK!; Moth GrandSLAM champion Peter Aguero in the Philly premiere of his one-man show; a new storytelling and song event hosted by Martha Graham Cracker; stories from Yaba Blay’s (1)ne Drop Project, and the world premiere of a new hip-hop dance and spoken word piece by award-winning dancer/choreographer Raphael Xavier. Plus, Festival favorite, the Grand Slam.

The fourth season of First Person Arts RAW featured new boundary-pushing works in memoir and documentary by The Naked Stark and Team Sunshine Performance Corporation.


Featured authors included Dani Shapiro and Beth Kephart in a discussion on the power of writing, plus the return of Sonia Sanchez in conversation with Ana Castillo and Angela Davis.


The Berley Brothers of Franklin Fountain and Shane Confectionery fame hosted an old-fashioned taffy pull.


Workshops included storytelling workshops with Mike Daisey and Kevin Allison, a food-focused memoir workshop with Beth Kephart, and the return of the popular Humanizing History tour.

To receive info about next year’s First Person Arts Festival, sign up for our email list here.

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Special thanks to our Festival partner, Philadelphia Film Festival.

Upcoming Events
  • StorySlam @ L’Etage: Wild Things
  • Date: April 22, 2014
  • Time: Doors at 7:30PM, Slam starts at 8:30PM
  • Venue: L'Etage Cabaret
  • Location: 6th and Bainbridge Streets, Philadelphia
  • StorySlam @ Underground Arts: Grand Slam
  • Date: May 16, 2014
  • Time: 8PM
  • Venue: Underground Arts
  • Location: 1200 Callowhill St., Philadelphia