Founded in late 2005, Bowerbird presents over 70 events annually, including many important world and Philadelphia premieres and rare appearances, and has emerged as a vital forum for the most disparate forms of creativity. Championing local, national, and international artists, as well as the work of significant historical figures, Bowerbird provides an important platform for understanding and critique of broader conceptual and global trends and seeks to enhance society’s understanding and appreciation of these artistic contributions by not only presenting artists and their ideas, but also discussing them openly and critically.
A key component of the Bowerbird community is an active group of Philadelphia based artists who participate both as performers and in the audience. In addition to giving these artists a greater voice, Bowerbird is particularly interested in helping them realize special projects and bringing their work into dialogue within a wider cultural context.
While much of the music presented challenges the physical and cognitive limits of both the performer and listener, Bowerbird fosters an openness for new concepts and perspectives and encourages artistic expression and exploration. Many of the events are presented in intimate and friendly spaces, frequently dispensing with the formality of a concert hall or the distractions of a jazz club, to present the music in a focused but open and accessible environment. By working with a variety of organizations, Bowerbird is able to present these events, at little or no cost to the public, at a variety of unique spaces all over Philadelphia.
Bowerbird also acts as an important bridge between artists, audiences, and many cultural institutions in Philadelphia, and works regularly with very diverse organizations including major cultural institutions – the Gershman Y, the Institute of Contemporary Art, International House Philadelphia; community oriented organizations – the Rotunda, University City Arts League (UCAL), the Community Education Center (CEC); small galleries – Vox Populi, Nexus, Pageant Soloveev, Slought Foundation; faith-based organizations – Circle of Hope and Broad Street Ministry; and local promoters and record labels – Badmaster, R5 Procuctions, Breathmint, and High Two. Bowerbird also participates annually in the Kimmel Center Summer Solstice as a featured presenter and has presented major events in collaboration with the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival. Among the organizations most innovative partnerships is the critically acclaimed Bowerbird@Landmarks, a partnership with the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks that brings Bowerbird’s cultural offerings to a number of historic 18th and 19th century museum homes. Additionally, Bowerbird works closely with SoundField, a multi-city music festival, to help its Philadelphia programs have a broader impact in the region.