Culture & Creativity Q&A with Julie Coker at Philadelphia CVB

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Julie Coker

Prevue asked Julie Coker, Sr VP, Convention Division for the Philadelphia CVB, for her thoughts about cultural and creative programs.

Q: What are some unique cultural venues in Philadelphia that host group events?

A: With one of the world’s largest collections of Impressionist art, American masterpieces, outdoor sculptures and more than 3,000 murals throughout the city, Philadelphia ranks as a world-class arts destination. Along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, cultural venues provide the perfect backdrop for hosting group events of many sizes.

Attendees can get up-close and personal with the extensive collections of Impressionist, post-Impressionist and early modern works, housed by The Barnes Foundation, the Rodin Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Philadelphia is also home to the African American Museum in Philadelphia, which will host “Come See About Me,” an exhibition on The Supremes, late January through June 30, 2013. With five levels of floor space, this museum is the first institution built by a major U.S. city to interpret the life and work of African Americans.

Q: What are some unique venues that celebrate creativity and innovation?

A: Innovation and creativity have been at the heart of the Philadelphia story since iconic Philadelphian Ben Franklin created the first university and began experimenting with electricity. This creative spirit still exists today and can be seen at venues like the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, which transformed the arts landscape in our city through its unique architectural design and artistic programming.

And with resources dedicated to science, learning and discovery, the Franklin Institute is another excellent venue that champions innovation and creativity.

Q: What festivals and cultural events can planners incorporate into programs?

A: Philadelphia has many annual events that groups can incorporate into their programs. With the Pennsylvania Convention Center now 62% larger since the expansion, allowing two large groups to meet simultaneously, planners can time their meetings with the Philadelphia International Flower Show—the world’s largest indoor flower show—or the Philadelphia Auto Show, a world-renowned auto show featuring the latest models.

Other events include the Global Fusion Festival in July, which celebrates the fusion of Philadelphia’s multicultural communities, presented by the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Multicultural Affairs Congress, as well as Wawa Welcome America!, the nation’s largest free Independence Day celebration.

Q: What are some restaurants and cuisine reflective of Philadelphia’s culture and community?

A: Philadelphia’s culinary scene draws from many diverse influences. Our sandwich love affair has given birth to gastronomical creations such as the award-winning roast pork sandwich from DiNic’s eatery in the Reading Terminal Market. The city is also known for the BYOB dining experience, which has led to a great crop of BYOBs including Bistro La Baia, Mercato and Garces Trading Company.

Other hot spots include Alma de Cuba, the Israeli-themed Zahav, vegetarian bistros in Chinatown and Iron Chef Morimoto’s popular restaurant, Morimoto.



Senior VP, Convention Division

Philadelphia CVB


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