The Germantown Arts District (GAD Philly) is organizing an April community art festival to showcase local artists and encourage community participation. The festival will cover two blocks of Germantown Avenue and may extend to Chelten Avenue through a crowdfunding campaign. GAD Philly aims to raise $25,000 to cover event costs and maintain a strong presence in the community. The festival will feature different creative zones in which attendees are encouraged to participate.

Photo from he GAD Block Party last year. (Photo: Steven CW Taylor)

For Kristen Clark, founder and executive director of the Germantown Arts District, organizing a festival for the arts in her hometown of Germantown will be a dream come true.

“We hosted a block party back in September [which] was a success; Folks came out, were able to enjoy themselves, and essentially voiced their desire for more,” said Clark. “[Our upcoming festival] will be my first festival. I’ve been dreaming about this my entire life, and I really wanted to be able to give my community, Germantown, a space like this.”

On April 20th, The Germantown Arts District (GAD) will bring the vision alive with an interactive community festival. The festival will aim to uplift and showcase local artists while inviting the community to participate.

Currently, the event will operate from Armat to Coulter Street, combining two blocks of space across Germantown Avenue. 

To help make it as grand as possible, the GAD has posted a crowdfund to help cover the event costs that Clark hopes will be the “largest interactive arts festival in the region.” Raising funds is essential for the nine-month-old non-profit organization as it helps it maintain its strong presence in the community.

If the crowdfunding is successful, the GAD hopes to extend the festival to Chelten Avenue. Their goal is to raise $25,000.

“This festival is ‘for us by us,’ and this is just another opportunity [to show] how this is truly the people’s festival,” Clark said. “This crowdfunding campaign is a testament to my faith in my community—instead of there being a ticket price, we’re providing the opportunity for people to donate.” 

The funds raised will go towards various equipment necessary for the festival’s set-up, event marketing, food and art vendors, and providing performers, such as musicians, with a stipend for their efforts.

One can donate to their GoFundMe at

The festival will be separated into different ‘creative zones’ themed with various artistic expressions. Each zone will hold a variety of vendors and activities associated with a particular expression.

“If you’re a person who’s really into photography, [a zone] will have photography-based vendors, a photography-based gallery, artists displaying their work, and a couple workshops for you to register for that will help you on your journey to photography,” she said.

“Another example would be the culinary area; I think it’s very important that we highlight what that looks like in Germantown and in Philly,” Clark added. “That zone would essentially be where the food trucks would be, and different vendors that are offering some sort of interaction around food.”

Clark described the other zones as “Kid Zone, HBCU, Craft & Makers, and Music & Performance Arts.” Vendors and activities for the culinary arts will be sprinkled throughout the festival.

A festival planning team has also been formed, composed of artists from across the city who will curate the many components of the day. These artists include KRiS, Femi Olatunji, The Bul Bey, Antonio Wooden, Khadijah Renee, Natyna Bean, Karisa Augustine, and Way V Wilson.

“It’s extremely important that we’re able to raise this money so we can serve as many people as possible,” Clark said. “It’s an interactive festival, which means that there will be supplies needed, and we want to make sure we have enough space [to the point where] everyone feels like they can take up space.”

Giving the people of the community a chance to participate directly in a variety of art forms is an essential motive for the GAD.

“Instead of just coming to a festival to consume art, you’re coming to create art and have a good time,” Clark said. “We’re asking for 100% participation when it comes to attendees; [we want them to] engage, do an activity, and leave having created something, even if it was for a moment.” 

“We believe that all people are creative individuals — everyone needs to be able to have a creative outlet in order to reach some sort of stable quality of life,” she added. “We’re hoping everyone comes out and views this space as a space that is safe enough to just be, and be vulnerable enough to create.” 

Anyone interested in being a vendor, performer, sponsor, planner, or volunteer in the operation of the event can visit