Art exhibit ‘Multitudes’ is brought to life through 4 live performances

Ill Doots will participate.

Philly’s latest showcase from PAFA and World Cafe Live takes the meaning of art, and delves a bit deeper with their new multi-sensory event/performance series titled ‘Multitudes.’ 

What this series aims to do next over the two months is provide a space to celebrate women artists, LGBTQIA+ artists, and artists of color. The activation kicks off next month on Feb. 4 and will feature four different evenings until its final day on March 18. 

Philadelphians can either head to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts or World Cafe Live to take part in the showcase, which features five musicians and three poets sharing their individual reflections of the artwork featured in PAFA’s ‘Making American Artists’ exhibition. 

That particular exhibit features over 100 of the “most acclaimed and iconic pieces in American art.” As a release states, the exhibit asks artists: What did it mean to be an American artist when the nation was founded? And how has that changed by the late-20th century? 

The exhibit features portraitures, history painting, still life, genre scenes, and landscape, and it’s organized by theme. With ‘Multitudes,’ artists are then asked to provide new narratives in American art history—the result is a highly personal illumination of what it means to be an American and an American artist today to those who take part. 

Artists involved in the ‘Multitude’ concert series (which will take place live at PAFA and World Cafe Live) include Kendrah Butler-Waters, Ill Doots, Kingsley Ibeneche, Salina Kuo, Raina Leon, Devi Majeske, Jaylene Clark Owens, and Kirwyn Sutherland.

Devi MajeskiProvided

The series of concerts and performances will take place on Feb. 4 at PAFA, Feb. 16 at World Cafe Live, then again at World Cafe Live on March 8, with the final performance then finishing up at PAFA on March 18. The artists were commissioned by WCL.

And for those who can’t make any of the four evenings coming up for ‘Multitudes’, its inspiration, ‘Making American Artists’ will be on display at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts until April 2. 

“Making American Artists is an epic collection of American art, featuring some of our nation’s most famous images and artists in new conversations with each other,” said  Eric Pryor, President and CEO of PAFA in a statement. 

Pryor continued: “When Charles Willson Peale founded PAFA with the sculptor William Rush in 1805, they created an institution that was devoted to groundbreaking initiatives in championing American art and artists—what that looks like has changed considerably throughout the last 217 years. This exhibition explores PAFA’s impressive collection with a critical eye and emphasizes its transformative contribution to the history of American Art.”

Each of the featured artists’ careers were said to be shaped by PAFA in the release, whether through their education or through exhibitions. The exhibition offers a “critical re-examination of this legacy while shedding light on PAFA’s continuing role in shaping American art in the 21st century.”

The exhibition includes work from Mary Cassatt, Thomas Eakins, Barkley Hendricks, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, May Howard Jackson, Alice Neel, Georgia O’Keefe, Charles Willson Peale, Sonia Sekula, Henry O. Tanner, Dox Thrash, and Andrew Wyeth. 


To find out more information on ‘Multitudes,’ visit