The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia – the first art museum in America – displayed the work of a different kind of artist on a warm spring night when Ani DiFranco played the Artists Den stage. Before a packed gallery in the Academy’s Historic Landmark Building, which opened in 1876 for the nation’s Centennial Exposition and World’s Fair, the prolific, fiercely independent folk singer-songwriter gave a special performance of both fan favorites and new songs from her album, Red Letter Year.
The first art museum in America – displayed the work of a different kind of artist on a warm spring night when Ani DiFranco played the Artists Den stage.
Behind the Den
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Since releasing her first recording in 1990, Ani DiFranco has established herself as one of the most influential and inspirational artists of the modern era – she was named on CMJ’s list of the 25 most influential artists of the last 25 years – while remaining steadfastly independent. DiFranco’s signature percussive fingerpicking, expressive vocals, and incisive lyrics shine through once again on Red Letter Year (Righteous Babe Records), her 16th studio album. She has gone on to receive numerous awards for her artistic achievements and work in global activism.
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts was founded in 1805 by painter and scientist Charles Willson Peale, sculptor William Rush, and other artists and business leaders. It is the oldest art museum and school in the nation. PAFA’s museum is internationally known for its collections of 19th- and 20th-century American paintings, sculptures, and works on paper. Carefully restored in 1976, the current museum building opened in 1876 and is a National Historic Landmark. It is recognized as an important part of Philadelphia’s – and America’s – architectural heritage. Photography courtesy of Erika Goldring for Artists Den Entertainment