It all began five years ago when a sculptor, a nurse practitioner, and an Eastern arts instructor, all longtime West Philly residents, opened a multipurpose space at 4522 Baltimore Avenue. Since then Studio 34 has been fostering a sense of community through their health and wellness classes, art exhibitions and events. To celebrate their 5th anniversary, the Studio 34 co-founders – Angela Norris, James Peniston and Stephen Fisher and owner Jason Schoen – are inviting everyone this Saturday to a big party “filled with all things West Philly and wonderful.”
Here’s what’s in store for Saturday evening at the studio, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
- Dessert Potluck
- Music by Philly’s favorite songstress, Birdie Busch
- Big dance party with West Philly’s samba drummers, Unidos de Filadelfia
- Free raffle with a chance to win classes and other goodies
Also on Saturday there will be a grand opening of Studio 34 BackSpace, with tours of the space offered during the event.
The BackSpace, which opened in October 2012, has an art and music focus and will include a low-cost community recording studio currently being built in collaboration with the West Philly band Buried Beds. Once the recording studio is up and running, Studio 34 will start offering Music Recording/Production 101 courses.
The BackSpace is used for hosting private events, music shows, queer proms, workshops, theater rehearsals, and even baby showers. The grand opening on Saturday will kick off a schedule of classes (small to start) with local artists and musicians.
“Our goal is to collaborate with local talent in a way that brings awareness to the incredibly talented musicians who live in our community, offering quality classes and workshops with professional musicians, while providing another avenue of income for musicians who require a lot of flexibility in their schedules,” Norris said in an email. “Our hope is to offer courses that are not already available in the neighborhood and the larger Philly area.”