RestART with BSR - BSR_S06E15 - Ep2_Da Vinci Art Alliance


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Da Vinci Art Alliance (DVAA) was founded in 1931 by sixteen Italian immigrant artists and collectors at a time when immigrants were barred from major artistic, academic, and scientific institutions. DVAA was a creative refuge where members could show their works, hold meetings, engage in social activities, and offer intellectual and cultural exchanges and events. Together, they chose as their namesake the master of the Italian Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci.

DVAA permanently moved to 704 Catharine St. in South Philadelphia in 1966. Since then, the building has housed artist studios and exhibitions annually.

In 2015, DVAA hired its first full-time Executive Director to improve the Artist Membership program. DVAA’s Artist Membership program now offers several annual exhibition opportunities for artists and critically engaged programs monthly. To build community within Philadelphia, DVAA has created a Fellowship program for underserved artists, designed an annual community art and science festival called Da Vinci Fest, and installed a permanent mural on our building.

DVAA is housed in a rowhome in the Bella Vista area of South Philadelphia. In an essay by Ricki Sablove they speak about our neighborhood as a part of Philadelphia “that sparkles with the history of its people--a history rich with the music of opera and organ grinders, redolent with the wonderful aromas of Italian cooking, and alive with the dialects brought from faraway places.” Read more about our vibrant neighborhood here.


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