Community Programs

Penn Avenue Creative

PennAveCreative__Logo_SocialCreate, Engage, Transform

KST piloted the Penn Avenue Creative—12-week accelerator programing 2015

The Kelly Strayhorn Theater believes that we build better communities by supporting the people who engage the world with a passionate creativity, generosity, and a deep vision for justice, connection and healing.

We’ve seen that communities thrive best when the creative leaders are connected to the community as more than a series of buildings, but rather with a network of people, spaces, memories and possibilities.

Penn Avenue Creative worked with emerging artists, social change leaders and entrepreneurs to ignite transformative thought, build systems of connectivity and catalyze networks of cultural sustainability along the Penn Avenue Corridor.

Penn Avenue Creative offered emerging creative leaders network development, mentorship, sessions with field experts, and a project development stipend. 
How do you build better communities for all? You do it by supporting the people who work, dream and live in ways that answer that question, everyday. Penn Avenue Creative is a demonstration of Kelly Strayhorn Theater’s continued commitment to being, growing and developing that support in the East End.

Program Description

With the support of The Heinz Endowments, the Kelly Strayhorn Theater has designed Penn Avenue Creative for emerging artists, entrepreneurs, social change leaders and visionaries.

The Penn Avenue Creative program is an accelerator where talented and dynamic individuals will be given creative, technical, and programmatic support to develop their vision in ways that incite beauty, resilience, healing, justice and imagination among its participants and along Penn Avenue.

Cohorts would participate in a weekend visioning retreat, five Monday Night Intensives with dynamic, expert speakers, and one-on-one mentorship. Cohorts would also receive a stipend for participation, and potential project support. Cohorts that successfully completed the program were given the opportunity to present their project to funders, community and cultural leaders.


Penn Avenue Creative is made possible with generous support from The Heinz Endowments.