COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the lives of so many, whether it was our first responders or grocery store workers or those who lost their jobs due to stay-at-home orders and lock-downs. Partners has been proud to keep our doors open for the duration of this time and has used its resources to assist congregations trying to serve their communities in Philadelphia. We assisted local sacred places as they opened their doors to children in need of internet access and adult supervision, to those in need of a COVID-19 test, and finally serving as a COVID-19 vaccination pop-up clinic – bringing the vaccine to the people who need it most.

Amid all these other opportunities, Partners has not forgotten about one of its front-facing programs: Making a Home for the Arts in Sacred Places. Sharing space has indeed proven difficult, but a burgeoning partnership with a new organization, Artcinia, has proven fruitful for our region’s musicians and sacred places. Artcinia is a group of Philadelphia-area community leaders and professional musicians dedicated to bringing high-quality performing arts to people in their neighborhoods by facilitating relationships between artists and venues and focusing on reaching all areas of our city. Partners and Artcinia are collaborating in presenting “Music in Your Neighborhood”, a series of outdoor performances in neighborhoods across the city this summer.

The performing arts industry has been devastated by the pandemic, and Artcinia approached us with an idea that Partners wholeheartedly approved! By providing the bridge between sacred places with outdoor space and professional musicians, Partners for Sacred Places was able to keep its goal of activating these spaces via arts engagement. Artcinia is managing the performance logistics and, first and foremost, ensuring that artists are compensated for their work. Most Music in Your Neighborhood performances are free (donations are encouraged) or very low cost.

Artcinia is dedicated to engaging new and underserved audiences, and providing critical financial support to performing artists, many of whom have been without work and income since the pandemic began.

Music in Your Neighborhood concert locations across Greater Philadelphia include:

  • Calvary St. Augustine Episcopal Church (West Philadelphia)
  • St. John the Baptist RC Church (Manayunk)
  • Church of St. James the Less (North Philadelphia)
  • St. Luke and the Epiphany (Center City)
  • Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields (Chestnut Hill)
  • Westminster Presbyterian Church (Wilmington, DE)
  • St. Mary’s Episcopal Church (Ardmore, PA)

New locations and dates are being added even now! Partners is excited to be working with Artcinia in this endeavor and is looking forward to many neighborhoods in Greater Philadelphia hearing beautiful music by our own top musicians.


“In 2020, as everything in the performing arts came to a complete stop, musicians felt that perhaps people could not even consider attending performances until the pandemic was over. I took all the precautions necessary to ensure the safety of myself, my family, and everybody around me. However, as the warmer weather came along, some musicians decided to get together outdoors and, while keeping our distance and masks on when possible, read music together as a way to keep ourselves in shape and explore old and new repertoire. To our surprise, in all the neighborhoods where we gather to play music, many people came out to listen to us and support us. That let me realize that people who cared for performing arts brought closer to them even in the worst of times during a health crisis.

Artcinia is an organization that provides a platform to help put together performers, venues in different neighborhoods, and audiences that have access to those neighborhoods. And as we slowly are emerging out of the pandemic, I think that many people will embrace Artcinia’s initiative and be supportive and grateful. Very shortly, more people will be able to participate in neighborhood performances that create cultural experiences, entertainment, boost creativity, a sense of community, and employment for many people in our society.

I am looking forward to all the experiences that Artcinia will provide to help me grow as a performer and society member.”

Luigi Mazzocchi, Artcinia Artistic Director