Venice Island Performing Arts & Recreation Center

Venice Island Performing Arts & Recreation Center

Events at the Performing Arts and Recreation Center 

QUESTIONS FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER STAFF?  Call their office at 215-685-3583.

FREE After-School and Evening Programming

From January 11 to March 12, VIPARC is offering free performing art networking opportunities for children and adults.  Register at VIPARC after 2:00 pm on Mondays through Fridays.  Children must be registered by parents or guardians.  For more information, call Bill Powell at 215-685-3583 or email .

Mondays: Introduction to Performing Arts

  • 4:00 - 6:00 pm - After-school performing arts (children 8-15)

Tuesdays: Vocal Lessons

  • 5:00 pm - Children 8-12
  • 6:00 pm - Adults

Thursdays: Public Speaking

  • 5:00 pm - Emcee program (children 8-12)
  • 6:00 pm - Toastmasters' introductions

Friday: Acting Class

  • 5:00 pm - Children 12 and under

An Evening of Jazz and a Celebration of Women's History Month

On Saturday, March 7 at 7:00 pm, Kimpedro's Nu Gruv Network and Indigo Writings present "Transitions: Change Gonna Come," the first stop on the Philadelphia Women in Jazz Tour.  Nu Gruv is an artists’ collective that includes visual, performing, and recording artists, audio engineers, producers, composers, organizers, photographers, and videographers.  Indigo Writings, led by pianist and composer Kendrah E. Butler, composes, writes, and produces R&B, jazz, gospel, soul, and pop music.  Come hear these multitalented musicians live! Tickets are $15, or 2 for $25.


"Harvey," Mary Chase's Pulitzer prize-winning (and very funny) play, will be performed at VIPARC on June 5 - 7.

Go to the VIPARC Facebook page for the latest news on all of their events.

Stay tuned for information on PLAY Manayunk! 

This event, held on Saturday, May 16 at the Venice Island Performing Arts & Recreation Center, will be a celebration of outdoor recreation in the Manayunk area.

Site History

The ribbon cutting at Venice Island, held in October 2014, marked more than ten years of planning and preparation for the Performing Arts and Recreation Center. The Philadelphia Water Department originally committed to building a sewage overflow tank on Lower Venice Island. In response, the community secured funding for planning and invited the City departments to participate in creating a concept that would address the City’s concerns. 

The result is a park, recreation, and performance center that is managed primarily by the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department. Designed by local landscape architecture firm Andropogon Associates, it is hoped that the park will become a recreational center in the neighborhood and region.

The new park includes state-of-the-art water features that demonstrate water retention in an urban environment, recreational facilities for basketball and outdoor performances, space for a dock, outdoor sculptures, a theater with 250 seats, and a parking lot with over 200 parking spaces. The site is accessed from both Cotton and Lock Streets.

Go to the Philadelphia Water Department website for more information on how the Performing Arts and Recreation Center was constructed.  Or read this great article by Hidden City Philadelphia on its development.