The Philadelphia Thing is an advocacy and producing structure dedicated to the support and promotion of independent performing artists in Philadelphia

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trade school 

A City-to-City Exchange Platform

Trade School is the signature program of The Philadelphia Thing, a festival and exchange platform celebrating the work of Philadelphia performing artists, as well as creating connections with artist peers across the country. This event connects artists and audiences in each city, exploring differences and similarities in systems of support for contemporary performance, and discussing issues in self-producing and dissemination of work that resonate with both. Trade School features fully-produced performances, work-in-progress showings, artist-driven conversations, and a hosted program for visiting performing arts curators from across the country.


Founded in 2019 by Sarah Bishop-Stone, The Philadelphia Thing produces the yearly Trade School Festival, an evolving opportunity for exchange and cross-pollination between Philadelphia and another city. Trade School is a model for collaboration with other independent producers, curators, and performance makers, and creates artist-to-artist connections, building an organic and fortified network for learning and touring.


︎ The Philadelphia Thing is proud to be supported by Headlong’s Incubated Artist Program. Tax-deductible donations can be made here.