The 14th Annual First Person Arts Festival Of Storytelling And Performance Arrives November 4-15

First Person Arts
Storytellers, step right up. The First Person Arts Festival hits Philly this month for its 14th year. (Photo by Darragh Dandurand)

It’s storytime, Philadelphia. Now in its 14th year, the First Person Arts Festival continues its unique celebration of documenting real life through personal storytelling.

Internationally renowned artists join everyday people from both Philadelphia and across the country to take part in this annual First Person Arts event, sharing their tall tales and personal experiences on stages around town from November 4 to 15.

Over a dozen days at multiple venues, the festival includes live performances, culinary events, workshops with artists, author readings, art exhibits and many special celebrations.


  • The 2015 festival takes places Nov. 4-15
  • Venues are citywide, with the hub at Christ Church Neighborhood House
  • Ticket prices vary, most events run around $15
  • First Person Arts
    Philadelphia’s former Poet Laureate Sonia Sanchez is just one of the amazing artists performing during the annual First Person Arts Festival. (Photo by Erika Vonie)

    More on the First Person Arts Festival, below.

    About The First Person Arts Festival

    Guided by the belief that everyone has a story to tell and telling our stories connects us with each other, First Person Arts aims to empower the storyteller in each of us by hosting workshops and producing interactive arts programs all year long, including twice monthly StorySlams and regularly held workshops.

    The annual First Person Arts Festival, the flagship festival of memoir and documentary art, showcases the organization’s mission in a grand celebration that’s said to be only festival of its kind in the world.

    With more than 15 events over the course of 12 days, the festival includes a nice range of memoir-driven affairs fit for many audiences, both young and old.

    This year’s festival takes places at seven venues around Philadelphia. Report to Christ Church Neighborhood House in Old City or the Annenberg Center in University City for the majority of events, but other venues range from Head House Books in Queen Village to Warmdaddy’s restaurant.

    See below for a complete schedule of festival shows, classes and events, or check here.

    Storyteller Kevin Lee
    The 14th annual First Person Arts Festival hits Philadelphia this November with dozens of events celebrating the spoken word at venues all around town. (Photo by Erika Vonie for First Person Arts)

    Can’t Miss Shows And Events

    With 19 shows and events, there are opportunities to take in both powerful personal stories from renowned national artists as well as tales from everyday Philadelphians.

    Highlights of this year’s festival include events with: the creators of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast; comedian Doogie Horner; Philadelphia poet Sonia Sanchez; recording artist Ursula Rucker; performer David Crabb; vocalist Ruth Naomi Floyd.

    Plus, one of the signature events, BEyond Expectations: Engaging Males of Color, features Philadelphia-born artists Bilal and Freeway in a diverse program directed by Ozzie Jones.

    And that’s just to namecheck a few stars. For a complete schedule of events, check right here.

    First Person Arts
    Vocalist Ruth Floyd will take the stage during the annual First Person Arts Festival. (Photo by Johanna Austin)

    Tickets, Getting There And Staying Over

    Ticket information and purchases are available online, and you can check out a full event calendar.

    Tickets range from free to $40, and then all the way up to $150 to take part in a standup storytelling workshop. Note that all ticket sales are final, too.

    All First Person Arts Festival events are super accessible via foot, bike, Indego bike share or other public transportation.

    Hitting more than one event? Make a night of it and stay over in Philadelphia. Check out Visit Philly for super deals on hotel stays and packages.

    Don’t miss out on this local celebration of the spoken word.

    14th Annual First Person Arts Festival

    When: November 4-15, 2015
    Where: Christ Church Neighborhood House and other Philadelphia venues
    Cost: Ticket prices range from free to $150 (most are $15)



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