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Hands holding toys around a  Three Kings Celebration Donation Box at the Kimmel Center

Teaming Up With Taller Puertorriqueño In Season-Long Community Partnership

Posted by:  The Philadelphia Orchestra & Kimmel Cultural Campus on October 31, 2022

The Kimmel Cultural Campus and The Philadelphia Orchestra are excited to once again partner with Taller Puertorriqueño, Inc. (Taller) for our 2022-23 season. Taller is a fellow non-profit that seeks to preserve, develop, and promote Puerto Rican arts and culture. The partnership allows us to join forces with an organization that shares our values and is similarly dedicated to shape young minds through the arts. We are thrilled to collaborate with such an essential organization whose programming strives to help young people embrace their cultural heritage.

As we did last year, the kick-off of the partnership is a toy drive happening throughout the holiday season to support Taller’s annual Three Kings Day Celebration. Each Kimmel Cultural Campus venue has a donation box where guests can donate gifts that will be distributed to local children, ages infant through 18. Donations will be accepted starting November 1 through January 2, 2023. Taller’s Education Director, Marilyn Rodriguez, explains the importance of the Puerto Rican tradition:

The Feast of the Three Kings, also known as the Epiphany, takes place every year on January 6th. It is an intricate part of Puerto Rican folklore. The celebration commemorates that day when the Three Kings from the Orient followed the star that guided them to visit the newly born Christ Child in Bethlehem, bearing him gifts. In Puerto Rican tradition, on the eve of the Epiphany, children collect hay straw or grass and place it in boxes/containers under their beds. This gesture is a gift of food for the Kings’ horses/camels, while they rest in between deliveries (the Puerto Rican traditions utilizes horses as we have no camels in PR). At Taller, children receive candies, sweets, and donated toys from the hands of three community members dressed as the Three Kings.

nasheli with donation box.jpg

Nasheli Juliana Ortiz-González, Executive Director at Taller, poses with the donation box this year in the Academy of Music.

Are you headed to see a show on the Kimmel Cultural Campus this holiday season? Come bearing gifts to support Taller’s Three King's Day Toy Drive! Donation boxes will be set up in the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts, Miller Theater, and the Academy of Music.

Acceptable forms of donation include:

  • Science games (including STEM toys)
  • Sensory-specific games
  • Sports items (excluding balls)
  • Art materials
  • Educational & fun baby toys
  • Musical toys
  • Gift cars (including Apple Music, Target, Game Stop)
  • Headsets & earbuds
  • Please do not bring any toy guns for donation.

This is one of the many partner activations that will take place during the season. We look forward to putting Taller student artwork on display at the Campus’ Academy of Music through December 5; facilitating cast appearances and master classes for their community; and hosting show-related field trip for Taller students. Taller Puertorriqueño was also the site of an Our City, Your Orchestra episode from The Philadelphia Orchestra. To view the episode, visit philorch.org/ocyo.

Taller Puertorriqueño brings its own impressive slate of programming that will greatly enhance our visitor experience. In year’s past, Taller’s off-site art residencies Visítenos Program reached 1,700+ students across 8 Philadelphia public schools, bringing arts classes with a culturally specific Latinx lens including visual art, dance, and music. They have also built a strong Youth Artist Program that equips young artists with tools and resources to help them explore their passion for the arts.

From 2021: Marilyn Rodriguez, Nasheli Juliana Ortiz-González, and Carmen Febo San Miguel of Taller Puertorriqueño with Matias Tarnopolsky, President and CEO of Kimmel Center Inc, & The Philadelphia Orchestra

By joining creative forces to grant better access to the arts, this collaboration between the Kimmel Cultural Campus and Taller Puertorriqueño will benefit Philadelphia-area youth and shape the future of our city.

Visit here for more on Taller’s mission and work.

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