Go Deeper

Inside Look: An Interview with Pia

Posted December 2nd, 2010

I recently sat down with Pia Agrawal, our Programming Director, to give you guys some insight on what goes on around the Philadelphia Live Arts and Philly Fringe offices in preparation of the Festival, and to give you a preview of what to expect for next year… get pumped!

Programming the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival is completed more strongly and smoothly each year due to the learning experiences of every passing year.

Pia has been a part of the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe team since 2006 and knows firsthand the hard work that goes into each year. Preparation for the following year’s Festival begins even before the current year’s festivities have ended. Everything gets to be the most hectic during the winter months, when Pia secures programming for the upcoming Festival. It becomes a tricky task to juggle venues, schedules, and money to make it all work.

In order for Pia to properly schedule the various performances each year she must be efficient and methodical. Artist availability and the venue are the biggest programming factors to consider. Choosing which venue to use for each show often depends on aligning the availability of the venue with the availability of the artist. Furthermore, shows that have a complicated set-up are likely pushed towards the beginning of the Festival. This enables the set-up to be done before the Festival begins in order to maximize the number of shows possible in each venue during official Festival time.

I also asked Pia what her favorite part of working for the Philadelphia Live Arts and Philly Fringe is. Her answer was getting to see lots of work, especially those that require traveling to see. Some of this travel may be researching an actual prospect for presentation at Live Arts, some may be to get a sense of what new work is being made, and some may be for pure pleasure. Either way it is a great job perk!

Noticing that Pia was sporting a rad Wu Tang clan T- shirt I felt that it was only right to close my interview by asking her who her favorite member of the Wu was. Pia confidently replied “Ol’ Dirty, for sure! Make sure to pour one out for your homie!”

Will do, Pia. Thanks a lot for your time and all of your hard work!

Stay tuned…

-Colin Foley, Community Outreach Intern