On a sleepy Saturday afternoon, African dance music rumbled throughout the 3500 block of Lancaster Avenue. The Community Education Center, which has been an integral part of the Powelton community for decades, hosted its usual Saturday African dance class.
“This has really become a performing arts incubator,” Scott Maits, the longtime building manager and historical enthusiast, explained.
Most Philadelphians are aware of the thriving art community in the Old City section of the city; however, few have knowledge of the small, but enthusiastic artistic groups along Lancaster Avenue. Mirroring the methods of the successful gallery shows on the first Friday of each month in Old City, Powelton Village engages in second Friday, which allows residents and art enthusiasts to experience the artistic aspects of this neighborhood.
Maits was not only passionate about the Community Education Center but also the creativeness of those who participate in the dance classes, artistic workshops and other programs offered.
Every person who took part in the dance class, from the drummers to the dancers, smiled, laughed and enjoyed themselves.
When the class ended, Angela Watson, a board member at the Community Education Center and class participant, announced with Maits an upcoming meeting about the expansion of Drexel University which could threaten the Community Education Center.
“We need your support. CEC needs our help,” Watson yelled over the dwindling sounds of African drums.
Members of the community and Drexel officials will engage in discussion regarding the impending campus development plans on Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Excite Center, located at 3401 Market St., Suite 100.