“Philly Loves Bowie Week” Begins With New Museum Exhibit

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — “David Bowie has always represented the ability to be unique, express yourself, appreciate who you are, and reinvent yourself,” said Robert Drake. “He has always been the signboard and beacon of light for all those misfits who have been more or less lost over the years.”

Drake is a longtime Bowie fan and co-host of ‘Philly Loves Bowie Week’, a series of charity events in memory of the iconic singer-songwriter. The fifth annual tradition comes six years after Bowie’s death.

Despite being from London, Bowie had a strong relationship with the City of Brotherly Love. Inspired by the Philadelphia Sound developed by local artists, Bowie has shaped his own sound in the city over the years.

In the 1970s he recorded the famous “David Live” at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby. He later returned to Philadelphia to record his album “Young Americans” at Sigma Sound Studios. There he befriended a group of loyal fans who would become known as the Sigma Kids. Some members of the original fan group created ‘Philly Loves Bowie Week’ in 2017.

“We would turn these events and activities into a fundraising tool for the David Bowie Fund, which benefits the Cancer Center at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia,” said Drake. “And so far, we’ve been able to raise over $50,000 for that fund.”

This year, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced the organization to postpone many of its live events until spring. Today, however, part of the celebration started.

“Deconstructing Bowie: Freedom in Eccentricity” is the newest exhibit at the National Liberty Museum. From now until March, guests can explore a colorful room filled with artwork by mostly local artists. Each piece is inspired by the message of self-expression perpetuated by Bowie and his many personas.

“This museum has evolved over the past 20 years, looking at the concept of freedom and what that means in our society today,” said CFO & COO Alaine Arnott. “It’s music, it’s individuality, it’s freedom of expression. And you can see that in the exhibit we have now through a collaboration with Philly Loves Bowie Week.”

Amanda Gallant of Fishtown was one of the first visitors to step inside.

“It’s a bit emotional. This is a special exhibition,” she said. “I’m a big fan, went to a lot of concerts when I was younger. So it’s really intriguing.”

Many of the works of art come with a price tag. At the end of the exhibit, each piece will be sold with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Visit their website to learn more about Philly Loves Bowie Week and their upcoming events throughout the year.

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