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“We had a great discussion of impactful community based arts programming this morning with the delegation from Bahia. We had representatives from OACCE, PEC, Taller, Arts Sanctuary, and Asian Arts initiative....”

Kelly Lee, Chief Cultural Officer, City of Philadelphia 

Throughout late 2016 and early 2017 several planning sessions were held in Salvador and in Philadelphia with Leonel Leal, Director of the Center for Studies and Stratagies for International Relations in Salvador. Out of these meetings emerged the structure of BAHIA WEEK 2017. As a result of those discussions, a delegation from Bahia came to Philadelphia in October and met with their counterparts to exchange ideas, and reach agreeements on developing education, sports, business, tourism, and culture projects.


Taking part in BAHIA WEEK 2017 strategic meetings were Stanley Straughter, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African and Caribbean Business Council of Greater Philadelphia, Suzana Silva founder Brasil Alta Cultura, Kelly Lee, Chief Cultural Officer, Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, City

of Philadelphia, City Councilwoman Jeannie Blackwell, Michael Newmuis of Visit Philadelphia, Ken Dossar, founder of Mandinga LLC, and from Salvador, Leonel Leal, City Councilman Felipe Lucas and Pedro Gramacho representing BahiaTursa.

During their stay, the Bahia delegation were guests of the Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs, met with the Office of Arts, Culture and cultural leaders in a conversation on community based cultural development and programs. City councilman Felipe Lucas from Bahia and Philadelphia City Ccouncilwoman Jeannie Blackwell signed an accord to review goals to sketch out events and activities supporting collective efforts to look at culture and tourism as a vehicle to make an economic impact on underserved neighborhoods in our cities. 


The festival ended with a concert of music of Bahia at the Philadelphia Clef Club for the Performing Arts featuring Bahian singer Juliana Ribeiro and band in concert.

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