Philadelphia  is one of the artistic and cultural capitals of the country, and has been since its earliest days. In the 19th century, while New Yorkers flocked to dime museums and tawdry circus acts, Philadelphians attended art galleries and public libraries. Once referred to as “The Athens of America,” Philly was North America’s first nexus of culture.
The bustling cosmopolitan center in a rapidly growing young country was home to dozens of cultural innovations including America’s first library, art school, museum, university, hospital, and much more. The evolving artistic and cultural scene continues to thrive in the 21st century, with the sparkling Avenue of the Arts and a vibrant independent arts scene.