The Avenue of the Arts is a segment of Broad Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that includes many of the city's cultural institutions, most notably the theater district south of City Hall.
The Avenue of the Arts is the longest, widest, busiest street in the region and operates at both street level and underground. It unifies a wide range of different neighborhoods, and bridges both the historic and the new. Moreover the Avenue is home to over fifty of the City's most important institutions dedicated to arts and culture, education, and hospitality, while also becoming known as a place to stay, dine and shop. Among them are the Kimmel Center, home of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Academy of Music, Merriam Theatre, Wilma Theatre, and Suzanne Roberts Theatre. Buildings for the University of the Arts are located just south and east to the Kimmel Center. The Merriam Theatre is often used for high-end productions involving the school.
It begins at Broad and Locust streets, and runs south on Broad to Lombard Street. Philadelphia International Records' offices and gift shop is also located along this strip. Just south of the strip is the Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts, and on Broad Street in this vicinity, just north of City Hall, is the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Founded in 1805, it is America's oldest art school and museum and boasts a distinguished collection of American art.
The name "Avenue of the Arts" originated in a strategy by former mayor Ed Rendell to redevelop South Broad Street in Center City. The definition has been expanded by city planners under Mayor John F. Street's administration to encourage further development in the area. The Avenue of the Arts is overseen by the non-profit organization Avenue of the Arts, Inc.