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West Oaklane Festival



How the Festival Got Started...

The West Oak Lane concept for a community festival began with the founding of Friends of OARC in 1983. Friends of OARC members organized the First Super Saturday Street Fair to encourage shoppers to return to the 7100 block of Ogontz Avenue and to foster community pride. With the help of LifeLine Music Coalition, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Philadelphia jazz musicians and artists, and a dedicated committee consisting of members of Friends of OARC Super Saturday turned into the 3-day West Oak Lane Jazz and Arts Festival. Over 20,000 people from West Oak Lane and surrounding communities throughout the Delaware Valley turned out to “Experience the Excitement of West Oak Lane...a community on the move!”

The Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corporation

The Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corporation is a non-profit 501c(3) community developement corporation established by community residents and State Representative Dwight Evans to revitalize the commercial corridor in the 7100 block of Ogontz Avenue.

The 7100 block of Ogontz Avenue began to decline in the early 1970’s. By 1981, Ogontz Plaza had become a vacant, graffiti-scarred eyesore. The Ogontz Hall apartment building and many other properties on Ogontz and 72nd Avenues also were vacant and dilapidated.

OARC worked with elected officials, government agencies, banks, local universities, various organizations and institutions. OARC also formed partnerships with private developers to complete the Ogontz Plaza in 1987, the Ogontz Hall in 1992 and Ogontz III in 1995, returning the corridor to a vibrant, bustling commercial area.

Since that time, OARC has expanded its scope, taking a holistic approach to making West Oak Lane a community of choice. OARC's mission is to create and stimulate economic development and improve the quality of life in West Oak Lane.

OARC fulfills its mission through four primary areas:

  • Housing
  • Education
  • Community & Economic Development
  • Workforce Development



October Gallery

Introducing to West Oak Lane Jazz and Arts Festival Oronde Johnson. Returning to West Oak Lane Jazz and Arts Festival Michael Angelo Wallace and Moctar Yara of Djema Imports plus over 70 other visual and craft artists. For information about exhibiting, please call October Gallery at 215-629-3939 or sign up online .

For more information about October Gallery please see


Oronde Kairi Johnson

Oronde Kair Johnson was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a child he enjoyed viewing the graffiti on the trains and roof tops throughout the city. During his public school years, art was a means of enjoyment and relaxation, but after meeting Dawud Anyabwile, creator of Brother-Man, Dictator of Discipline, art became something he would pursue in earnest. Oronde's Work can be viewed through this site and the offical home of Oronde Kairi Studio.

"The Growth of a Woman"


Michael Angelo Wallace

One of the unique qualities of a good artist is creativity.  Michael Angelo Wallace possesses this quality.  This multi-talented artist shares many factors in expressing himself through African-American Art.  Through his eyes and with each stroke of his brush comes the beautiful creation on earth.  He captures the beauty in others that no one else looks hard enough to find.

"Soul of the City"


Moctar Yara

Djema Imports was established in Harlem, New York in 1992 when it’s current President, Moctar Yara migrated to the United States from Mali, West Africa.

He's a huge Batman maven and although his imports are gorgeous and unique fabrics, Moctar is often seen wearing a silk screened Batman shirt like those commercially available on He's very aware of the cultural significance of this choice. But don't be fooled by his attire. Djema Imports is known for its large inventory of mudcloth. Mudcloth is a textile with a rich cultural heritage and tradition.

Djema Imports is pleased to offer a selection of garments that can be customized to reflect your individuality. In two easy steps, you will be able to select your style of garment, choose from our extensive line of fabrics, preview your creation on our interactive website,  submit your order and measurements.




Contact: Graziella D’Amelio: 215-557-7277 609-680-7670

(Pre-festival events leading up to the
’06 West Oak Lane Jazz & Arts Fest in June)

Philadelphia, PA�March 9, 2006�As part of the Northwest Philly Jazz & Arts Series, OARC (Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corporation) will present FREE live music performances and art at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 23rd at LaSalle UniversityDan Rodden Theatre, located on LaSalle’s campus, 1900 W. Olney Avenue.� Live performances by jazz and rock bands will include: Curt Chambers and RC Holmes. Panamanian Spoken word artist UVA will weave her original works of poetry throughout the evening. October Gallery will be featuring a collection of original and graphic work from Laura Cooper, Andrew Turner, Paul Goodnight, Jeffrey Reese and others.

OARC is presenting the NORTHWEST PHILLY JAZZ & ARTS SERIES at 6 venues throughout Northwest Philadelphia; INFUSION COFFEE AND TEA GALLERY; LA SALLE UNIVERSITY (March 23rd); SETTLEMENT MUSIC SCHOOL (April 20th); NORTH BY NORTHWEST (April 28th); CLIVEDEN HOUSE (May 27th), and VERNON PARK (June 3rd). The Northwest Philly Jazz & Arts Series will lead up to the grand 3rd annual West Oak Lane Jazz & Arts festival scheduled for June 23, 24, 25, 2006. See

“The West Oak Lane Jazz and Arts Festival is one of the largest events ever to take place in the history of northwest Philadelphia. The festival has brought thousands of people from around the world to the northwest corridor. Our goal is to attract people not only the last weekend of June but also throughout the year. Northwest Philly is rich with quality shops, fine dining, arts and music as well as many historic sites. Come enjoy Northwest Philly. Shop, dine, visit and explore some of the 15 historic sites throughout Northwest Philly, such as the Johnson House, a stop on the underground railroad, or historic Cliveden, the site of the battle of Germantown,” says Jack Kitchen, Executive Director of OARC.

OARC is a non-profit, 501 C (3) community development corporation established by community residents and state Representative Dwight Evans in 1983. OARC was the executive producer of the 2004 and 2005 West Oak Lane Jazz & Arts Festivals, a 3-day June event which together brought over 150,000 visitors to the 7100 to 7200 blocks of Ogontz Avenue to enjoy FREE live music (on four outdoor stages), fine art, food and vendors. See



June 25, 26 and 27th!!!!

The first ever West Oak Lane Jazz and Arts Festival will be held over 12 venues: West Oak Lane Senior Center (big band concert); West Oak Lane Library (Children's poetry and jazz workshop); Cheltenham Square Mall (PO/Jazz Connection and Dance); Martin Luther King High School (Poetry Slam); Ogontz Grill (jazz concerts); an African Marketplace along the 7100 Block of Ogontz Avenue and Ogontz Plaza (music, dance, art, vendors); Art Noir Gallery (music and Senegalese Day Art Show); West Oak Lane Charter School (Jazz Film Festival - “A Great Day in Harlem”); Cornbread & Coffee (Spoken word and music); Brownies Par Four Lounge (concert); Simons Recreation Center (outdoor be-bopecue) and Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ (Gospel jazz performances). Over 170 accomplished Philadelphia area (native) jazz musicians/artists, most who are recognized and celebrated throughout Europe and Asia will be performing in their hometown of Philadelphia, not a regular occurrence for Philadelphia artists. Some artists who will be performing include: Doc Gibbs; Bootsie Barnes; Mickey Roker; Odean Pope; Sam Reed; Jamaladeen Tacuma; Eric Mintel; Pearl Williams; Harold Smith; Jaleel Shaw; and Anthony Colon. See


The Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corporation (OARC) is a non-profit, 501 c (3) community development corporation established by community residents and state Representative Dwight Evans in 1983. OARC's mission is to create and stimulate economic development and improve the quality of life in the West Oak Lane community.


The festival is being produced by LifeLine Music Coalition, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and preserve jazz and the arts in Philadelphia. Warren Oree is the Artistic Director and Graziella D'Amelio is the Executive Director. Warren and Graziella most recently produced the 2003 Philadelphia Jazz and Poetry Festival in September 2003.