Official Mayoral Ceremony Welcoming Col. Guion Bluford Jr. Home to Philadelphia and

Opening of 'Philly's Native Son in Space' Mixed Art Exhibition at Philadelphia's City Hall 

And click here to read the Philadelphia Inquirer review of Nolan Williams, Jr.'s song cycle for choir and orchestra, "Hold Fast To Dreams"

Star Rhapsody at the Franklin Institute's Fels Planetarium


A Space Odyssey Concert featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra and Mann Festival Choir

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Colonel Guion S. Bluford, Jr.

Gravity Gabbing and Grooving Arts-n-Schools Assemblies


KIPP DuBois Collegiate Academy | Discovery Charter School | Global Leadership Academy | Bluford Charter School | Overbrook High School | Gesu School | Our Mother of Sorrows- St. Ignatius | St. Malachy School | Archbishop Carroll High School

Star Party at Global Leadership Academy, a part of the Philadelphia Science Festival

New Frontiers: Launch, Explore, Discover was our six-month festival inspired by the 75th birthday of pioneering NASA Astronaut and Philadelphia native son, Colonel Guion Stewart Bluford, Jr. Col. Bluford launched his career as a NASA astronaut in August 1979 and, four years later, became the first African American in space, participating in four Space Shuttle flights between 1983 and 1992. Though a series of arts initiatives, signature performances, and educational projects, audiences of all ages were inspired to learn more about Bluford’s legacy, to take greater interest in space exploration and its core subjects of math and science, and to embody in their everyday lives daring ambition to launch, explore and discover. New Frontiers: Launch, Explore, Discover is presented by the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in collaborative artistic partnership with NEWorks Productions. Check out images from our festival events below.