The Mann Launches The Philadelphia Freedom Festival Celebrating The Legacy of Octavius V. Catto

The Mann Center for the Performing Arts announced on January 15th plans for a seven-month series of events uniting Philadelphia’s arts, civic and community organizations.  The endeavor commemorates the life and legacy of Octavius V. Catto, a 19th century Philadelphian and African-American civil rights pioneer who was an advocate for equality in the city and the nation.  The series is under the creative direction of Nolan Williams, Jr., a renowned producer of inspirational arts programming.

Freedom Festival

Nolan Williams, Jr. at the January 15, 2014 press conference.

The Presser Foundation provided a grant for the culmination of the festival with a main stage concert at the Mann featuring gospel artist Dr. Marvin Sapp, a 300-voice gospel choir, and the premiere of Uri Caine’s original orchestral composition inspired by the life of Catto to be performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra.  This event takes place July 19th from 8:00pm until 10:00pm.

For more information on the Mann’s Philadelphia Freedom Festival and schedule of events, visit

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