DEC 4TH @ UNION TRANSFER: MUSIC AND FASHION FOR PHASE 1

2013 culminated with a fundraiser that brought out over 700 supporters. On December 4, nationally-known musicians and some of Philly’s hottest bands, fashion designers, chefs, filmmakers — even fire-throwing bellydancers — came together at favorite local music venue, Union Transfer, to put on an evening of cross-genre, multimedia entertainment in support of Phase 1 of the Rail Park.

View of the access point to the park from 13th Street, looking north. 13th Street Kitchens' Cafe Lift is just beyond the overpass to the left. (Image by Studio Bryan Hanes/Courtesy of Center City District)

View of the access point to the park from 13th Street, looking north. 13th Street Kitchens' Cafe Lift is just beyond the overpass to the left. (Image by Studio Bryan Hanes/Courtesy of Center City District)

The evening kicked off with a sold-out cocktail party, catered by the culinary wonders of 13th Street Kitchens (neighbors and friends of the Rail Park) and hosted by WXPN's Michaela Majoun. The highlight of the party was a fashion show curated by Melissa D’Agostino, featuring designs by NINObrand and D’Agostino Fashion Textile Design and styles from some of our favorite local boutiques: Arcadia, Bus Stop and Commonwealth Proper. The show was preceded by the premiere screening of Good Motion Project’s short film, Become a Friend of the Rail Park. (If you haven't seen it, check it out here.)

New Sound Brass warmed up the evening with their soulful sounds, and local bellydance and fire troupe Lux Arati entertained cocktail party guests and spun fire outside as music fans lined up for the concert. Philadelphia's own Light Heat opened up the evening, followed by a house-rocking performance by Birdie Busch and friends, including Chris Ward. Next up was Sharon Van Etten, accompanied by Adam Granduciel, Mary Lattimore and Jeff Zeigler. Spank Rock put on an incredible show, finishing up his set with a memorable collaboration with the sequined, colorful robed Sun Ra Arkestra, led by 89-year-old saxophonist Marshall Allen. Headlining the evening, The Walkmen played what was to be their final performance before an ‘extreme hiatus’ (though, it was just announced that they’ll be coming out of retirement to play an NBA All-Star gig next month). And if that wasn't enough, Low Times podcast co-host and producer Daniel Ralston returned to Philly for the evening to emcee the show.

The event was by far our most successful fundraiser for the Rail Park to date, and we are grateful to friends old and new for the incredible outpouring of support and enthusiasm!

Check out photographer Paul Gargagliano's images from the evening in the slideshow below — and, at the bottom of the page, a few photos and videos posted to Instagram.

The event was made possible with generous support from Gilmore & Associates, Terrain, Post Brothers Apartments, Tower Investments, AthenianRazak, The Garden Collaborative, INTECH Construction, Materials Conservation, Shelley Electric and Urban Engineers.

A special thanks to our friends and generous supporters at 13th Street Kitchens, Union Transfer, Octo Design GroupHeads of State, Greenhouse Media, Printing New Ground, K. Malcolm Richards, Only Love Photography, Paul Gargagliano, Crimson Hair Studio, Good Motion Project, Bambu, GRID, Philebrity and DiBruno Brothers, .

And last but certainly not least, a heartfelt thanks to the event host committee: Melissa D'Agostino, Michael Garden, Laris Kreslins, Eileen Marolla, Val Nahez, Victoria Prizzia, Sheryl Raskin, Chris Strom, Kerry Strom and Wendy Verna.