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Philly’s Clay Studio Mixes Arts & Meeting Amenities

By M+E Staff

Experienced meeting planners know that a venue that evokes a sense of place is far more inspiring than a cookie-cutter space that could exist in any city in the country. The Clay Studio in Philadelphia’s South Kensington neighborhood is a vivid example of the former. Built from the ground up and opened in April 2022, the 34,000-square-foot ceramic arts facility is the new home for an arts enterprise that began in 1974 as a collective of five artists, and has grown into a vibrant and diverse fellowship of artists, students, and teachers, as well as an internationally recognized center for exhibiting the highest quality ceramic art.

Connecting to the community has always been a vital part of the Clay Studio’s mission. With an expansive new space that mission now includes hosting private events of all stripes, from fundraisers and board meetings to team-building experiences that can include gallery tours and hands-on workshops where guests learn to throw on the pottery wheel and make takeaway projects like mugs, tiles, or abstract pottery. “The entire building is available for events,” says Jennifer Zwilling, Clay Studio’s curator and director of artistic programs, noting that events are part of the building’s architectural DNA with moveable walls, prep kitchen, and advanced a/v capabilities. With a full buyout, the building can host 250 guests. Or planners can rent the fourth-floor roof deck (standing capacity: 175, seated: 125); fourth-floor lounge (standing capacity: 50, seated: 30); first-floor pavilion (standing cpactity: 175, seated: 125); sculpture garden (standing capacity: 30, seated: 20), or the conference room (standing capacity: 40, seated: 20).

The Clay Studio also offers mobile events, with a team coming to the location of your choice to guide your guests in working with clay on individual projects or a large group sculpt. Another option is Claymation parties, in which participants use iPads to create animation shorts. Virtual or hybrid events can be arranged. “Working with clay is a feel-good activity that everyone, whatever your age or skill set, can enjoy,” Zwilling says.