About Us

Discover the Source, Experience the Depth. Enter the Flow of Hidden River Arts.

Hidden River™ Arts is the independent literary and performing arts organization based in Philadelphia dedicated to the service, support and celebration of all artists. Named after the Schuylkill (Dutch for “Hidden River”) which winds its way through the region, Hidden River™Arts is committed to nurturing the artistic community by providing varied and supportive services to creative writers, and artists of all genres.

Hidden River™Arts is committed to the “Outsider Artist” — and who isn’t an outsider artist these days? We are searching for creative talent and creative activities which exist outside of the expected places: those creative people developing their craft and finding their voices outside of the MFA programs, those independent writers’ or artists’ groups not affiliated with a university or any funding institution. We will search for the writers who are finishing their novels while working as Emergency Room nurses, sculptors working as steam-fitters, song-writing dairy farmers or choreographer cowboys. We want the creative talent that is grown, nurtured, matured in the kiln of diverse life experience. We will endeavor to present information about independent arts groups and support organizations. It is our belief that many, many talented people go unheard because they labor in obscurity or isolation. This is, in part, because of the lack of job security everywhere, including in academia these days. But, historically, many artists have always been dispersed throughout the non-academic population, with little or no support for the practice of their art. It is our position that college campuses should not be seen as the sole training ground for creative talent and skill, nor are they any longer offering respectable salaries for those artists trapped in adjunct exploitation. Hidden River Arts will always strive to reach out and encourage everyone, including those more far-flung voices, to aid and support them in their efforts to be heard. Does this mean we are excluding MFA artists, or arts faculty? Of course not! Our goal is to be inclusive, not exclusionary — so everyone is welcome. We just want to make sure our reach is as broad as possible!

In addition to our competitions, Hidden River Arts conducts outreach programs, maintains inter-disciplinary arts and gallery activities, runs an independent small press, and, through Hidden River Writers, offers a variety of creative writing workshops, classes, tutorials, podcasts and private editing assistance for writers.

Nietzsche tells us, “Art is the proper task of life,” and Hidden River is here to do our part in supporting artists in that very noble and important task.

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3 thoughts on “About Us

  1. Yes, “Art is the proper task of life.” I am 82 years old, a poet, MFA in poetry
    from U of NC in Greensboro at age 67. Have felt discouraged lately. So many
    other “old people” say, “You waste so much time writing!” Thank you for
    your encouragement!! Chloe Brown

    • You’re definitely not wasting your time writing, Chloe. Good luck in all you do, and I hope you’re putting pen to paper for years to come.

  2. Yeah for you Chloe Brown. I am 60 years old and have been writing short stories and learning more about this art. Sometimes I feel I’m too old to start something new like this. But it is my true love and passion and it is really encouraging to here from folks like you. All best in your writing!

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