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CEC Programs

Blue Grotto

Randy Dalton's: Blue Grotto

Do Blue!

Open to the public every Second Friday 6p-10p and by appointment


Illuminating the basement of the CEC is a permanent installation of hundreds of blue lamps constructed from recycled objects. The dream-like cityscape casts various hues of blues in an art-filled, informative, and politically engaged gathering space.

The Blue Grotto is the headquarters of a Philadelphia Dumpster Diver, Randy Dalton’s public art campaign, The Philadelphia Initiative: ART and its mission, “DO BLUE!” It was sparked by Congress’s attempt to cut government funding for the arts after a controversial Robert Mapplethorpe photography exhibit in 1989.  The goal is to use the color blue to amplify the necessity of art while pooling for more resources to fund and support the arts. We encourage the community to engage and participate in creating unity for the arts by wearing a blue button, displaying a blue light outside their house, and creating blue art.

Dalton contended that Philadelphia is a piece of conceptual art that William Penn began and we’re here to continue. He was blue that we haven’t done so well, but doesn’t think we should be blue, we should DO BLUE! Use the color to identify our concerns, longings, and hopes and have some fun doing it. Randy served various roles at the CEC since 1977 until his sudden passing in 2016. The Blue Grotto is maintained and co-directed by Philadelphia artists and current CEC artist-in-residence, Ashley Carrega and Paige Miller.

Outlet: ETC Edition

The Outlet is an Open Mic for all artistic disciplines.  We gather every other 2nd Sunday from 4-9pm to enjoy dope artists, eat delicious food and support each other's mental health. 

Art Kills Depression!

This is coordinated by Iris Candelaria with support from the CEC.


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The best jazz!

Every second Friday.

Only at the CEC.

Contact Leo for more price & info



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