A coed Friends school, pre-K to 12, on 47 acres in East Falls, Philadelphia


Kurtz Turns 10! 

The David L. Kurtz Center for the Performing Arts opened in January, 2010 and quickly impacted the student experience. Just a few weeks later, Penn Charter welcomed crowds to the state-of-the-art Earl and Pam Ball Theater at the all-school musical The Wizard of Oz.

HS production of Wizard of Oz. Lion, Dorothy, OZ, scarecrow, tin man

Since 2010, student participation in the arts has expanded and deepened. The size of the Upper School band has doubled, already close to outgrowing the Kurtz stage! The Ball Theater can comfortably fit the entire Upper School, including faculty, opening opportunities for students to hear from exciting speakers and visitors. Even more people can enjoy outstanding student performances—and in air conditioned comfort! The addition of classroom space has meant there is now both space and time for expanded course offerings. 

Enjoy the video, below, for a look back at the last 10 years in the Kurtz Center. 

Fast Facts


Participation in the Upper School band has doubled since 2010.


The Kurtz Center's LEED certification level, the first green building in East Falls.


Seats from which to enjoy instrumental, choral and theatrical performances by our students.


Number of student musical ensemble groups.

The Kurtz Legacy

Radio pioneer David L. Kurtz went on the air for the first time in 1963, broadcasting as WDVR FM from a cramped space on Chelten Avenue in Germantown, just blocks from Penn Charter.

An electrical engineer and a music lover, Kurtz combined his skill with his passion to create a station that broadcast beautiful music around the clock and in stereo, which was unheard-of back then. In the mid ’60s, Kurtz partnered with Jerry Lee, one of his original seven staffers, and they grew the station into a broadcast powerhouse. According to the archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia, the two men are credited with laying the foundation for FM radio as a viable music format and business platform.

The Kurtz family, lead donors to the performing arts facility, named the center in memory of David L. Kurtz as a tribute to him and his legacy.