Bridge Sessions

What happens when exceptional artistry meets hands-on participation meets a world-class music venue? World Cafe Live’s Bridge Sessions combine all three, creating a fun learning experience for thousands of Philly students annually.

Bridge Sessions are our signature education programs, welcoming participants to the venue for a fully interactive live music experience. We team up with a diverse group of artists to design immersive performances complete with professional sound and lighting. Attendees get to actively participate in live music-making and engage in a Q&A session with the artists, leaving feeling inspired and empowered.

Bridge Sessions are offered on a variety of rotating topics, exploring the connection between music and the human experience through language, culture, identity, history, social change, media, and the human body.

 “Our students leave here empowered, they leave here having experienced joy.”

—Ezechial Thurman, teacher at Hill-Freedman World Academy

Session Topics

Verses & Rhythms

These Bridge Sessions explore spoken and written language through a musical lens, with a focus on history, hip hop, production, performance, and emceeing.

The Art of Intention

Teaching Artist: Enoch the Poet

Genre: Spoken Word

Recommended For: Grades 7-12

Finding Joy

Teaching Artist: Dave G

Genre: Spoken Word

Recommended For: Grades 7-12

This Bridge Session is available in-person or virtually through our Digital Curriculum program.

The Art of the Emcee

Teaching Artist: Rae.Dianz

Genre: Hip-Hop

Recommended For: Grades 7-12


Soul Cyphers

Teaching Artist: James Weldon

Genre: Hip-Hop

Recommended For: Grades 7-12


Language of Rhythm

Teaching Artists: Luke Carlos O’Reilly, keyboard; Josh Robinson, percussion; Jacob Winterstein, spoken word poet

Genre: Language Arts

Recommended For: Grades 6-12

Builds an understanding of how rhythm and music relate to spoken language and gives participants a chance to write their own group poems.

Global Intersections

These Bridge Sessions explore how music connects with the world around us through movement, activism, and cultural traditions.

We Been Outside

Teaching Artist: ill Fated & Friends (Bets Charmelus, Otheni Thompson, Caleb T Lucky, DWiz, Amari Rebel)

Genre: Rock, Reggaeton, Afrobeat

Recommended For: Grades 7-12

Philly’s own ill Fated Natives will explore the songs of protest, liberation, and joy spanning the rock, reggaeton, soul, and afrobeat genres. Students will have an opportunity to learn the origins of reggaeton and afrobeat, the rhythms associated with each genre, and even jam with the band.

World of Percussion

Teaching Artists: Alex Shaw, Kwasi Burgee, Nezih Antakli

Genre: World Music, Percussion, Improvisation

Recommended For: Grades 1-8

Introduces 100+ percussion instruments and rhythms from around the world through soundscapes and hands-on activities.

Voices of Protest

Teaching Artist: Arthur Thomas and the Funkitorium

Genre: Soul, Funk

Recommended For: Grades 7-12

Philly’s own Arthur Thomas and the Funkitorium will explore social justice and how music impacted past and current social justice movements through the soul music of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Participants will have an opportunity to either learn how to write a protest song, join the rhythm section of the band, or work with a DJ to curate socially conscious music of their generation.

La Ruta del Fandango

Teaching Artist: Guachinangos

Genre: Jarocho, Cumbia

Recommended For: Grades 7-12

Former Viernes Calientes artists in residence Guachinangos will explore the rhythms and songs of the Son Jarocho and Cumbia tradition. Students will have an opportunity to learn how to play traditional rhythms, write, and perform a traditional folk dance.

Philly Foundations

These Bridge Sessions discover the rich history and ongoing legacy of our city’s impact and contribution to the music scene.

Coming Soon

Want to participate or learn more? Fill out the form below to get in touch!

Education & Community Programs Interest Form





Know  Before

You Go

Bridge Sessions are held at World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Schools/organizations are responsible for making their own travel arrangements.

Buses should drop off participants at the main entrance to World Cafe Live on Walnut Street, where our staff will greet you and bring you into the venue for seating. At the end of the session, buses should pick up participants from the lower-level side entrance on 31st Street (only accessible from Chestnut Street).

Participants with wheelchairs or mobility aids may be dropped off and picked up at the lower-level side entrance on 31st Street. Please enter the building through “Donor Alley” and wait in the lower-level lobby to be seated.

There are 30-minute loading zones at both the main entrance and lower-level side entrance. Please leave the loading zone promptly so that other vehicles may use it. Buses/vans are responsible for finding their own parking.

World Cafe Live is committed to accessibility and inclusion. We believe everyone deserves access to great music, and we know that people with disabilities frequently face barriers to participating in the arts. Through our Bridge Sessions and workshops at partner facilities, we seek to create welcoming spaces where people with diverse abilities and needs can be part of making and experiencing music.

Each year, we collaborate with leading arts accessibility organization Art-Reach to present several Bridge Sessions for youth and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities. We also welcome groups from schools and human service organizations to join our sessions for public schools. Bridge Sessions can easily be adapted to the age/level/ability of the groups attending, and we ensure necessary accommodations are provided within the session.

World Cafe Live is fully ADA accessible. The central elevator provides access to all levels of the building, and there are accessible restrooms on all floors. We can also arrange entry through a side door on 31st St directly into the venue; please contact us in advance to coordinate this option.

Seating is flexible, and we can easily rearrange chairs to accommodate wheelchairs and mobility aids. Some Bridge Sessions involve movement; our teaching artists model adaptations to movements, and we encourage participants to engage in whatever way is comfortable for them.

Our Bridge Sessions are uniquely adaptive and welcoming for participants with intellectual disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, dementia, and other cognitive disabilities. Sessions offer opportunities to listen, move, respond to questions, play instruments, and engage creatively.

Bridge Sessions may contain loud noises (especially in percussion sessions) and moving lights. We keep the house lights up during sessions, so the room is never dark. We understand that some participants may need to move or vocalize, and we do not expect stillness or silence from our audiences.

If a participant needs a break from the session, they are welcome to exit to the lobby. We have additional seating available in the balcony, where participants may listen/observe away from the crowd. We will provide a sensory-friendly tent upon advance request.

Our sessions include a mix of live music, talking, and audience participation. For participants who are blind or visually impaired, we will alert the artists to be sure they verbally describe instruments, movements, etc. For some sessions with a lot of movement/dance, audio description may be helpful and is available upon advance request.

Bridge Sessions are a feast for the senses, with much to see and feel. All of the music and talking is amplified through our sound system. ASL interpretation is available upon advance request.

We are committed to ensuring participants have the best possible experience, and we will gladly work with you to provide reasonable accommodations that align with the nature of the programming. Please contact us at least 2 weeks prior to your Bridge Session to make arrangements.

Entering the Venue:

I am going to a Bridge Session at World Cafe Live. I am going to enter World Cafe Live from the main entrance on Walnut Street. I can use this entrance if I use a wheelchair. I can use the bathroom on this floor. It is to the left of the elevator. I can use an accessible stall in this bathroom.

Going Downstairs:

I will be met by someone from World Cafe Live to go to the lower level lobby. I can use the stairs or the elevator to go to the lower level. I will wait in the lobby of the lower level until the venue is open. I can use the bathroom on this floor. It is behind the stairs. I can use an accessible stall in this bathroom.

The Performance:

When the venue is open, I will enter from the back and sit in front of the stage. I can use a wheelchair accessible entrance at elevator level 1, and I will enter the venue in front of the stage.

The musicians sing and move to the music. The music will get louder and softer at different times during the show. Loud and fast music is exciting. Soft and quiet music is a calm part of the show.

If I don’t know what is happening I can whisper my question to the person I’m with. I can also ask a musician.

A musician may ask for people to answer questions, play an instrument or try something on stage. I may raise my hand if I want to try it.

I will see the musicians moving in front of me. Sometimes there will be more than one moving at the same time. It’s okay if I want to move in my space.

I will see lights on the stage that will be different colors. These lights may be bright and I can close my eyes if I want to. These lights may move to the music and how fast or slow you hear a sound.

I can clap at the end of a song. Other people in the audience will clap too. I can cover my ears if the clapping noise is too loud.

Taking A Break:

If I need to take a break from the Bridge Session, I can go to the bottom floor lobby or the mezzanine (balcony) for quiet seating. I can get to the mezzanine on the stairs or in the elevator at level 3R. I can use the bathroom on the mezzanine level. There are two single-stall accessible gender neutral restrooms.

I will leave the Bridge Session directly from the venue onto 31st Street. My bus or van will pick me up there.


When do Bridge Sessions take place?

Bridge Sessions are scheduled from October through May, taking place on select weekday mornings during the school day.

Where are sessions held?

Sessions are held at World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.

How many participants can attend?

We welcome groups from 20-160 people (including chaperones). Sometimes we have multiple schools/organizations attending the same session. Our maximum capacity is 160 seats.

What ages/grades are sessions for?

Bridge Sessions are geared towards 2nd-12th grades. Although some topics work particularly well for certain age ranges, most Bridge Sessions can also be adapted for adults with physical or cognitive disabilities. Our program team will work with you to select the best session for your group.

Can I attend multiple sessions?

Absolutely! We encourage schools to sign up for multiple Bridge Sessions throughout the school year.

What is the cost to attend Bridge Sessions?

Sessions are available at no cost for Philadelphia district and charter schools, including bus reimbursement. Human service organizations serving people with disabilities can also attend for free, but must cover their transportation. For independent and suburban schools, we suggest a $10/student ticket price.

How do I get a school bus reimbursement?

Schools/organizations are responsible for arranging their own travel and paying for bus costs upfront. We encourage schools with the budget to cover their own bus costs to do so, so that we can allocate our resources to those in greater need.

To receive a reimbursement, please send a copy of the bus invoice that clearly states the amount, payee, and mailing address for the check.

What should I know about arriving for my session?

Please plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to your session start time. Because we frequently have multiple schools attending the same session, please contact us if you anticipate being even a few minutes late. See “Getting Here” above for more info on drop-off and pickup instructions. Teachers/chaperones must accompany participants at all times; you are responsible for them while in the building.

Can you tell me more about accessibility?

The venue is fully accessible. Click “Venue Access” above for more information. We’re happy to make any accommodations necessary so that everyone can participate in our programs.

Do Bridge Sessions satisfy state education standards?

Bridge Sessions easily intersect with state standards for music education, as well as many other classroom subjects. Feel free to contact us for more information about how any particular session might connect with your classroom curriculum.

Can you provide a Certificate of Insurance?

World Cafe Live is fully insured and keeps a Certificate of Insurance on file with the School District of Philadelphia. If your school/organization requires a COI, please let us know at least 2 weeks before your session.

How do I sign up?

Fill out the interest form above to get started and someone from our team will get back to you.