3479 West Girard Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19104
Call Us 267.225.8356
3479 West Girard Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19104
267.225.8356 info@centennialparkside.org


Tashia Rayon

Program Manager

I was born to two civil rights activists in the city of Charleston, SC near James Island, the birthplace also of George Gershwin’s “Porgy & Bess”. I remember the Battery, Folly Beach, Conch, and the “Low Country”. My parents believed strongly in family, cultural pride, faith and fearlessness.

When I was 5 the family moved to Philly because my parents decided that the offer for my father to accept a position as the first Black hospital administrator in the city was an opportunity they couldn’t pass up. We lived on Hazelhurst Street then. More than just a street … we were a circle of friends.

There were young families with children just like us who played Jax, jumped Double Dutch, and had better head home when the street lights came on. On weekends we went to the park (Memorial Hall) and rolled around the “Whispering Benches” with my Dad while my Mom was at home cooking dinner. That’s where I learned to ride a bike. I remember hearing the background noise of people cheering when I finally rode a distance without toppling over. A few short years later we moved to a “quiet” street … a neighborhood I see changing now, more every day.

I’ve traveled and lived all over the country. I left college in Ft. Lauderdale, FL as a design major, moved to New York to train and rehearse and began touring with bands and plays. Hair, Godspell, The Dorothy Dandridge Story, Shakespeare, Dream Girls, etc. When one of the tours stopped in Long Beach, CA I received a call from Will Smith and Jeff Townes with an offer to stay and work on a demo with them. I remained there for 4 years and left with a hefty catalog of music.

My life is Art Culture. Poetry, books, music, spoken word. I’ve been a freelance photographer of many years upon moving back to the Philadelphia area. I’ve become an eccentric eclectic mix of corporate business and the arts. I never tire of thinking, creating and developing new ideas.