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Philadelphia's new Night Time Economy Director, Raheem Manning. Photo Courtesy of City of Philadelphia
Philadelphia's new Night Time Economy Director, Raheem Manning. Photo Courtesy of City of Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s first Night Time Economy Director is appointed

Philadelphia's wants to fulfill its night potential, and has selected Raheem Manning to lead that charge.

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Philadelphia has trusted Raheem Manning as Philadelphia's first ever Night Time Economy Director. 

With Manning's years of experience in entrepreneurship, civic engagement, marketing, advertising, arts and culture advocacy roles, the city hopes to birth an exciting strategy to support, attract and retain businesses within the nighttime economy.

The main idea of the new position is to fulfill Philadelphia's nighttime potential and create a better quality of life for all citizens, including those with traditional hours, allowing Philadelphia to compete with peer cities for residents and cultural prestige.

"I am confident that Raheem is the right person to convene ecosystem partnerships for the nighttime economy that will make it easier to operate a successful business in Philadelphia while enhancing our city as a thriving, diverse destination for all," said Commerce Director Anne Nadol in a press release.

She added that his experiences are well-suited to lead the promotion of Philadelphia as a 24-hour city and a dynamic driver of tourism, hospitality, art and more. 

"The problems the city's nighttime economy currently faces are the challenges of finding and creating creative space. Spaces filled with art and music venues will reflect the city's diversity. Additionally, cementing trust between city officials, businesses and artists that operate at night is possible," Researcher Michael Fichman said.

"The idea of nighttime governance is attractive to traditional business-oriented politicians and many business interests in the city," Fichman said. "If you ask business owners who deal in the nighttime economy and have to work with the city whether they need more attention for their specific sector, they'll say, 'Absolutely.' They're very fed up with how little they're understood or vouched for by the city."

Councilmember Isaiah Thomas noted that Philadelphia was one of the only major cities without a government position dedicated to nightlife – until now. 

"After hearing concerns on this issue from the City Council's Arts and Culture Task Force, I made it a priority to fund this position and am proud to see Raheem Manning (co-chair of our task force) selected as Philadelphia's first Night Time Economy Director. Arts and culture, when properly invested in, can create jobs and boost the economy. I look forward to supporting these goals and attracting people and businesses to enjoy Philadelphia's nightlife," Manning said.

Manning will not be entering a city he does not know. He is a native of Philadelphia and feels he is a staple in the community, having previously served as Co-Chair of the City's Arts and Culture Task Force for two years, where he coordinated with City leadership and legislators to advocate for effective changes that strengthen the city's nighttime economy. 

Not only does Manning know Philadelphia, but he also knows over 30 countries and six continents.

With abundant travel, he is also the founding CEO of The Weekender Experiences. It is focused on granting excellent travel services for Black professionals in the United States. 

Manning believes it is essential for young Black people to travel the world to discover who they are and where they belong. 

"I am excited to accept the role as Philadelphia's first Night Time Economy Director. I am looking forward to reshaping the nighttime economy, moving Philly to a truly 24-hour city that is regionally and globally competitive! Safety, inclusivity and innovation will be my priorities as I advocate for all stakeholders of the city's nighttime economy! I am excited and ready to do the work!," Night Time Economy Director Raheem Manning, said on Instagram

Manning has a Bachelor of Arts from Clark Atlanta University, certification for international business from East China Normal University in Shanghai, China and a Master's in business administration from Thomas Jefferson University.

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