By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A North Philadelphia organization known for community development is kicking off its 25th anniversary celebration with a day of Jazz on Cecil B. Moore Avenue next week.

The 8th annual Jazz on the Ave Festival features free performances by top acts like Chris Washburne, Carol Riddick and Mosaic Flow, but it’s about more than just music and fun.

“Back in 1990 this area had one of the highest rates of crime in Philadelphia,” says Ken Scott, President of Beech Companies. He says the group has spent the past two-and-a-half decades working to revitalize North Central Philadelphia by giving out $26 million in grants and helping to facilitate scores of economic development projects near and around Temple University.

Ken Scott, President of Beech Companies. (credit: Cherri Gregg/KYW)

Ken Scott, President of Beech Companies. (credit: Cherri Gregg/KYW)


“We’ve built over 100 affordable housing units, we’ve got a couple hundred thousand square feet of commercial space,” he says, “if you look at all the new single family homes with front lawns and drive ways, you’ll see it’s not just about high income families moving in, it’s about maintaining this community.”

He says the companies’ next step — job creation.

“We have some programs where we have some kids involved where we really want to teach them how to do computer programming and coding, which is really the job of the future,” he says.

Thousands are expected to flock to Jazz on the Ave, which kicks off at noon on August 16th on Cecil B. Moore between Broad and 16th.

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