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Dave Silver and his artist friends started with a simple goal: create a space in Philadelphia for artists and entertainers to follow their passions. Today, the goal has grown into a $1.5 million business with aims to expand to other cities.

REC Philly empowers creators to do more of what they love, providing an outlet to artists typically seen only in Los Angeles and New York City.

The business started with a search for space to host parties and concerts, where artists could create music, shoot videos and talk about being an entrepreneur with other like-minded creators. The REC Philly team secured an old warehouse and, through word-of-mouth in the artist community, REC Philly took off as a membership platform.

In his role as co-founder and CEO, Silver and his cofounder Will Toms helped REC Philly outgrow those initial digs and eventually move to a 10,000-squarefoot facility in Center City’s Fashion District. The space includes design, recording, podcast and dance studios, editing stations, collaboration rooms, workspaces and space for up to 250 people to attend concerts and shows.

“In alignment to Dave’s passion and beliefs in expanding and advocating for the creative industry, he and his team curated member programming to allow further education, connection and empowerment of their community,” Silver’s team said. “Dave and the REC Philly team provide their members insight on topics such as brand development and business and lifestyle sustainability. Now hosting onwards of 1,000 members and [with] business affiliations that include nationally ranked universities and fortune 500 companies, REC Philly is continuing to grow and expand.”

REC Philly intends to take the REC brand to other cities across the country. The team is scouting new locations and partnerships, and Silver plans to give new communities of artists opportunities to grow and showcase their talents in the same way REC Philly does for its members.

Education is another key facet of the business and is central to Silver’s mission. Silver and Toms saw a need to teach creators how to brand themselves and monetize their talents, and they created REC U. The program brings industry experts to members via classes, workshops and speeches. REC U also recently launched a digital program.

“(Silver) took a love of photography, videography, music, art and entertainment and created a space to provide other artists a platform to do their work, right here in Philadelphia,” Silver’s team said. “Dave’s positive and growth mindset allows for his team and members to live up to their fullest potential. Never to shy away from a problem, Dave will find a solution with creativity, enthusiasm and pride.”

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Silver and REC Philly awarded more than $200,000 to artists in need. REC Philly also collaborated to help form a grant program to support Philadelphia’s Black creators. The program awarded 23 people a total of $100,000.


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