Archive | September, 2016

Say good-bye to summer at Go West! Craft Fest

September 30, 2016

gowestA great way to say “goodbye” to the summer is by visiting the historic Woodlands cemetery grounds for the fall edition of Go West! Craft Fest. The fest is scheduled for this Saturday, Oct. 1 (rain date is Sunday, Oct. 2), from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and, as always, will feature handmade wares from about 100 local craftspeople, live music, and entertainment for the whole family. There will also be an opportunity to tour The Woodlands, sample delicious food from local eateries, and enjoy performances by Tangle’s tinycircus performers.

Here’s the schedule of performances:

11:00 – The Green Tambourine
12:00 – The River Bones
1:00 – West Philly Foot Tappers
2:00 – Brady And The Bear
3:00 – Tinycircus
4:00 – Christopher Davis-Shannon

For a sneak peek of what’s in store from the participating makers, go here. Also check out #gowestcraftfest on Instagram for more glimpses of Saturday’s offerings.

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New community group offers help in processing traumatic current events

September 29, 2016

A new community discussion group hosted by Council for Relationships (CFR) held its first session on September 17 at its University City location at 4025 Chestnut Street. The public forum, titled “Reflections,” was created to provide a safe and supportive environment for those who have been emotionally impacted by troubling current events. Events may include local or global tragedies, mass killings, global warming, civil rights and other issues. This is an opportunity to share your feelings, listen to one another, and connect with others.

With this new program, CFR seeks to provide community, dialogue, and emotional support for those who need it. The West Philadelphia community members are invited to talk about their responses to current events in a supportive group dialogue, which will be facilitated each month by CFR’s staff of clinical therapists.  Continue Reading

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Alexander Wilson alumni, parents, teachers to honor their school before demolition (updated)

September 29, 2016

When community members came last spring to hear the University of the Sciences’ proposal to tear down the Alexander Wilson School and build a 6-floor student dorm complex, they had lots of questions and one big request: Could USciences host an event that would provide Wilson alumni, parents and employees a last chance to share their memories of the school, which has stood at the corner of 46th and Woodland for 100 years.


A mural at the Alexander Wilson School.

A celebration of Wilson’s history is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 2 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the school’s courtyard (see the schedule below).

The event will include the opening of a Wilson school time capsule from 1958 and a recording booth for alumni and teachers to share their memories about the school.

Wilson was shuttered during a controversial round of school closings in 2013 and then sold. The school is scheduled to be demolished within a couple of months.

USciences paid a reported $2 million for the 1.03-acre parcel that borders its campus and includes the three story school building. The purchase, which was approved at a School Reform Commission meeting last fall, followed a long bid process that included interest from West Philly based developers Orens Brothers.

The proposed new dorm complex, which will house about 400 students and replace residence facilities elsewhere on the campus, will be U-shaped with the open end of the U along Woodland. The university hopes to break ground for the building early next year and open it to new students in the fall of 2018.

Here’s the schedule for Sunday’s event:

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Music by the Brook Street Band and DJ Lonnie Love BBQ Lunch

3:00 pm – 3:45 pm PROGRAM REMARKS
Paul Katz, MD, President, University of the Sciences
Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, City of Philadelphia, District 3
PA State Senator Anthony H. Williams, 8th District
Joan Myers Brown, Founder, Executive Artistic Director, PHILADANCO, Former Wilson student
Reverend Martin Wright, 46th Street Baptist Church
Jane Golden, Founder & Executive Director, City of Philadelphia, Mural Arts Program
Dianne Settles, Former Wilson student
Richard Liuzzi, Former Director, Wilson Community School
Dr. Kathleen Cosby-Tabb, Former Wilson student


4:00 pm – 5:00 pm Music by the Brook Street Band and DJ Lonnie Love Water Ice

ALL DAY Story Collection Booth – Collect video and audio stories and scan in photos.

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Penn Alexander named national “Blue Ribbon” school

September 28, 2016

The Penn Alexander School (4209 Spruce St.) today was named a National Blue Ribbon School, an award the U.S. Department of Education gives to about 350 schools around the country each year deemed “high performing” or “achievement gap closing.” Both public and private schools are eligible.

PennPenn Alexander was recognized as an “exemplary achievement gap closing school,” an award that recognizes schools that have consistently improved academic achievement against other schools around the state.

School officials received the award during a ceremony in the school this afternoon.

In its application, Penn Alexander officials wrote that, “Penn Alexander faculty spends a great deal of time developing programming and extracurricular activities to engage and support our diverse community. We believe the growth and achievement outside of the classroom has a direct impact on bridging the gap of student achievement inside the classroom.”

Two other schools in Philadelphia were also awarded the National Blue Ribbon. St. Mary Interparochial School at 5th and Locusts Streets was named an “exemplary high performing school,” as was the Folk Arts-Culture Charter School at 1023 Callowhill St.

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Kol Tzedek hosting High Holidays celebrations at Calvary Center, Bartram’s Garden

September 28, 2016


             Image courtesy of Kol Tzedek.

West Philly’s reconstructionist synagogue, Kol Tzedek, invites community members to celebrate the High Holidays at their home at Calvary Center on 48th and Baltimore.

The schedule for Rosh Hashanah (October 2-4) and Yom Kippur (October 11-12) includes traditional services, great children’s programming, meditation and yoga, social justice teachings, and a break-fast at Calvary Center, and Tashlich at Bartram’s Gardens.

At Kol Tzedek, expect to celebrate the High Holidays with creativity, introspection, prayer, song, learning, and community. Their theme this year is Vulnerability.

You can find more information and register at:

Kol Tzedek always welcomes practicing Jews, non-practicing Jews, and non-Jews who are interested in learning more, and particularly extends a hand to interfaith families, Jews of color, and LGBTQ visitors. Non-members are also welcome to join Kol Tzedek for High Holidays and any other events and services.

Just recently, Kol Tzedek welcomed a new rabbi, Rabbi Ari Lev Fornari. Read more about it here.

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Eat, drink and dance at The Porch’s 5-Year Anniversary Party this Wednesday

September 27, 2016


Photo by Ryan Collerd, courtesy University City District.

It’s hard to believe it but The Porch at 30th Street Station is celebrating its 5th anniversary this week. It opened in the fall of 2011 and transformed a parking lot and a dangerous walkway outside of the nation’s second busiest train stations into a vibrant and pedestrian-friendly public space complete with tables and chairs, umbrellas, swings and greenery.

The Porch’s 5th Anniversary Party will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 28 (weather permitting) and will feature food, drinks, giveaways, and music. University City District (UCD), who operates and programs The Porch, is partnering with 33rd Street Hospitality and Jet Wine Bar to bring $5 food and drink specials in honor of the five years since The Porch debuted.

theporchpartySince its introduction in 2011, The Porch at 30th Street Station has been offering seasonal horticulture, special events, and lunch service from local food trucks. The Porch was Philadelphia’s first “lighter quicker cheaper” public space, and originally involved simple, cost-effective, and fully removable elements.

Five years later, The Porch has evolved into a more permanent mainstay, with elements contributed by Groundswell Design Group, Gehl Studio, and Visit Philly. The Porch has also cemented itself as a popular gathering space for commuters, local workers, and visitors to Philadelphia looking for a space to lounge and linger.  Continue Reading

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