Arts and Culture

‘Seeds of Sovereignty’ Festival to celebrate 52nd Street Corridor, Black-owned and operated businesses (updated)

Posted on 23 June 2017

Community members are invited to celebrate the 52nd Street corridor’s historic legacy and to support Black owned and operated businesses at the Marketplace “Seeds of Sovereignty” Festival. The festival will be held on Sunday, June 25, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (the event has been rescheduled due to rain in the forecast for Saturday), between Walnut and Spruce Streets and will feature vendors, a children’s village, performances, food, fashion shows, and workshops.

One of the goals of the festival, organized in collaboration with the African Cultural Art Forum (ACAF), Philadelphia Assembled Collaborative, Philadelphia Association of CDC’s and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is to set the stage for collaborations that will promote a sovereign society and to engage sustainable economic development opportunities in West Philadelphia and around the world.  Continue Reading

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Penn Museum’s Summer Night Concert Series kicks off Wednesday; Opening night special for WPL readers

Posted on 19 June 2017

Summertime brings many chances for locals to enjoy outdoor music performances in the area. We wrote about summer jazz returning to local parks, West Philly Porchfest, and the annual 40th Street Summer Series. Summer Night Concert Series at the Penn Museum is another great tradition that kicks off this Wednesday, June 21 with a performance by The Mid East Ensemble and a special offer for West Philly Local readers (see more info below).

The eighth annual Summer Nights Concert Series will bring an eclectic lineup of performances—including Creole Zydeco, Calypso, ‘20s Jazz, Middle Eastern folk, and more—to the relaxing garden setting of the museum’s Stoner Courtyard. The series is geared to visitors of any age, from friends meeting after work to families with children. Concerts are presented every Wednesday evening, June 21 through September 6, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. To see the full line-up, visit the Penn Museum websiteContinue Reading

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More summer jazz in West Philly: Live jazz performances kick off at Malcolm X Park

Posted on 07 June 2017

Recently we told you about the return of Live Jazz Fridays, a great summer tradition in Cedar Park. In this post, we’re happy to report that the annual West Philadelphia Jazz Heritage Series held at Malcolm X Park (52nd an Pine) has also resumed.

The series, hosted by Friends of Malcolm X Memorial Park (Facebook page) and Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, is held every other Thursday (weather permitting) through Sept. 14, beginning at 7 p.m. Here’s the line up for the rest of the summer:

June 8Drummer Webb Thomas (see video below)
June 22The KDQ & Vocalist Susann Burgess
July 6The Barbara Walker Story
July 20The Budesa Bros
Aug. 3Vocalist Shirley Lites
Aug. 17Drummer Carlos Railey Group
Aug. 31Angel Baby
Sept. 14Pianist Alfie Politt  Continue Reading

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Bigger and better: West Philly Porchfest has quickly become a thing (updated)

Posted on 06 June 2017


                      Photos by Rana Fayez

It’s Saturday morning and the weather’s beautiful so you have your windows open. You’re rolling out of bed and you hear music coming in from the streets. It’s a lazy morning but you walk outside anyway because the weather’s perfect. You notice scattered clusters of crowds listening to music around a porch here and a porch there. A man comes out of his house with a pastry and a coffee, he’s sitting on his porch while enjoying a live band playing on his neighbor’s porch. It’s that time of year again, it’s West Philly Porchfest. Even though the official start time was at noon, some started warming up before.  Continue Reading

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West Philly Porchfest to return for second year (updated)

Posted on 01 June 2017

Photo by Sasha Aleiner

Last year, West Philly witnessed its very first Porchfest, a concept that was introduced into the neighborhood by musicians Owen Lyman-Schmidt and Ross Hoffman (Liana Moskowitz, Abram Taber and Bobby Szafranski also helped organize last year’s festival). This year, Lyman-Schmidt and Hoffman are joined by new organizers, and West Philly Porchfest (WPPF) is back for year two.

New organizers include Carmen Greenwood, Morgan Melissa Robinson, and Ciara Chaly.

“I think it was a really wonderful sort of proof of concept that we could bring this to West Philly and it was embraced so quickly within the first year. I wouldn’t want to say that we were surprised at the turnout, but it was certainly validating to have seen it somewhere else and think this could work in our community and then have folks agree with us,” said co-organizer Lyman-Schmidt.  Continue Reading

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Cedar Park Live Jazz series kicks off this Friday; Check out the lineup

Posted on 31 May 2017

A great summer tradition is still alive in Cedar Park! Summer live jazz series is returning on Friday, June 2, according to Cedar Park Neighbors. Bobby Zankel and the Warriors of the Wonderful Sound Six will kick off the series this Friday. West Philly musician Gretchen Elise will perform next Friday, June 9.

2017 Live Jazz Fridays in Cedar Park will be held every Friday at 49th and Baltimore, 6 – 8 p.m., weather permitting, through July 28th (see the flier for the full lineup). Don’t forget to bring your kids and your neighbors, as well as chairs or a blanket.

Stay tuned for more announcements about live jazz in West Philly – at Malcolm X Park and the annual Lancaster Avenue Jazz Festival. Continue Reading

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