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Arts and Culture

40th Street Artist-in-Residence program accepting applications for 2018-2019 residency

May 29, 2018

40th Street AIR studio and gallery on 40th and Chestnut.

The 40th Street Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program is currently accepting applications from local artists for its 2018-2019 residency in West Philadelphia. The program provides one year of free studio space to visual artists who reside in or are strongly affiliated with West Philadelphia neighborhoods.

The program assists emerging artists in their career growth and also lets them share their talents with the local community.  Continue Reading

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Jazz Heritage Series kicks off this Thursday at Malcolm X Park

May 23, 2018

Another great West Philly summer tradition, Jazz Heritage Series, will kick off this Thursday (May 24) at Malcolm X Park at 52nd and Pine. The series, presented by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and co-hosted by the Friends of Malcolm X Park and Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, will feature free live performances by well-known Philadelphia area musicians every other Thursday (weather permitted) at 7 p.m. through September 13. Here’s the full lineup:

May 24 – Keni Jackson, Experience
June 7 – Keyboardist Glenn Bryan & Friends
June 21 – The Budesa Brothers
July 5 – Drummer Carlos DeVaughn & The All-Stars
July 19 – Vocalist Shirley Lites
Aug. 2 – Bassist Tony (TNT) Jones & Beyond The Dream
Aug. 16 – The Barbara Walker Story
Aug. 30 – The Clef Club Student Ensemble
Sept. 13 – The Sam Reed Band

Just a reminder that Cedar Park Jazz series will also return this summer. The first performance is next Friday, June 1, at 6 p.m.

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‘Thurgood’ at the Bushfire Theatre on Friday and Saturday

May 18, 2018

This weekend you can get a rare glimpse inside the Bushfire Theatre for the Performing Arts at 52nd and Locust (224 S. 52nd St.) for the staging of Thurgood, the acclaimed bio-play about the former Supreme Court justice and civil rights icon.

Written by television and film director and producer George Stevens Jr., Thurgood is a stripped down portrayal of Marshall’s life as told by him and includes seminal moments in American history (the announcement of the verdict in Brown vs. Board of Education in the play would regular elicit celebratory hoots and hollers from audiences on Broadway).

Bushfire founder Al Simpkins will direct.

Founded in 1977, the Bushfire stages a few performances a year. The theater itself dates back to 1909, when it served as a Vaudeville house called The Locust. It was later converted to a movie theater until it was abandoned and fell into disrepair.

Tickets for Thurgood range from $15 (for kids) to $30. The show starts at 7:30 tonight and Saturday night.

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Mural unveiling (and food and music) for esteemed journalist, West Philly native Ed Bradley (updated)

May 17, 2018

The Ed Bradley mural at 949 Belmont Ave. (Photo by Steve Weinik for Mural Arts Philadelphia).

UPDATE: The event has been postponed until Saturday, June 16 due to the weather.

Mural Arts Philadelphia will unveil a new piece honoring journalist and West Philly native Ed Bradley on Saturday, May 19 June 16 at noon at the intersection of Belmont and Wyalusing Streets (949 Belmont St.).

Bradley was best known as a reporter for some 26 years on 60 Minutes. He was the first Black television correspondent to cover the White House and won dozens of awards during his career. That career in journalism began at Philadelphia radio station WDAS. Bradley had also been a public school teacher in Philadelphia, soon after he graduated from Cheyney University.

Bradley died in 2006 at age 65 of complications from lymphocytic leukemia.  Continue Reading

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Dinner in Three Acts: Delicious fundraiser for Curio Theatre

May 14, 2018

Dinner in Three Acts is a fun and delicious way to support educational programs at Curio Theatre.

Curio Theatre Company, the community theater at 48th and Baltimore, is starting an exciting new fundraising tradition. On Sunday, May 20, the company will be “producing” a Dinner in Three Acts – a three-course dinner at selected West Philadelphia homes. This is how it works:

Act One – 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. – Guests will start with registration and appetizers at one home.
Act Two – 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. – For their entree, guests will choose one style of cuisine from a varied selection served for groups of 10 to 15 people.
Act Three – 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. – Guests will return to the theater for dessert with coffee and tea.  Continue Reading

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Unveiling of new version of the ‘Broken Chains” mural at 52nd and Larchwood this Saturday

May 11, 2018

The design for the new “Broken Chains” mural at 500 S. 52nd St. (southwest corner of 52nd and Larchwood).

A new “Broken Chains” mural at 52nd and Larchwood, where several buildings are undergoing extensive renovation, will be unveiled Saturday, May 12th at 3 p.m.

The original Broken Chains mural (see below), a tribute to Black empowerment and leadership, will be removed as part of the ongoing renovation of the building at 500 S. 52nd (southwest corner of 52nd and Larchwood), one of several buildings near that intersection that the local development company, Spak Group, is renovating from the ground up. When completed, the building will include ground floor commercial (a sit-down restaurant) and three apartments.  Continue Reading

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