The Art Church of West Philadelphia opens tonight with local photographer show

Posted on 19 September 2014


The Art Church of West Philadelphia is opening at 5219 Webster St. (Facebook photo).

Great news for local artists and art lovers. The Art Church of West Philadelphia, a new work space for artists and art gallery is opening at 5219 Webster Street. The grand opening of the space, which is actually not in a church but in a two-story rowhome on a quiet West Philly block, is tonight at 8 p.m.

According to information on their website, the Art Church of West Philadelphia space can be used for performances, events, rehearsals, meetings, worship services or classes. Cara Blouin, a theater director and playwright, is the Art Church residing community member and “art pastor.” If you’re interested in using the space, contact Cara at:

To celebrate the opening of the new art space, West Philly photographer Kyle Cassidy will host a retrospective show of his amazing theater photos, many from West Philly’s Curio Theatre, but also from the Philadelphia Artists Collective, Hedgerow, and others, including the recent Commonwealth Classic production of The Glass Menagerie. Kyle’s work was featured in the New York Times, Vanity Fair (DE), the Sunday Times of London, Marie Claire, Photographers Forum, Asleep by Dawn, Gothic Beauty and many other publications.

The opening reception will also include music by Emcee Elroy and Dominique London and refreshments. Click here for more details.


Photo by Kyle Cassidy. His work will be presented at The Art Church of West Philadelphia opening event on Friday, Sept. 19, at 8 p.m.


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West Philly Weekend Events (Sept 18-20)

Posted on 18 September 2014


2nd Fall Pétanque Doubles Tournament will take place at Clark Park this Saturday.

There are tons of great events, many of them free, happening in West Philly this weekend, including free workshops, a children’s sale, charitable runs/walks, and a fall festival. Check out the list below and enjoy the beautiful early fall weather. For more upcoming events or if you want to submit an event, visit our Events Calendar.

Thursday, Sept 18

Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll – Baltimore Avenue between 43rd and 51st Streets, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Enjoy $1 items from over 30 neighborhood businesses.

Friday, Sept 19

Wine and Cheese Pre-Sale (West Philly Grows Again Kids Consignment Sale) – St. Mary’s Nursery School (3916 Locust Walk), 9-10 p.m.

Saturday, Sept 20

Cobbs Creek 5K Run/Walk – Cobbs Creek Park (63rd and Locust), 9 a.m. (registration begins at 8 a.m.). All funds raised from this event will go to support outdoor recreational activities within Cobbs Creek Park for children and youth. $20 (adults), $10 (youth), free for children (12 and under).

West Philly Grows Again Kids Consignment Sale – St. Mary’s Nursery School (3916 Locust Walk), 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Shop for high-quality clothing items and toys for many different ages and stages at affordable prices.

Free Digital Photography Workshop (Free) – University of the Sciences (42nd and Woodland), 10 a.m. USciences photography professor James Hayden offers a free two-hour photography workshop on “Creative Compositions.” Bring your own camera.

Pétanque Tournament – Clark Park “A” (43rd and Baltimore), 10 a.m. 2nd Annual Fall Doubles tournament. (Here‘s our last year’s story about Pétanque in West Philly).

The Woodlands Wobble 5K – The Woodland Cemetery (40th and Woodland), 10 a.m. All proceeds from this run will support trail maintenance for the running paths inside the site. $25.

Poetry Writing Workshop (Free) – University of the Sciences (42nd and Woodland), 10 a.m. USciences poetry professor Warren Hope offers a two-hour introductory poetry workshop. Bring pen and paper.

Clark Park Music & Arts Equinox Festival – Clark Park “B” (43rd and Chester), Noon-Sundown. The festival includes children’s events and activities, arts and crafts, vending, and a great diversity of performances, including all kinds of music, dance and theater.

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New playground and a meet and greet: Things are happening at Lea

Posted on 18 September 2014


Lea School’s new playground. (Photo courtesy of West Philly Coalition for Neighborhood Schools)

A couple of exciting public events are planned this month at the Henry C. Lea School, including a meet and greet with the entire school community.

This Friday, Sept. 19, community members are invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new school playground at 47th and Spruce. A new play structure was transferred from another West Philly school, the shuttered Alexander Wilson School, and the playground area was resurfaced, thanks to donations from parents, neighbors, and Spruce Hill Community Association.

The new playground opened earlier this week and now local residents are invited to celebrate the opening together with Lea’s new principal, Ms. Jennifer Duffy, teachers, students, and members of the West Philly Coalition for Neighborhood Schools (WPCNS), whose ‘Greening Lea’ initiative was key to the success of this project. The new playground is an early Greening Lea project since a lot of work is still ahead. Full Phase 1 construction is expected to start in the summer of 2015 (click here to learn more about Greening Lea and to support the initiative).

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 8 a.m. before the start of school.

On Tuesday, Sept. 30, at 6 p.m. families and community members are invited to the Lea School Auditorium (47th and Locust) to a meeting with the principal, teachers, and WPCNS members to learn more about the school’s mission, vision and its redesign initiative. As part of this project, the school and WPCNS will submit next month an application to the School District of Philadelphia’s School Redesign Initiative program, which would provide a small planning grant and expert resources for the school’s developing model to be implemented in the 2015-2016 school year.

The school leadership team led by the Principal Duffy has created a mission and vision in an effort to serve all the students, families, staff, and community of Lea, according to their statement. It is stressed that the goal is “not to create Lea anew but rather strengthen and build upon the important work that has been done in recent years, with the continued input and investment from the broader Lea community.”

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Dollar Stroll returns Thursday; check out the $1 deals

Posted on 16 September 2014


Photo courtesy of University City District.

The summer’s second and last Dollar Stroll is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 18 along Baltimore Avenue between 43rd and 51st Streets from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. As always, dozens of area businesses will be offering $1 items, from all kinds of food, ice cream and beers to special memberships and tickets. In addition to $1 food and drinks, the September Dollar Stroll will feature live entertainment including jugglers, fire artists and music from Y-Not Radio at the 46th Street Triangle.

Check out the list below of participating businesses and organizations and their offers.

Green Line Cafe
4239 Baltimore Avenue
Hebrew National hot dogs & carrot dogs

Friends of Clark Park
43rd and Baltimore Avenue
Clark Park Frisbees & keychains

Milk & Honey Market
4435 Baltimore Avenue
Bassets ice cream bars  Continue Reading

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Go West! Craft Fest returns Sunday with over 100 artisans, great food and live music (updated)

Posted on 13 September 2014


UPDATE (9/13/2014): Due to rain forecasted on Saturday, Go West! Craft Fest has been postponed until Sunday, Sept 14.

This Saturday, Sept. 13 Sunday, Sept 14, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., VIX Emporium presents the Fall edition of the popular Go West! Craft Fest, bringing over 100 local craftspeople and artisans to the beautiful Woodlands. The vendors will be offering some of the best handmade stuff, including cards and stationery, ceramics, hand-knit items, clothing, jewelry, body and hair products, toys, and more (see the full list of the vendors and their products here).

As always, the fest also features live music, children’s activities, and food from local restaurants and food trucks (don’t forget to bring your picnic blanket). Food will be served by Aksum, Taco Angeleno, the Satellite Cafe and Black Orchid Vegetarian, and dessert by Lil’ Pop Shop and Weckerly’s Ice Cream. Free children’s craft activities will be provided by the University City Arts League and the Philly Free School.

(Updated) And here’s the music lineup that includes performances and entertainment for kids and adults alike:

12 p.m.: The Green Tambourine – children’s musical instruction
1 p.m.: Julian Root (with Liana Moskowitz and Ian Sigler) – traditional roots/bluegrass/Americana
2 p.m.: Silverton – uncompromisingly positive folk rock
3 p.m.: All Around This World – international children’s music with Jay Sand
4 p.m.: Shakey Lyman – blues legend

Brian Eckinrode will be performing random acts of juggling throughout the day.

The Craft Fest guests are also invited to take a guided tour of the Woodlands grounds that begins at the Woodlands table (near the main entrance) at 12 and 2 p.m. Also at the Woodlands table, volunteers will be collecting books for All Hallow’s Read, a children’s “book hunt” that will take place at the Woodlands on October 26. Donate any children’s books with a fall or Halloween theme, and kids can hunt for free books at the October event.

A couple of important notes: No vehicles will be admitted to the grounds from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. during the event. The rain date is Sunday, Sept. 14. The organizers will announce Saturday morning if they plan to reschedule the event (we’ll post an update, too, in this case).

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West Philly Ceramics exhibit opening tonight at UCAL

Posted on 05 September 2014


Pieter Mostert’s Vessel.

University City Arts League, a community non-profit organization that has been serving the community for 45 years, is presenting a two-person ceramics show, “West Philly Ceramics: Ken Beidler and Pieter Mostert.” The opening reception is tonight, 6-8 p.m., at 4226 Spruce Street.

Beidler’s forms combine wheel and hand-built elements. He is a largely self-taught artist, according to the UCAL press release, who has been influenced by the original Arts and Crafts movement, urban life and his life experience in Indonesia. He has a studio at the Cedar Works and teaches at UCAL. Mostert is South African who spen the last five years in Philadelphia. He makes sculptural vessels using a combination of coiling, pinching and paddling.

The works by Beidler and Mostert will be on display at the UCAL gallery until September 26. For more information about classes offered at UCAL, visit:

(Photos courtesy of UCAL)


Ken Beidler’s Baskets.


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