Where to celebrate Lunar (Chinese) New Year

Posted on 05 February 2016


Photo courtesy of International House Philadelphia.

This year on the Chinese calendar is the year of the Monkey. It starts on February 8, and there will be celebrations around the city this weekend and on Monday.

Families are invited to the following events:

• International House Philadelphia (3701 Chestnut St.) is hosting a celebration tonight (Friday, Feb. 5), beginning at 7 p.m. There will be traditional musical and dance performances and a sampling of delicious traditional Chinese cuisine. The program includes:

7:00 p.m. – Traditional food tasting and vendors in Galleria
7:45 p.m. – Show featuring traditional dance, song, lion dance, and more begins in Ibrahim Theater

Tickets are $12 (general public); $8 (IHP members and alumni); $5 (children 12 and under). No tickets are required for children small enough to sit on your lap.  Continue Reading

Comments (0)

‘Racism is a Sickness’ art installation opens tonight at the Art Church

Posted on 05 February 2016

RacismisaSickness1“Racism is a Sickness,” an art installation that uses photography and personal stories to showcase the devastating effects of racism on American society, is currently on display at the Art Church of West Philadelphia (5219 Webster St.).

The photo essay, which is presented by Germantown-based photographer and blogger Tieshka Smith, highlights the disastrous socioeconomic effects of racism on the health and well-being of people of color and on society at large. The author hopes to jump start community conversations leading to action and increased cross-collaboration between community members, academics, elected officials, businesspeople and health care practitioners.


“Racism is a Sickness” events program (click to enlarge).

The soft opening of the exhibition was held on Monday, Feb. 1, and tonight everyone is invited to the opening reception, from 7 – 10 p.m., featuring a performance by Philadelphia-based vocalist and rapper DMNQ LNDN.

The installation will be on display until Feb. 29 and will also include the following programs and events throughout the month, such as The Letters Project, “White Like Me” film screening and discussion, an evening of performance art inspired by “Racism is a Sickness,” and more (please check this page for more details).

A closing reception and a community showcase, “Let the Community Speak” will take place on February 27 at 6 p.m.

For more information, visit: or the event’s Facebook page.

Comments (2)

Congressional Candidates Forum this Thursday at USciences

Posted on 03 February 2016

The public is invited this Thursday (Feb. 4), at 7:30 p.m., to an open forum where democratic candidates for U.S. Representative, 2nd Congressional District, will speak and answer your questions. The forum is organized by the 27th Ward Democrats.

The following candidates will participate in the event:

Chaka Fattah, Incumbent
Dwight Evans, Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing the 203rd District
Brian Gordon, Township Commissioner, Lower Merion
Daniel Muroff, Democratic Ward Leader, 9th Ward
Brian Sims, Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the 182nd District

State Senator Vincent Hughes, 7th District, will also take part in the event.

The discussion is expected to be lively, so everyone is encouraged to attend.

Rosenberger Hall is located in Clark Park (43rd St. near Woodland).

Comments (1)

Well-known West Philly couple take stage as Willy and Linda Loman for ‘Death of a Salesman’

Posted on 02 February 2016


From left to right: Gay Carducci as Linda Loman, Paul Kuhn as Willy Loman, Aaron Kirkpatrick as Biff Loman and Chase Byrd as Happy Loman. (Photo by JR Blackwell)

There might not be two people in all of Philadelphia better suited to play Willy and Linda Loman than Paul Kuhn and Gay Carducci.

Theatergoers will have the rare opportunity to see Kuhn and Carducci, co-founders of the Curio Theatre Company, on stage as two pivotal characters in the Arthur Miller classic “Death of a Salesman,” which opens Feb. 12 as part of Curio’s 11th season.

Kuhn and Carducci, longtime partners off stage as well, bring a rare authenticity to their on-stage relationship, said Director Dan Hodge.

“They have a depth of relationship and shared humor that you can only really find in people who have lived together through the high times and the lean times,” said Hodge.  Continue Reading

Comments (0)

Check out The Hacktory’s new location this Saturday

Posted on 01 February 2016

hacktorylancasterAs soon as the news broke last summer that the University City Science Center-based Department of Making and Doing (DM + D) was closing in the fall, four local organizations which shared DM + D’s collaborative space began looking for new homes. One of them, a popular technology education program, The Hacktory, has just announced that they found a new space at 3645-3647 Lancaster Avenue, right around corner from their previous location at 3711 Market Street.

Program executive director Georgia Guthrie writes that The Hacktory team is very excited about the move. “We will be joining the vibrant businesses along Lancaster Ave (as you can see we’re right next door to the Green Line Coffee shop) and look forward to contributing to the great arts and cultural activities taking place there,” Guthrie’s blog post reads.


           Photos courtesy of The Hacktory.

The Grand Opening Party for the new space, which includes two adjacent storefronts, will take place on Saturday, Feb. 6, from 1 – 9 p.m. There will be fun activities for all ages and demos of The Hacktory’s tools. The evening portion of the party will include activities and beverages for adults who want to continue to celebrate. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

The Hacktory has been offering tech education programming for both adults and youth, including classes and workshops, an after-school program and summer camp. They also want to offer memberships at the new location in order to provide direct access to their tools and space. Those who are interested in becoming a member are asked to fill out a membership interest form on this page.

For more information about The Hacktory, visit

Comments (0)

“A Great Fit for Shakespeare in Clark Park”: West Philadelphian appointed to key role in popular outdoor theater company

Posted on 29 January 2016


                      Kittson O’Neill

As Shakespeare in Clark Park (SCP) is preparing for its 11th summer season, the company has announced that a West Philadelphian was appointed to a key role.

Kittson O’Neill, an actress and director who made her SCP debut last summer when she directed the 10th Anniversary production of The Winter’s Tale, has been named as the Artistic Director. She succeeds Marla Burkholder, who co-founded the company in 2005.

O’Neill has appeared on Philadelphia stages often and currently can be seen in Or, at Hedgerow Theatre. When directing The Winter’s Tale, she brought together professional actors, more than 20 local children, and an unforgettable bear puppet. The show drew almost 5,000 audience members to Clark Park.

“Kittson’s commitment to both a strong and progressive artistic vision and a high level of authentic community engagement makes her a great fit for Shakespeare in Clark Park,” says John Frisbee, SCP’s Board President.

We asked Kittson about her background, her relationship to West Philadelphia and her plans regarding Shakespeare in Clark Park, including community engagement. Her answers are below.

Q.: Where are you from and where in West Philadelphia do you live?

I was born in Connecticut and grew up there and in Western Australia (My Mum is Australian). I now live in Mantua in West Philadelphia. My son attended St. Mary’s Nursery School and, as a result, our family has a number of great friends who live all over West Philly.

Q.: What interests you in Shakespeare in Clark Park? Should people expect any changes?

There are so many things I love about Shakespeare in Clark Park!


In 2015 O’Neill directed SCP’s The Winter’s Tale, which featured children and a giant bear puppet (Photo West Philly Local).

Shakespeare’s plays are epic in scope: they have bears and battles and shipwrecks! It can be challenging to fully realize those elements inside a traditional modern theater, but out in the park you can embrace the huge and have an eight foot bear, or a hundred person army, or giant waves. I am excited to keep pushing our productions to use the size and freedom of the park setting: to be even more spectacular! But even more than the size of the park, I love the audience that it naturally attracts. The show is free. Seating is unrestricted and as a result we often attract watchers who hadn’t even planned to see the show. Who didn’t even know the show was happening. Every night, there is at least one audience member for whom it is the first Shakespeare they have ever seen. That’s an amazing gift to us as theater makers. And a responsibility we take seriously. We want that unexpected audience member to leave our show loving Shakespeare and hungry to see more.

shake4There won’t be any serious changes to what we do. “If it ain’t broke…” However, show is getting REALLY popular and dealing with the crowd we attract is becoming an exciting challenge, so you can expect some experiments with seating and staging as well as some new approaches to the fine art of ushering!

Q.: Community members, both adults and children, participated in the last two SCP performances. Will this trend continue?

Most definitely! I believe strongly in Radical Community Engagement, so over the next few years I will be working to weave the fabric of our community into the productions in a variety of ways. SCP attracts some of the finest theater talent in the city of Philadelphia. Putting the community on stage with those actors and inside the work of our designers and directors is an electrifying and galvanizing experience and one you won’t get any where else in our fair city. So stay tuned for a lot more on that front.

Comments (2)

Tag your photos #westphillylocal on instagram

Follow Us: