Weekend line-up for BlackStar Film Festival in West Philly

Posted on 02 August 2014 by Mike Lyons

m-S5pb_o_400x400West Philly is lucky to host the BlackStar Film Festival again this year. We sketched out the weekend line-up below. One of the highlights is the debut of They Die By Dawn, featuring Erykah Badu and Michael K. Williams (“Omar” from The Wire). The two main venues are the International House (3701 Chestnut) and Penn’s Annenberg School of Communications (3620 Walnut St.).

Click on the links for descriptions and trailers.

Many events are free. Where noted, tickets cost $10 for the general public, $7 for seniors and students and $5 for International House members.

Saturday, Aug. 2

Forever Young: Coming of Age Shorts • 11:30 a.m. • International House Philadelphia (IHP) • $10/$7/$5

Troop 491: The Adventures of the Muddy Lions • 1 p.m. • Penn’s Annenberg School of Communications (ASC) • Free

Planet Rock: Hip Hop Shorts • 1:40 p.m. • IHP • $10/$7/$5

Youth Program Screening • 3 p.m. • ASC • Free

• Book signing – Dismantle: An Anthology of Writing from the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop • Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela and Andrea Wall • Immediately after Youth Program Screening • ASC

Little White Lie w/Window Dressing Fail • 3:10 p.m. • IHP • Free

• Book signing: (1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race • Immediately after Little White Lie • IHP

• Panel – The Crossover Between Film and Music • 5 p.m. • IHP • Free

Culture Strike: Social Justice Shorts • 5:15 p.m. • ASC • Free

They Die By Dawn • 6:50 p.m. • IHP • $10/$7/$5

Half a Yellow Sun • 8:30 p.m. • IHP • $10/$7/$5

Sunday, Aug. 3

Creative Class: Makers Shorts • 11:30 a.m. • IHP • $10/$7/$5

Evolution of a Criminal • 12:45 p.m. • IHP • $10/$7/$5 (Q and A with Darius Clark Monroe follows)

Panel – Composing for Film • 3 p.m. • IHP • Free

Time is Illmatic • 5 p.m. • IHP • $10/$7/$5


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Upcoming events: outdoor music & theatre, film festival, art shows (updated)

Posted on 30 July 2014 by


This week is rich in art happenings in the area, from outdoor theatre to a film festival to art shows. We already reported on Shakespeare in Clark Park presenting Henry IV in the park’s bowl. The performances, which feature a community army of over 100 people, begin tonight at 7 p.m. and go on through Sunday.

Also tonight, at 5:30 p.m., Penn Museum (3260 South St) invites music lovers to enjoy an outdoor concert by the West Philadelphia Orchestra. The concert is part of the weekly P.M. @ Penn Museum music series. Tickets are $10 and include museum admission. More details are available here.


Photo from BlackStar Facebook page.

BlackStar Film Festival, featuring films by and about people of African descent in a global context, kicks off on Thursday, July 31. The four-day festival features film screenings (many of them free) and events at the following West Philly venues: International House Philadelphia (37th and Chestnut), Scribe Video Center (4212 Chestnut St), Annenberg School for Communication, Penn (3620 Walnut St), and Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), 118 S. 36th St. An opening night reception with DJ Mr. Sonny James will take place at ICA from 7 – 10 p.m. on Thursday. This event is also free and open to the public. For more information and schedule, visit Follow the festival @blackstarfest and #BlackStar14.

UPDATE: Gush Gallery is opening on Friday, Aug. 1 at 5015 Baltimore Ave. The grand opening show, Embark, is from 6 – 9 p.m. (more info coming soon)

​Sharp with Art Group is presenting an art exhibit titled “Levels” at the Urban Art Gallery (52nd and Spruce) from August 2 – 31.  There will be a free opening reception on Saturday, Aug. 2, from 6 until 9 p.m. “Levels” will feature a diverse selection of art styles, such as street art, abstract art, sculpture, and mixed media works. Six amazing artists will be featured in the show: Natalie Flor Negron, Jae Martin, Nebulus Flair, Seven X, Noni Red and Vinson Houston. In addition there will be live performances by Raw Sinister Theatre, Chase Smiley The RockStar and April Fool Child.

And last, but not least, American Queen TJD, a West Philly artist we featured last fall (Meet American Queen TJD: Not the female Basquiat), invites neighbors to support her at a major art show on Saturday, Aug. 2  at the Arch Enemy Arts Gallery in Olde City (109 Arch Street). The one-day only show, titled “Too Many Basquiats Not Enough New Artists,” features over 100 pieces of art. The event will take place from 6:30 – 10 p.m. and includes music, food and an open bar. More details and tickets ($10.50) are available at


Artwork by West Philly artist American Queen TJD will be on display at the Arch Enemy Arts Gallery in Olde City Aug 2. (Photo via


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This weekend in West Philly

Posted on 10 January 2014 by

Here are a few happenings this weekend we wanted to bring your attention to. For more events or to submit an event, go to our Events Calendar. And be careful out there – try to avoid slippery sidewalks!

FreetoLoveseries- Beginning this Friday, International House Philadelphia (37th & Chestnut) presents Free to Love: The Cinema of the Sexual Revolution. This is a groundbreaking series made possible with the support by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. The series will run through February 15. Here’s this weekend’s program (ADULT CONTENT): Friday, Jan. 10, 7 p.m. - I am Curious (Yellow); Sweden, 1967, 121 min. Saturday, Jan. 11, 5 p.m. – Pink Narcissus; US, 1971, 71 min. 7 p.m. – In the Realm of the Senses; Japan, 1976, 109 min. 10 p.m. – Deep Throat; US, 1972, 61 min. For more information and tickets ($9 general admission; free for IHP members) click here.

– Here’s a reminder that the Electronics Recycling Day, which was supposed to take place last Saturday in Clark Park, has been moved to this Saturday, Jan. 11. Bring your old phones, computers and other electronic devices and gadgets to Clark Park at 43rd and Chester from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Electronics recycling is free of charge, with the exception of $20 charge for recycling cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs and monitors.

truffles- Biunity‘s annual chocolate themed bake sale and fundraiser Death Bi Chocolate will take place at the A-Space (4722 Baltimore Ave) on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2-5 p.m. The event supports the only organization for bisexuals in Philadelphia and raises funds for appearances at pride events throughout the year, such as Philly Pride and OutFest. You can donate a chocolate baked good and enjoy the chocolates available at the sale, or just come and play board games with some friendly people.

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West Philly Events Roundup (December 13-15) (updated)

Posted on 13 December 2013 by

Editor’s Note: Go West! Craft Fest is this Sunday, Dec. 15, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at The Rotunda and not Saturday as it was originally reported in this post. Also, we have received a note from Play On, Philly! that their holiday concert has been postponed until after the New Year. We will keep you posted on a new date.

There are a lot of things happening in West Philly this weekend and we hope that the cold weather won’t deter you from checking out local holiday shopping events, music, films, theater, Christmas caroling, and other fun stuff. Our Events Roundup is below. For more events or if you want to submit an event, go to our Events Calendar. Also, don’t forget about ongoing events, like Holiday Craft Show and Sale at UC Arts League, and other holiday shopping and giving opportunities. If you need a Christmas tree, check out this post.

Friday, December 13

All dayThe Gold Standard Cafe (48th & Baltimore) is donating one third of their total proceeds to Kingsessing library. Your donation will go to serve the library’s reading and educational needs.

CedarWorks5-10 pm – Neighbors are invited to get together to celebrate the season at The Cedar Works‘ first Holiday Party and Sale. 14 artists who call The Cedar Works home will be selling their works for holiday gifting.

5-10 pm – This Friday is a special holiday Second Friday on Lancaster Avenue, with festivities spanning from 34th Street all the way up to 41st. Enjoy great music, fine food, and good vibes.

8 pm – Gender Comedy: A Less Stupid Twelfth Night Gay Fantasia opens at Curio Theatre (48th & Baltimore).

Saturday, December 14

NightmareBeforeChristmas2 pm - International House Philadelphia (37th & Chestnut) invites families for its Family Matinee program, featuring a special holiday screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas. The film is a Halloween-Christmas hybrid and audience favorite. Tickets are $5; free for IHP members.

gift-basket-final2-5 pm - Neighbors are invited to build their own gift baskets at Milk & Honey Market (45th & Baltimore). Create unique and inspired gift baskets filled with local products and thoughtfully selected books and goods and also enjoy free hot cocoa!

Dr. John Bull concert3 pm – University Lutheran Church (3637 Chestnut St) presents harpsichordist Marcia Kravis with her solo program, Dr. John Bull and Company: Music from the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book.

Mummy3:30 pm – Stop by Penn Museum (3260 South St) for “Unwrapping the Mummy: Hollywood Fantasies, Egyptian Realities,” a presentation by Dr. Stuart Tyson Smith, Chair of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Smith explores some modern myths about mummies, and the fascinating insights that can be gained from studying the “equipment” buried with mummies for the afterlife.

Sunday, December 15

lilpopshop1All day – Enjoy delicious organic and locally made popsicles at Lil’ Pop Shop before it closes until February 1, 2014.

GWCFDec2013-300uw11 am – 5 pm – The winter edition of Go West! Craft Fest is finally here. VIX Emporium boutique and As the Crow Flies & Co. online are teaming up to bring over 40 vendors – local artists, craftspeople and designers – to The Rotunda (40th & Walnut). While shopping, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy frozen treats from Weckerly’s Ice Cream and vegetarian-friendly fare from Black Orchid Foods.

5 pm - The Friends of Clark Park invite you to come raise your voice with your neighbors in singing traditional Christmas carols around the Community Christmas tree (Clark Park “B”, near 45th & Regent). Refreshments will be served afterwards. This one always seems to work out much better after an Eagles win, so go Birds. For more info call 215-222-2255.

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Sloppy Film Fest tonight at Dahlak

Posted on 08 November 2013 by

sloppy1A couple of months ago, West Philly Local wrote about the call for short film submissions for the 2013 Sloppy Film Fest. Some of your creative neighbors and friends got busy and put together homemade flicks in a “fast and loose” manner, just like the fest organizers wanted. And now it’s time to check out their work. The Sloppy Film Fest, a free show organized by Project Arts, will take place tonight from 10 – 12 p.m. at Dahlak Paradise (4708 Baltimore Ave). Each film screened at the fest is between 5 and 10 minutes long.

The Sloppy Film Fest has been held on and off for the last 15 years. “The idea is to promote DIY filmmaking,” Project Arts executive director Rich Wexler told West Philly Local back in September. Kids are welcome, at least for the first part of the show, as it will begin with films rated PG and PG-13.

More information is available on the event’s Facebook page. And here’s a teaser:

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Halloween in West Philly: Events Roundup

Posted on 29 October 2013 by

Halloween week is here and we compiled a list of spooky and fun happenings in our area, for kids and adults alike, in the next few days. If you know of any other events that are not included in the list please email: or use the comment section below.

Tuesday, October 29

1374765_658118927539108_2004859481_nBat House Building Workshop – Mariposa Food Coop (49th & Baltimore) – 7 p.m. – A special Halloween week workshop exploring the funny flying nocturnal creatures and what you can do to help restore their often threatened habitat. You can learn how to build your own bat house, where to put it, and what to do when a colony moves in. Free admission. Please RSVP to

Thursday, October 31

Peanut Butter and Jams Halloween with Charlie Hope – World Cafe Live (30th & Walnut) – 10:30 a.m. – Come sing along with 2012 Juno Award Winner Charlie Hope. Charlie will sing some well-known songs as well as her originals that will get children and parents moving and singing along. Audience participation is encouraged, so be sure to bring your singing voices and dancing shoes! Costumes are welcome. Tickets ($10) are available here.

halloweenHalloween at The Woodlands – 40th & Woodland – noon – 4 p.m. – Bring your kids for some treats at the mansion before the tot parade in Spruce Hill.

Stories to Make you Shriek! – Kingsessing Library (1201 South 51st Street) – 4 p.m. – A spooky story time presented by Ms. Kim for brave kids.

Spruce Hill Halloween Tot Parade – 45th & Baltimore – 4 p.m. – This is a fun Halloween tradition in the Spruce Hill neighborhood. The parade will start gathering after 4 p.m. on 45th St. just north of Baltimore Ave. (next to Milk and Honey). The kick-off time is 4:30 p.m. To read more about the parade, click here.

Town Watch Haunted Gym – St. Francis de Sales School (47th & Windsor) – 5-7 p.m. – This year, St. Francis de Sales School has agreed to host the annual Haunted House & Garden event, in their already scary Basement-Gym-Basketball Court. Springfield Avenue will remain open this year, but the 900 and 1000 blocks of Farragut  and the 900 block of 47th Street, from Springfield to the north side of Warrington, will be closed to auto traffic. For more info and if you want to volunteer at this event, check out this pageContinue Reading

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