Got together with a few friends this weekend; 50,000 of them, in fact, here in Philadelphia on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. It was one of the first times since the election I've felt a shred of hope about our political future. I loved looking around the parkway and seeing so many people joined together for so many common causes. Philadelphia's march organizers did a great job of keeping diversity at center stage when it came to the afternoon's lineup of speakers.
But it was a particular delight to take part in this mass act of civic engagement alongside all those museums that were open for business. I hope their numbers soared. These grand institutions -- the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Barnes Foundation, Rodin Museum, Free Library of Philadelphia, Academy of Natural Sciences, Franklin Institute (and pretty much every other institution and arts organization we cover in Broad Street Review) -- have each benefited in ways large and small from the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanites, and Corporation for Public Broadcasting. This means you -- yes, you specifically -- have also benefited from them.
If the arts and freedom of expression matter to you (and obviously they do, or else you wouldn't be here), please contact your senators and let them know about it. Ask them to reject the Trump administration's plans to privatize public broadcasting and kill the NEA and NEH. Send them a postcard, paint them a picture, sing them a song, choreograph an interpretive dance and send them a video, do whatever you can to convince them the arts matter -- and while you're at it, let them know about whatever other issues matter to you. That's what they're there for.
As an added treat this week, I asked Broad Street Review's contributors to send in their favorite photo from the weekend's march. Most sent photos from Eakins Oval, but we also received submissions from Albuquerque, New Mexico; Manhattan; Oakland, California; and Washington, DC. A few more might be coming, and I'll add those to the slideshow below as I receive them. Though most of these photos are from people who have helped us understand our city in their own words, it sure is great to get a chance to see it through their eyes as well.