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Katie Samson, a white woman, is outdoors with a group of about 6 smiling people. She uses a wheelchair & wears a blue hat
Katie Samson (center) at the 2021 Philadelphia Flower Show for Art-Reach's first in-person Encore program since the pandemic, with audio describer Nicole Sardella, Art-Reach colleagues, and flower/plant lovers from the blind/low-vision community. Photo by Ashley Smith/Wide Eyed Studios.

Witnessing the Impact: What will post-pandemic life be like for disabled people?

A world not built for me—until now?

BSR is partnering with the Witnessing the Impact of COVID-19 in Disabled People’s Lives archive project. Writer, educator, and disability self-advocate Katie Samson asks whether we’ll keep considering accessibility when the pandemic wanes.
Katie Samson

Katie Samson

Essays 6 minute read
Johnston, a Black man, takes a selfie in front of a city limits sign that reads Welcome to Denton.
Johnston takes a selfie in front of a city limits sign. (Photo by Ken Johnston.)

Fighting for civil rights one step at a time with Mural Arts Philly Black Artist fellow Ken Johnston

More than a walk in the park

Ken Johnston is putting the movement back into the civil rights movement one step at a time, literally. Johnston uses “walks” to emphasize protecting civil liberties. Jared Lowe profiles.

Jared Michael Lowe

Jared Michael Lowe

Profiles 4 minute read
Colorful illustration with two people. Text reads: we're trans, we're survivors, we are joyful, we feel rage, we're universal
'Rendering' by Kah Yangni. (Image courtesy of Mural Arts Philadelphia.)

The Weekly Roundup, July 21, 2021

Illustrating Public Paint Day, folk music at People’s Light, and writing with Chet’la Sebree

Painting with Mural Arts, discovering folk with People's Light, and the Wilmington Writers Conference highlight the week. Kyle V. Hiller rounds up.
Kyle V. Hiller

Kyle V. Hiller

Previews 5 minute read
A stage with ornate armchairs & purple-peach backdrop. A man with a shocked face wearing a sweater vest holds a stone wheel
Image courtesy of Quintessence Theatre Group.

Quintessence Theatre Group presents Thornton Wilder’s The Skin of Our Teeth

Humanity and its discontents

The Skin of Our Teeth, Thornton Wilder’s timeless exploration of society’s follies, receives a digital staging from Quintessence Theatre Group that meets our moment. Cameron Kelsall reviews.
Cameron Kelsall

Cameron Kelsall

Reviews 4 minute read
A graceful, rust-colored outdoor sculpture with undulating, overlapping lines sits among greenery, with the sunset behind it
Phases, by Melanie Serkes. Image courtesy of The Bower.

At The Bower, Philadelphia sculptors take the Pennsylvania landscape to heart

The nature of art

The Bower, a new sculpture park and public garden outside Harrisburg, features sculptures from Philadelphia artists in a unique and immersive dialogue with the landscape around them. Helen Walsh visits.
Helen Walsh

Helen Walsh

Features 6 minute read
Actors Mary Tuomanen, wearing white, and Lindsay Smiling, wearing black, crouch and plot gleefully over a purple flower
Mary Tuomamen as Puck and Lindsay Smiling as Oberon in PSF’s Midsummer. (Photo by Lee A. Butz.)

The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Lovers, friends, and fairies

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival moves outdoors this season with an ebullient, endearingly goofing staging of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Cameron Kelsall reviews.
Cameron Kelsall

Cameron Kelsall

Reviews 3 minute read
A drawing of a seated woman from the waist up. She looks tense but confident. She has bushy shoulder-length purple hair.
Purple Hair (1983) by Jody Mussoff. © Jody Mussoff, courtesy of Delaware Art Museum.

The Delaware Art Museum presents Collecting and Connecting: Recent Acquisitions 2010-2020

Artists unite

How does a museum add to its collection? And why? Delaware Art Museum’s Collecting and Connecting: Recent Acquisitions 2010-2020 has adventurous answers. Gail Obenreder reviews.
Gail Obenreder

Gail Obenreder

Reviews 4 minute read
The Walnut Street Theatre today. It has a gray exterior with columns and large windows. American flags fly on poles in front
A venue founded in 1808, rebuilt in 1970 to look like it did in 1828. (Photo by Alaina Johns.)

As artists continue to rally against the Walnut, it’s time to ask: who is “America’s Oldest Theatre”?

Staging history

Most coverage of protests against the Walnut Street Theatre ignores a key fact: the building may be historic, but the theater company there started in the 1980s. Alaina Johns thinks that matters.
Alaina Johns

Alaina Johns

Editorials 6 minute read
In dramatic blue lighting, actor Desirée Hall seems to fly in a dragon costume with giant wings, beside a cinderblock wall.
A standout performance: Desirée Hall in JUNK’s Dragonbutter. (Photo by Ted Lieverman.)

Brian Sanders’ JUNK presents Dragonbutter

The art of the game

Dragonbutter is an inventive hour-long experience from Brian Sanders’ JUNK that inserts participants into a hands-on science-fiction video-game quest. Melissa Strong reviews.
Melissa Strong

Melissa Strong

Reviews 4 minute read
Cover of Artists of Wyeth Country, with a painted illustration of a man with a thoughtful expression in a rural landscape.
(Image courtesy of Temple University Press.)

Artists of Wyeth Country by W. Barksdale Maynard

Art icons of the Brandywine

Artists of Wyeth County explores three icons of the Brandywine Valley: Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth, and Andrew Wyeth, honoring their techniques as well as the reasons for their fame. Pamela Forsythe reviews.

Pamela J. Forsythe

Reviews 5 minute read
Ralston Crawford’s 1945 ‘Plane Propeller on Tarmac. (Courtesy of the Vilcek Collection.)
Ralston Crawford’s 1945 ‘Plane Propeller on Tarmac. (Courtesy of the Vilcek Collection.)

The Brandywine River Museum of Art presents ‘Ralston Crawford: Air & Space & War’

An artist takes flight

The Brandywine River Museum of Art takes a high-flying look at the work of Ralston Crawford with ‘Air & Space & War.’ Gail Obenreder reviews.
Gail Obenreder

Gail Obenreder

Reviews 4 minute read
The dancers of the Pennsylvania Ballet onstage at the Performance Garage in spring 2021. (Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.)
The dancers of the Pennsylvania Ballet onstage at the Performance Garage in spring 2021. (Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.)

Dance lovers ask why the Pennsylvania Ballet is now the Philadelphia Ballet

Dance of the rebrand

As arts producers across town return to in-person performance, the former Pennsylvania Ballet announced a surprising rebrand. Camille Bacon-Smith asks whether it’s moving the company forward.
Camille Bacon-Smith

Camille Bacon-Smith

Essays 4 minute read
A self-portrait of Rivers. He's a Black man, is wearing glasses, dreadlocks, and a colorful, patterned button-up top.
Khalif Rivers wants to show the sides of Philly that people hardly know. (Photo by Khalif Rivers.)

Talking photography with Mural Arts Philly Black Artist Fellow Khalif Rivers

Uncovering Philadelphia's hidden past

Khalif Rivers is part of the 2021 Mural Arts Philadelphia Black Artist Fellow class. The photographer, writer, and fine artist spoke with Blair Krassen about his work.
Blair Krassen

Blair Krassen

Profiles 2 minute read

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Also on BSR

Four actors dressed in 1940s attire stand behind a bench, looking towards the actor on the far right in surprise.
Surviving apocalypse after apocalypse with The Skin of Our Teeth. (Image courtesy of Quintessence Theatre Group.)

The Skin of Our Teeth, William Penn Summer Music Fest, comedy with Crossroads and The Afternoon After this weekend

The Weekend Roundup, July 14, 2021

The middle of July is bringing the heat with a series of comedy events, '80s music from Bristol Riverside Theatre, and a virtual production from Quintessence. Kyle V. Hiller rounds up.
Kyle V. Hiller

Kyle V. Hiller

Previews 2 minute read
A performance snapshot of actor Buchanan as he leans out from a gazebo in a greenspace.
Newton Buchanan appears in <i>Midsummer Mix Tape</i>. (Photo by Alessandra Nicole.)

Delaware Shakespeare Summer Festival offers three inviting performances

Triple your Bard!

Delaware Shakespeare Summer Festival presents a trifecta. Gail Obenreder previews.
Gail Obenreder

Gail Obenreder

Previews 3 minute read
Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts the orchestra at Verizon Hall. He wears a striking patterned black-and-white shirt.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. (Photo by Jeff Fusco.)

The Philadelphia Orchestra presents Ravel and Bizet

French fantasies

The Philadelphia Orchestra revealed a special flair for French masters Maurice Ravel and Georges Bizet in its latest Digital Stage concert. Linda Holt reviews.
Linda Holt

Linda Holt

Reviews
Sarah Aroeste debuts her album with NMAJH this week. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Aroeste.)
Sarah Aroeste debuts her album with NMAJH this week. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Aroeste.)
Lena Waithe (left) and Naomi Ackie in Season 3 of ‘Master of None.’ (Image courtesy of Netflix.)
Lena Waithe (left) and Naomi Ackie in Season 3 of ‘Master of None.’ (Image courtesy of Netflix.)

Netflix presents Season 3 of Aziz Ansari’s ‘Master of None’

Finding ‘Moments of Love’

‘Moments of Love,’ the third season of the Netflix series ‘Master of None,’ follows a queer Black couple discovering what brings them together, and what pulls them apart. Christina Anthony reviews.
Christina Anthony

Christina Anthony

Reviews 3 minute read
A fine example of historical fiction that's relevant today. (Image courtesy of Dutton.)
A fine example of historical fiction that's relevant today. (Image courtesy of Dutton.)

‘Fifty Words for Rain’ by Asha Lemmie

The bonds of family

In Asha Lemmie's debut novel set in post-World War II Japan, a young girl with a Japanese mother and an African American father struggles to find acceptance in a family that despises her. Helene Cohen Bludman reviews.
Helene Cohen Bludman

Helene Cohen Bludman

Reviews 3 minute read
'Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse' screens this month in Philly. (Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.)
'Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse' screens this month in Philly. (Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.)
Mycelial walrus hybrid Walrus Princess in Applied Mechanics' 'Other Orbits.' (Photo by Izzy Sazak.)
Mycelial walrus hybrid Walrus Princess in Applied Mechanics' 'Other Orbits.' (Photo by Izzy Sazak.)
Each member of Filament shines in this concert recorded at Arthur Ross Gallery. (Photo by Alex Kruchoski.)
Each member of Filament shines in this concert recorded at Arthur Ross Gallery. (Photo by Alex Kruchoski.)

Filament presents ‘Music for an Inner World’ at Arthur Ross Gallery

Balm in contemplation

Looking inward by looking back, the early music trio Filament presents 'Music for an Inner World,' a concert of 16th- and 17th-century works, in the Arthur Ross Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania. Gail Obenreder reviews.
Gail Obenreder

Gail Obenreder

Reviews 4 minute read
Krys Malcolm Belc’s new memoir explores nonbinary birth and parenthood. (Image courtesy of Counterpoint Press.)
Krys Malcolm Belc’s new memoir explores nonbinary birth and parenthood. (Image courtesy of Counterpoint Press.)

‘The Natural Mother of the Child’ by Krys Malcolm Belc

Redefining the parenthood memoir

In his new memoir, Philly writer Krys Malcolm Belc writes about his journey as a nonbinary gestational parent. Kirsten Bowen reviews.
Kirsten Bowen

Kirsten Bowen

Reviews 3 minute read