Will Philly’s next mayor fund arts and culture?
The Mayoral Forum on the Performing Arts and Cultural Economy
At this Kimmel Center debate, nine candidates for mayor took questions about how our cultural sector fits into their platform. Alaina Johns was there.
Philadelphia Theatre Company's Empathitrax is an unrealistic and irresponsible portrayal of mental illness
Spreading the anguish
The regional premiere of Empathitrax, now onstage at Suzanne Roberts, deals in troubling tropes of depression without preparing its audience. Alaina Johns considers.
Why support arts journalism in 2023?
What is your attention worth?
One thing we've been hearing a lot this year is that people are fed up with the media. Are we a lost cause? Not if you invest in the professionals in your community.
Editorials 3 minute read
When I faced a cancer diagnosis this year, I had to get honest and get help.
We take care of us
When a crisis like cancer hits, it can feel easier to keep it to ourselves. But humans are not meant to cope alone. Vulnerability is where our real strength lies. Alaina Johns shares her experience.
This year’s World Series run reminded us what Philly needs—and what we deserve
We all know the feeling
The Phillies had a miraculous run to the 2022 World Series, and nowadays, you don’t have to be a baseball fan to relate to the need to hold onto heartbreak alongside the joy. Kyle V. Hiller was watching.
How did Philly's media cover the PMA strike, and why does it matter?
What is the arts writer’s beat?
Last week, the BSR team chose not to cross the PMA picket line, and did not attend a preview event for Matisse in the 1930s. We were in the minority, but we weren’t alone. Alaina Johns reflects.
What getting my first tattoo taught me about body acceptance
The last one in South Philly without a tattoo
Alaina Johns always admired others’ permanent body art, but she didn’t think she could ever make the jump to get tattooed herself, even though everyone else in the neighborhood is. This summer, something changed.
As Pennsylvania moves to ban abortion, fight the rhetoric that threatens our rights
We need language and the law
Alaina Johns has found that even in pro-choice spaces, the rhetoric around abortion can be hard to separate from the facts. But we all need to sharpen these skills, especially as Pennsylvania legislators work to ban abortion here.
Why I joined a Pride march with the church I avoided for almost 20 years
As an atheist and a divorced woman who supports gender justice, Alaina Johns definitely doesn’t belong in the church that raised her. But when the church’s more inclusive community members planned a Pride protest, she wanted to be there.
A Pulitzer for Philly playwright James Ijames spotlights our arts funding crisis
Mayor Kenney’s plan for the arts
Another year, another attempt to gut city support for the arts in Philly. As one of our own artists wins a Pulitzer, a major budget cut seems like an especially bad plan. Alaina Johns considers.