Celebrating independence with music, museums, comics, and more

4 minute read
See the Sara Berman's Closet exhibit at NMAJH for free in July. (Photo by Jessi Melce.)
See the Sara Berman's Closet exhibit at NMAJH for free in July. (Photo by Jessi Melce.)

When was the last time you met someone with the last name Hiller? It was probably while watching the 90s blockbuster Independence Day, when Will Smith played the role of Steven Hiller. So yeah, I’m related to the guy who saved the world from aliens about 20 years ago, and you can’t tell me that it was just a movie.

With that anecdote out of the way, it’s an exciting and curious weekend in the city where it all began. The National Museum of American Jewish History opens its doors with free admission, Erica Corbo takes us on a musical odyssey, Joilet Harris surfs up cabaret by the shore, and comics and cosplay abound in University City.

Let me know where the cookout is, too, by the way. You know, since my family saved the world and all.

Free admission at the National Museum of American Jewish History

The National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH), with the support of Parkway Corporation, is opening its doors for free admission for all visitors throughout the month of July. Free admission includes access to the current special exhibition Sara Berman’s Closet. Artists Maira Kalman and Alex Kalman, who created the exhibit, will be attendance on July 4, recounting Sara’s journey from Belarus to Tel Aviv to New York.

Visitors can also watch the Fourth of July parade from the Museum’s fifth-floor terrace and enjoy interactive gallery talks, story time, arts and crafts, and more.

Erica Corbo: American Odyssey

Musician and performance artist Erica Corbo combines improvisation and thoughtful composition to explore what it means to be American. The vocalist will show off her versatility on the piano and the flute as she’s accompanied by a chamber ensemble, coursing through folk, spirituals, blues, classical, jazz, funk, rock, and more, presented in partnership with the Philadelphia Jazz Project. Check her performance out at the Barnes Foundation on Friday, July 5, at 6pm, and be sure to pick up your tickets online.

Joilet Harris in Summer Love

Barrymore-Award winner and Philadelphia treasure Joilet Harris is kicking off a four-evening cabaret stint at Off Boardwalk at the Showboat Hotel on Friday, July 5. Summer Love, With Joi features a varied program of love songs and ballads including songs by Cole Porter, Billy Joel, George Gershwin, Bob Dylan, and BeBe Winans. I could list all of Harris’s roles and accomplishments, but that would take up the rest of the roundup! If you find yourself at the shore this weekend, be sure to see one of her performances.

Community Drafts at A Novel Idea

A Novel Idea on Passyunk, 1726 East Passyunk Avenue, is hosting a Community Drafts Open Mic on Friday, July 5. The event is open to artists of all genres, who are given up to seven minutes to do their thing. Sign-ups begin at 7:30pm and the performances are at 8pm. A suggested donation of $5 is encouraged, and feel free to BYOB!

Art Splash at PMA

Art Splash, the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s family program running for nine weeks every summer, opens this weekend on Friday, July 5, with pay-what-you-wish admission through Sunday, July 7. This summer is inspired by two of the museum’s exhibitions, Souls Grown Deep: Artists of the African American South and The Art of Collage and Assemblage. Families can make art together with artists, experience cuisines by the chef-in-residence that are inspired by Southern African American dishes, and join conversations centered on talking with kids about social justice.

Philly Comics & Cosplay Day 2019

The fourth annual Philly Comics & Cosplay Day comes to Houston Hall, 3417 Spruce Street, this weekend. Artists, cosplayers, and fans alike are invited for a day featuring vendors, video and tabletop gaming, cosplay contests, and more. Actors Kel Mitchell (Good Burger, Game Shakers) and DeeDee Magno Hall (Steven Universe) will be in attendance.

With Hands Like Bootsoles DVAA

JRF Artist Prize recipient Lucia Garzón will have her solo exhibit featured in Gallery 1 at Da Vinci Art Alliance, 704 Catharine Street, beginning this weekend. The queer first-generation Colombian American with a BFA from Tyler School of Art talks about the intersectionality between identity and culture through personal experience as a child of immigrants. The exhibition’s performance and installation focuses on the often invisible and silent stories of South and Central American immigrants. With Hands Like Bootsoles opens on Sunday, July 7, at 6pm, and runs until July 28.

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