Cher­ry blos­soms, Mur­al Arts, drag opera, and Chick­a­saw Films for the first spring week­end of 2021

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'Remembering a Forgotten Hero' mural by Keir Johnston and Willis Nomo Humphrey. (Photo by Steve Weinik).
'Remembering a Forgotten Hero' mural by Keir Johnston and Willis Nomo Humphrey. (Photo by Steve Weinik).

This weekend, the seasons officially change with the spring equinox. This spring is tinged with hope, but the fight is long from over. Balance the fight with joy and curiosity this weekend with a handful of events from Mural Arts, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Opera Philadelphia, Philly CAM, Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center, and the 11th Hour Theatre Company.

The end is in sight, but for now, it’s time to buckle down and finish strong. We got this, y’all!

Mural Arts walking tours

Four walking tours highlight the season for Mural Arts Philadelphia this spring. Now through May 30 on Saturdays and Sundays at 11am, you can experience Philly’s mural collection on a 90-minute guided tour (maximum 10 guests per tour). This spring’s tours include walks through West Philly, Bella Vista, Spring Garden, and a segway tour through Spring Garden and Northern Liberties. Advance reservations (and face coverings!) are required.

Livestreaming with PCMS

The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society hosts award-winning violinist Alexi Kenney along with Anna Polonsky on piano for an evening of classical music. Tune into the livestream on Friday, March 19 at 6pm, with on-demand streaming available through the weekend.

The Island We Made

Opera Philadelphia’s latest digital performance, The Island We Made, a film by Matthew Placek, combines electronic music, arthouse films, drag, and lip-syncing to illustrate a personal story about familial relationships told as a “haunting lullaby.” The art-opera film is composed by Puerto Rican-born multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón and stars drag superstar Sasha Velour. Stream it Friday, March 19 through May 31, 2021.

Cherry blossoms at Shofuso

Just in time for cherry blossom season, the Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center in Fairmount Park is prepared to open up with outdoor events beginning on Saturday, March 20. Visitation hours will be Wednesday through Sunday from 11am to 5pm. Shofuso is promising a new “Pebble Beach” installation based on Japanese drawings from the 1950s. A variety of outdoor events are listed for the spring celebrating the cherry blossom season. Be sure to check them out online.

11th Hour Theatre Company’s Society XI

The 11th Hour Theatre Company adapts its musical programming digitally with Society XI Online. Starting March 20, the company will serve up three “quarantine cabarets,” each with a unique singing duo in every performance. Coming up this Saturday is longtime friends and UArts graduates Rob Tucker and Billy Bustamante for a night of musical theater pieces paying homage to Broadway classics. The other performances arrive in April and May. Memberships are $50 and include access to all three events. Individual show tickets are $20 per household.

Philly CAM and Chickasaw films

Philly CAM will air a pair of documentaries and a feature film from Chickasaw Nation Productions, an independent film production company specializing in Native American stories and historical films. The documentaries include Pearl Carter Scott: On Top of the World, a doc sharing the life story of the late Chickasaw aviatrix Pearl Carter Scott and her flying career (she’s the youngest licensed pilot in American history), and Bearer of the Morning: The Life of Te Ata Thompson, which follows the life of Mary “Te Ata” Thompson Fisher as she embraces the Chickasaw tradition of storytelling and transforms herself into a world-renowned performer. The feature film, Pearl, takes another intimate look at Pearl Carter Scott, her career’s beginnings, and the fame and the conflicts she experienced as an adult.

The screenings are on March 20, 23, and 30. See the full schedule online, and be sure to check out Chickasaw Nation’s other offerings.

Image Description: A large mural painted on the side of a multistory building featuring Octavius V. Catto. The shot is taken during the daytime, with cloudy skies and the Philadelphia skyline in the distance.

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