This weekend features a mix of outdoor events and digital events—it feels like it's been forever since anything on the roundup has been anything other than virtual! Chocolate Ballerina, ArtYard, Al-Bustan, and Painted Bride have events for you if you're looking to catch some sunshine (or moonlight). On the digital side of things, Design Advocacy and Mural Arts host a pair of vital forums, Curtis Institute and Blue Stoop welcome music and literature, and the Tri-Co Film Festival is a sign of films to come from local burgeoning student filmmakers.
Remember, we're not through with this pandemic yet, so if you are going to go outside, you know what to do! Be safe, friends.
Design Advocacy Group, a public forum and advocate for design quality and equity in the planning, architecture, preservation, and physical development of Philadelphia, is hosting a group discussion with area musicians, DJs, and venue owners featuring accounts and anecdotes about surviving the city’s residential development boom. Presented by Venise Whitaker, she’s joined by fellow artists Jamie Mahon, Rana Fayez, Virginia Biney, Brendon Olkus, and Janay Green. The event is free and virtual on Thursday, May 13, at 10am.
Chocolate Ballerina Company, a contemporary dance group that supports youth and adult artists of color in the area opens its summer IMPACT series. Now through June 30 every Wednesday at 5pm at the Mt. Airy Playground, participants can learn a mixture of all level ballet form and technique.
ArtYard is opening Girl You Want, its inaugural exhibition in its new two-story gallery in Frenchtown, New Jersey. Curated by J. Vanessa Lyon and featuring a variety of other artists, the coming of age exhibit examines what “girling” and girlhood look and feel like through portraiture, speculative fiction, interior design, and more. If you’re looking for a nice drive away from the city, this might be up your alley. The exhibit is open now through August 1.
The Tri-Co Film Festival showcases film and media work from students at Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and Swarthmore colleges. Selected works screen virtually May 13-27, curated and juried by Kristal Sotomayor and Set Hernandez Rongkilyo.
Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture is organizing an ongoing series of outdoor civic engagement block parties with the next to come on Saturday, May 15, at 1pm at Palmer Park in South Kensington. The free event, featuring live music, arts and crafts, and food, is also serving up Covid vaccine sign-ups—with mobile on-site vaccinations to come with later block parties. The block party this weekend is also looking to educate and register voters, which is perfect timing for the upcoming election. Of course, masks and physical distancing are required.
Grace Period. A Community Ritual for Collective Healing happens on Sunday, May 16, at Germantown Espresso, 26 Maplewood Mall, Philadelphia, at 7pm. The ritual focuses on remembrance, resilience, hope, and healing with artists from the area. Grace Period is developed by Annielille Gavino, ursula rucker, Caitlin Green, James Sprang, and Anthony Carlos Molden, is hosted by Painted Bride, and is meant to create spaces for healing in light of the past year.
Ensemble 20/21 will close its virtual season for the Curtis Institute of Music this weekend with three premieres for solo harp. Performed by Coline-Marie Orliac, the show starts on Sunday, May 16, at 3pm and is free to view online through May 31.
Mural Arts will host a virtual and free week-long symposium looking at the transformative work happening at the intersection of community-based cultural practice and environmental justice. Artists, activists, scholars, scientists, and government officials from tribal, urban, rural, and suburban communities throughout the US will come together to discuss practices and challenges around environmental justice. The symposium kicks off on Monday, May 17. Register ahead of time.
Blue Stoop is hosting author Elissa Washuta in conversation with Philly poet Raena Shirali on Tuesday, May 18, at 7pm to discuss White Magic, Washuta’s new book of essays. White Magic features writings about land, heartbreak, and colonization. Washuta is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and a nonfiction writer. The virtual event is free to register, but be sure to pick up a copy beforehand.
Image Description: A headshot of Elissa Washuta, a woman from the Cowlitz Indian Tribe. She's wearing an all-black sweater and her hair is long, braided, at her side. Sunlit trees are out of focus in the background.