Kicking off Black History Month, Philly Theatre Week, and more this weekend

5 minute read
Penn Museum opens a variety of exhibits and events for Black History Month. (Image courtesy of the Penn Museum.)
Penn Museum opens a variety of exhibits and events for Black History Month. (Image courtesy of the Penn Museum.)

It’s February, and despite the chill and the short days, Philly is alive. Black History Month and Philly Theatre Week have the whole city buzzing, and I’ve got a handful of picks for you. Also, PAAFF and JACL team up with the Art in City Hall for the second phase of a returning exhibit, Tongue & Groove gets IN BED with us, and Rev. Run swings by the Free Library to talk about an old school kind of love.

A Hundred Words For Snow

Inis Nua Theatre’s entry into Philly Theatre Week, A Hundred Words for Snow by Tatty Hennessy, is a one-person show that tells the story of 15-year-old Rory (played by Satchel Williams), whose father, a geography teacher, has recently died. Rory’s struggle with loss has her pursuing her father’s lifelong dream of going to the North Pole. Catch the show starting on Friday, February 7, at the Drake, 302 South Hicks St. It runs through February 23.

Anti-Asian racial propaganda exhibit

The Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival (PAAFF) and civil rights group Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) partner up to host a second phase of the American Peril exhibition through the Art in City Hall program. The first run in 2018 emerged from a research project that curator (and past BSR contributor) Rob Buscher and his wife Cathy Farah Matos had been working on, gathering anti-Asian racial propaganda as classroom teaching resources that spanned nearly 150 years. Now the second phase includes portrait photography produced by Sunny Huang and shot by Justin Chiu, juxtaposing targets of racial propaganda with exhibit artifacts to highlight the impact on members of the Philadelphia community.

The opening reception is on Friday, February 7 from 6 to 7:30pm in Conversation Hall. The exhibit is free and open to the public during City Hall business hours and runs through March 20, 2020.

Tongue & Groove

T&G’s February run is among us. Starting on Friday, February 7 through February 22 comes IN BED, a show where audience members can anonymously share something memorable that has happened to you in or around a bed, romantic or mundane. The actors use the stories for an improvised montage of hilarious and touching scenes exploring life and relationships. The show is for everyone, even those who have disdain for Valentine’s Day!

Be part of the show Upstairs at Plays & Players Theater, 1714 Delancey Street. Tickets are available online. This is T&G’s final run before going on hiatus, so be sure to check them out if you haven’t already!

Friday Arts Series at Al-Bustan’s Hub

Percussionist Hafez Kotain and pianist Jay Fluellen team up for a night of Arab and Latin rhythms at Al-Bustan’s Hub, 3645 Lancaster Avenue, on Friday, February 7 at 8pm. Fluellen is a Philadelphia-born musician and has been the organist and choir director at the historic African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas since 1997. Kotain, is a Pew Fellowship in the Arts recipient and studied music in his native countries Syria and Venezuela. Get your tickets in advance.

Celebrating Black History Month at Penn Museum

The Penn Museum is celebrating Black History Month with a roster of special events, including this weekend’s Exploring Ancient Egypt event on Saturday, February 8. Kicking off at 11am, a family-friendly tour of ancient Egypt leads into a design-your-own cartouche, a scavenger hunt, and more. There’s also a free screening of the documentary Lost Kingdom of the Black Pharaohs. Secure your spot ahead of time.

This comes in addition to the museum’s tours of its new Africa Galleries by Global Guides Tours—immigrants from Africa who share their own firsthand knowledge. The tours run every Saturday and Sunday at 2:30pm.

Visit Penn Museum online for more info on these events, tours, and the rest of the museum’s Black History Month calendar.

Invisible Warriors screening

Invisible Warriors, a documentary featuring a group of Black women who recount their contributions to and what life was like during World War II, will be screening at the Blackwell Regional Library, 125 South 52nd St., on Saturday, February 8, at 2pm. Gregory S. Cooke, the director of the film, will be in attendance for a conversation after the screening.

Lucid Shadows

Lyd Godley’s solo exhibition Lucid Shadows is closing this weekend, and Saturday, February 8, will be your last chance to check it out. Hosted at James Oliver Gallery’s HOT•BED (723 Chestnut St., 2nd floor), Godley’s sensory exhibit features the glow and pulse of more than 60 light pieces, highlighting movement, technology, color, and shape that breaks binary terms and labels for creativity. Find out more about it here.

Films at AAMP: In Conversation Shorts
On Sunday, February 9, at 3pm, the African American Museum of Philadelphia is teaming up with BlackStar Film Festival founder Maori Holmes for a day of short films. The program, curated to complement AAMP’s current exhibit In Conversation: Visual Meditations of Black Masculinity, features seven films exploring Black masculinity through the lens of Black women filmmakers and directors. Holmes will be in attendance with a selection of the filmmakers for a discussion and Q&A. See the full roster of films online.

We Have Something to Say

The National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) is hosting an event featuring five short films by five Black women filmmakers. Show support on Tuesday, February 11, at the Amphitheater at One Comcast, 1701 Arch St., starting at 6:30pm. Snag your seat online.

Revolutionary Witchcraft

Revolutionary Witchcraft is a “fiery, intersectional guide for activists and witches alike,” and author Sarah Lyons will be sharing the handbook at A Novel Idea on Passyunk (1726 East Passyunk Ave.). Learn about the politically charged origins of the word “witch,” witch hunts of early modern England, and contemporary magical resistance. Be enchanted on Tuesday, February 11, at 7pm.

Rev. Run at Free Library

Rev. Run is coming to Philly on Wednesday, February 12 at the Free Library, 1901 Vine Street. The frontman for the legendary Run-DMC and his wife, Justine Simmons, are launching their new book, Old School Love. The event kicks off at 7:30pm, and you can secure your seat online.

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