The ‘Power of Protest,’ a taste of Spanish Harlem, Harriett’s Bookshop, and more for the weekend

4 minute read
NMAJH's 'Power of Protest' returns for a late winter stint. (Photo courtesy of NMAJH)
NMAJH's 'Power of Protest' returns for a late winter stint. (Photo courtesy of NMAJH)

This weekend has both its challenges and its escapes. The NMAJH remembers Jewish emigration, and the city’s Office of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy honors an historical burying ground and a pair of theater shows ask some big questions. On the flipside, Amalgam and Vinyl Tap 215 team up, a new book store arrives against the odds, and jazz lights up our rhythm.

Power of Protest

The traveling exhibit is back home at the National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH) now through March 15. The Power of Protest: The Movement to Free Soviet Jews explores the efforts in the 1960s through the early 90s to free refuseniks—Jews who lived in the Soviet Union and were denied rights. The exhibition celebrates the struggles and successes of the movement and looks deeper into the experiences of Jewish emigrants from the U.S.S.R. who come to America.

Bethel Burying Ground tribute

The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy opens Bethel Burying Ground: A Tribute to A Sacred Place in the Art Gallery at City Hall this Thursday at 5:30pm. The installation honors and recognizes the historic significance of the deceased buried at Bethel Burying Ground and the free Black community they represented.

The opening reception is free, open to the public and includes light refreshments. RSVP online or by phone, (215) 686-8446.


The Villanova Theatre Department debuts its fifth annual Studio Show with the existential slasher comedy Hookman by Lauren Yee. The production, directed, designed, and performed by current Villanova Theatre graduate students, tells the story of Lexi and her pursuit of the truth behind what happened to her high school best friend. The show, which warns us not to pay attention to the hook-handed serial killer hanging around in the background, tackles themes around grief, sexual assault, and more. Catch the performance Thursday, January 30 through February 2 for free—but RSVP ahead of time.

Spanish Harlem Orchestra

The Spanish Harlem Orchestra returns to Philly on Friday, January 31 at 8pm for a performance of their 2018 album Anniversary. The three-time Grammy Award-winning will bring Latin jazz and salsa rhythms to the Annenberg Center. Grab your seat online.

Harriett’s Book Shop grand opening

There’s a new bookshop in town, and the independent, women-centrically shelved Harriett’s Bookshop is celebrating its grand opening on Saturday, February 1 at 10am-6pm. There’s a storied history already behind the shop, including owner’s Jeannine A. Cook’s remarkable bounce back when tragedy struck three years ago. Go give her and the store some love at 258 East Girard Avenue this weekend if you can!

Amalgam and Vinyl Tap

Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse teams up again with Vinyl Tap 215 for an afternoon celebrating the architects of the Minneapolis Sound. Spinning records from Prince, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Vanity 6, Sheila E, The Jets, Sheena Easton, and many more, the collaborative day kicks off on Saturday, February 1 at 12-6pm. Peep the Facebook event to see the long list of DJs slinging wax.

Jamal Jones and the Composers League of Philadelphia

Celebrated Philly composer, arranger, and trumpet player Jamal Jones hits up the Painted Bride on Saturday, February 1 at 8pm. Teaming up with his Composers League of Philadelphia, Jones brings together a concert with jazz and orchestral works for a night jazz fans are sure to enjoy. Find out more online.

Dar He: The Story of Emmitt Till

Mike Wiley writes and performs in Dar He: The Story of Emmitt Till a one-actor, 36 character play about the 1955 murder of Chicago’s Emmitt Till in the Mississippi Delta. Hosted at the ArtYard, 62 A Trenton Ave in Frenchtown, NJ, catch the show on Saturday, February 1 at 7:30pm.

February Scratch Night

The long-running monthly works-in-progress series Scratch Night continues on Monday, February 3 at 7pm at FringeArts. This month is hosted by Mary Tuomanen and Rebecca Wright of Applied Mechanics. The free event is a chance to see talented artists perform new material from shows they’re working on. Drawing from theater, dance, performance art, and everything in between. You could catch happy hour at La Peg beforehand to help lift that post-weekend daze.

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