Porchfest, Funkfest, Theatre Exile bring it on home this weekend

3 minute read
The Daniel Bennett Group jazzes it up in Philly this weekend. (Photo by Alexa Drew.)
The Daniel Bennett Group jazzes it up in Philly this weekend. (Photo by Alexa Drew.)

Outdoor festivals, book fairs, and collaborative performances are abound as we sink into the final weeks of spring. Freakonomics makes its return to Philly after sellout crowds with its live show in NYC. The Philadelphia Thing is doing…big things… merging its arts and advocacy with its West Coast friends. West Philly is bouncing with Porchfest and Funkfest, and Theatre Exile is back from exile with a South Philly block party.

Trade School: PHL/LAX performance collab

The Philadelphia Thing will debut its first performance-festival program: Trade School: PHL/LAX. The collaborative fest includes the Philadelphia Thing’s founder, Sarah Bishop-Stone, and Miranda Wright of Los Angeles Performance Practice. Hosted at the Bok Building, 1901 South 9th Street, the program will feature fully produced performances from artists from both cities, works in progress, studio visits, artist-driven conversations, and more. The fest begins today and runs until Sunday, June 9, 2019. The Philadelphia Thing connects artists with development resources, producing consultation, and marketplace advocacy inside and outside Philadelphia. Festivals, passes, and a full roster of performers, speakers, and schedule can be found online.

Freakonomics Radio live in Philly

Freakonomics Radio returns to the city for the first time in two years to host a special live show on Thursday, June 6, at the Kimmel Center. Philly’s own Angela Duckworth, author of Grit, joins host Stephen Dubner. The show also includes an interactive element: guests can introduce interesting facts and research and, at the end of the show, the audience will vote to determine who brought the most engaging topic. Tickets are still available online, but act fast—there aren’t many left!

New York jazz in Philly

The Daniel Bennett Group visits the Paris Bistro and Jazz Café, 8229 Germantown Avenue, on Friday, June 7, at 7pm. The band, fronted by New York saxophonist Daniel Bennett and joined by renowned guitarist Nat Janoff and percussionist Koko Bermejo, blends jazz, avant-pop, and folk. With high praise from NPR, the Washington Post, and many more, the trio will bring some eclectic jazz fusion to the area.

Youth Arts Workshop Radical Children’s Book Fair

The first-ever Radical Children’s Book Fair comes to life this Saturday, June 8, at 12pm at the Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 Vine Street. Hosted by Youth Arts Workshop, the afternoon will feature book readings, performances, and kid-friendly activities. Big Blue Marble Bookstore will be on site selling a large selection of AAPI, POC, and LGBTQIA writers and illustrators. Book signings, zine-making, board games, and more fill out a robust day of diverse youth reading.

West Philly Porchfest

The fourth annual West Philly Porchfest returns on Saturday, June 8. The DIY community music festival featuring free performances on porches all around the neighborhood and is open to everyone. Anyone can play, and anyone can host a show on their porch. Festivities kick off at 12pm and a schedule and map can be found online.

Theatre Exile Block Party

Theatre Exile celebrates its return to South Philadelphia with a free block party on Saturday, June 8, starting at 4pm. The party includes a tour of the newly renovated theater building, live music, local food trucks, a beer garden, and more. The three-hour soiree happens at 13th Street between Wharton and Reed Streets and will be emceed by comedian Joe Conklin.

Funkfest at the West Park Arts Fest

Introducing the first Funkfest at the West Park Arts Fest, a showcase of bands drawn from Philly’s funk scene. Breakwater headlines the West Park Arts Fest’s event, which culminates jazz-funk and fusion, rock, soul, and more. It happens at South Concourse Drive near the Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, near Parkside Avenue, from 1pm to 6pm, Saturday, June 8. Food, art installations, an arts and crafts market, and more will also be around for attendees to check out alongside the two performance stages.

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