Espacio Común, walking with Billy Penn, Korean Festival, and more

The BSR Weekly Arts and Culture Roundup, October 12-18, 2023

3 minute read
An oil on canvas colonial portrait of William Penn, portrayed in a suit of armor
The Constitution Center hosts a walk inspired by William Penn this weekend. (Photo retrieved via Wikimedia Commons.)

In the heart of October lies a week of discovery, curiosity, and perspective in Philly. Amber Art & Design opens its Common Space/Espacio Común exhibit this weekend, which runs all month with a variety of events in tandem. A long walk in the park and beyond offers history buffs and aficionados a chance to see a part of Philadelphia’s origin story. Experimental music lights up Sundays at Studio 34, and the Korean Festival decorates the Delaware Art Museum’s Sculpture Garden. On the more challenging side, Mendelssohn Chorus’s We Reply to Violence and a screening of Stranger at the Gate explore a variety of timely cultural and social conflicts.

Peace and love, Philly.

Common Space/Espacio Común
October 12-November 9, 2023
Icebox Project Space, 1400 North American Street, Philadelphia

Amber Art & Design will open its new exhibit, Common Space/Espacio Común: Ten Years of Practice, this weekend at Icebox. The new exhibit, curated by cultural worker José Ortiz-Pagán, explores themes of communality, history and memory, investment in community voices, gathering, and more through visual works and performances by over 50 Philly-based artists. Workshops, artist mixers, community art-making, panels, and more free programming will be on deck throughout the month-long run of the exhibit.

Stranger at the Gate
Thursday, October 12, 6pm
Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 South Independence Mall E, Philadelphia

Executive producer Malala Yousafzai and director Joshua Seftel’s short film tells the true story of a distraught Iraq and Afghanistan veteran with a plan to bomb his local mosque until his fate is changed by an Afghan refugee. The Weitzman will screen it on Thursday evening, followed by a Q&A with the film’s subjects and Seftel.

Korean Festival
Saturday, October 14, 11am-3pm
Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington

DelArt hosts a Korean Festival outdoors in its Copeland Sculpture Garden on Saturday with an afternoon of dance, music, TaeKwonDo, and more. The event is free, family-friendly, and open to the public.

William Penn Jane’s Walk
Saturday, October 14, 12pm
National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street, Philadelphia

Swing by the Constitution Center for a tour featuring tour guide and author of Real Philly History, Real Fast Jim Murphy as he traces the steps of Philly founder William Penn as he helped develop the city into one of the most important in the US. The walk, named in honor of writer and urban activist Jane Jacobs, is free and open to the public with a suggested donation to the Independence Historical Trust.

Mendelssohn Chorus’s We Reply To Violence
Saturday, October 14, 4pm
Church of the Holy Trinity, 1904 Walnut Street, Philadelphia

Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia will open its 150th season with We Reply To Violence, featuring the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. The program is composed of 7 Last Words of the Unarmed, a composition of the last words of seven Black men who were killed by police officers; Mass in Time of War, which speaks to the unrest in Ukraine; and We Reply, a composition that evokes “the resilience and determination needed to work to end racial violence through awareness and action.”

Dan Blacksberg Presents Encounters
Starting Sunday, October 15, 8pm
Studio 34, 4522 Baltimore Avenue

West Philly’s own trombonist, Dan Blacksberg, debuts a series of Sunday evenings with experimental music by musicians from all over Philadelphia. This weekend’s edition features Blacksberg with Victor Vieira-Branco, a Brazilian American vibraphonist, composer, and improviser, and Alyssa Almeida, a cellist, songwriter, and composer playing soul and ambient instrumentals.

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