Classical and Motown at the Kimmel, books for the future, and festivities for Presidents Day and BHM

The Weekly Roundup, February 16-23

4 minute read
A young girl looks on at a framed illustration on the wall. She's holding a guide to go along with the painting
Taking a look through the new 'Liberty' exhibit at MoAR. (Photo courtesy of the Museum of the American Revolution.)

Mid-February is among us! This week features big music happening at the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus: the Philly POPS tribute to the Motown greats with a few special guests and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra returns to in-person performances for the first time since before the pandemic. Then, books are abound as the National Liberty Museum hosts Amalgam Comics for a day discussing comics and Black superheroes, while veteran writer Jabari Asim and new author Ariel Delgado Dixon visit the Free Library for a pair of fireside chats. Then, the Museum of the American Revolution serves up offerings in celebration of Presidents Day and Black History Month.


A weekend of music at the Kimmel Cultural Campus
February 18-20, times vary
Kimmel Cultural Campus’s Verizon Hall, 300 S. Broad Street

This weekend features a pair of musical offerings at the Kimmel Cultural Campus. First up, the Philly POPS are dancing to the tune of Motown, honoring the likes of Martha Reeves, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, and many more. A few guests will also be in attendance, including Hairspray alums Shayna Steele and Chester Gregory.

Then, to close out the weekend, the Curtis Symphony Orchestra returns to the stage in front of an in-person audience for the first time since February 2020. The performance Strings, Symphonies, and Strauss will be led by Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s conductor emeritus Peter Oundjian on Sunday, February 20, 2022, at 8pm.


Beyond Wakanda
Saturday, February 19, 12pm
National Liberty Museum, 321 Chestnut Street

Black Panther was a paradigm shift, and its ripples will be seen most in the next generation of creators. In celebration of Black History Month, National Liberty Museum is teaming up with Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse for an afternoon of honoring Black superheroes in the comic book world. Ariell Johnson from Amalgam will be in attendance to show her favorite Black comic book heroes and their impact. NLM also invites folks of all ages to explore the museum and participate in a Build-A-Comic-Book workshop.

Jabari Asim’s Yonder
Thursday, February 17, 7:30pm
Streaming online

Jabari Asim is no stranger to writing and storytelling. Director of the MFA Creative Writing program at Emerson College, author of the novel Only the Strong, the story collection A Taste of Honey, a Guggenheim fellowship-winning poet, playwright, and children’s book author, and the writer of several nonfiction books (I’m getting tired just thinking about that sort of writing resume—and in this economy?), Asim is paying a visit to the Free Library virtually for a talk about his new novel Yonder. The book tells the story of a group of enslaved Black people seeking love, friendship, and independence in the 19th-century southern US.

Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You chat with Ariel Delgado Dixon
Tuesday, February 22, 7:30pm
Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street

Did you read our review of Dixon’s debut novel? If it’s up your alley, then pick up a copy of the book and check out a discussion with Dixon, hosted by Blue Stoop and the Free Library. The novel, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You, follows the story of two sisters who endure a childhood of deprivation in a decaying warehouse and in a wilderness camp where troubled teenage girls are sent as a last resort. The Trenton-born Philly-based author will be signing copies following the presentation. Pick one up beforehand at Uncle Bobbie’s or grab a copy at the in-person event.

Museums and Exhibitions

Celebrating Presidents Day Weekend with MoAR
February 19-21
Virtual and in-person

The Museum of the American Revolution has an assortment of events, demonstrations, crafts, and more this weekend to celebrate Presidents Day. From their daily onsite exhibition Liberty: Don Troiani’s Paintings of the Revolutionary War to first-person theatrical performances and readings, folks with an interest in American history have something to dive into here. Those not wanting to make the trip in-person can engage in some virtual tours and programs, too. Be sure to check out their Black History Month events happening, too, including African Americans in the Revolutionary Era and a conversation with historian Kari J. Winter about her memoir of Jeffrey Brace.

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