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‘Faces of Resilience,’ ‘Queer Ecologies,’ PlayPenn, and Priyanka Shetty highlight the week
The Weekly Roundup, July 13 – 19
As we dive deeper into the belly of the summery beast, Philly (and the “elephant” up the turnpike) turns up the heat with a handful of fresh events. The Barnes opens its doors with hope and expression with its new exhibit Faces of Resilience. William Way paves the way with a new virtual exhibit to add to its online library, ArtYard gets joyful, and PlayPenn reads its upcoming works with its annual conference. Then, Philly’s own Priyanka Shetty makes her way to NYC before traveling the world with her one-person show The Elephant in the Room.
Stay hydrated, Philly!
July 14-August 18
William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce Street, Philadelphia
William Way opens its collaborative multimedia art exhibition Queer Ecologies this weekend. Featuring LGBTQIA+ artists from the Philly area, the exhibition explores the intersections of queerness, ecology, and community-building with visual art, performances, sculpture, workshops, and more. William Way will also host a pair of opening events on Thursday, July 14, at 6pm at the William Way LGBT Community Center and on Sunday, July 17, at 5pm at Bartram’s Garden. Be sure to check William Way’s additional virtual exhibitions, too.
Film Festival of Joy
Through Sunday, July 17
ArtYard’s McDonnell Theater, 13 Front Street, Frenchtown, New Jersey
Joy can take on various forms and, this week, ArtYard’s Film Festival of Joy looks to explore as many forms as it can. The festival includes shorts, features, and documentaries exploring themes like romantic joy, laughter, “joie du cinema,” and others—each day has its own theme.
Faces of Resilience
Through Monday, August 22
Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia
Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Guild program, a paid apprenticeship that gives justice-impacted youth and young adults the opportunity to develop skills and reconnect with their community, opens an exhibition at the Barnes featuring the artwork of several participants from the program.
PlayPenn New Play Development Conference
Through July 24
The Drake, 302 South Hicks Street, Philadelphia
PlayPenn painted a fresh coat on its annual conference, and this year features six finalists with plays that will be read at the Drake this month. Finalists include Santiago Tonauac Castro, Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters, Nimisha Ladva, Brie Knight, Ken Kaissar, and Ian August.
The Elephant in the Room
Through July 24
59E59 Theaters, 59 East 59th Street, New York City
Okay, so this is a rare one for me to feature a show that’s not even in the Philly area, but the Philly connection is strong and proud. I wanted to give a shoutout to the star of The Elephant in the Room Priyanka Shetty, the talented “One-Woman Wonder” Philly-based artist whose latest performance will find its way across the country and, eventually, overseas at the 2022 Edinburg Fringe Festival later this year. The one-person show is a witty, dark comedy about “your typical Indian metalhead and software-engineer-turned-actor who must navigate life as an immigrant arriving in Trump’s America” to pursue acting. If you happen to find yourself up the turnpike sometime this month, consider giving Shetty a visit!
Fifth Annual All Love Block Party
Saturday, July 16, 11am-8pm
Sunflower Philly, 1725 North 5th Street, Philadelphia
Several years ago, a pair of Temple students decided to throw a series of block parties highlighting local arts and entertainment. Fast-forward to 2022, and they’re celebrating their fifth annual block party with a long roster of artists, performers, and vendors. The North Philly event “embodies the original culture of the Philly block party” while also serving and promoting the local community.
Mid-Summer Jazz Fest
Saturday, July 16, 3-5pm
Hawthorne Park, 1200 Catharine Street, Philadelphia
Looking for a pop-up jazz festival in South Philly after your brunch date this weekend? If so, check out Jazz Bridge Project’s Mid-Summer Jazz Fest on Saturday, featuring Chelsea Reed & the Fairweather Five and V. Shayne Frederick.
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