Many Lumens, UMA Shows Up, SpringFest, and the Weitzman reopens

The Weekly Roundup, May 11 – 18

3 minute read
Outside the museum, Kass leans against the Y letter of the structure, which is large, wide, and very tall
"OY/YO" by Deborah Kass lives at the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History. (Photo by Robert Hakalski.)

This week’s roundup features artists who are pushing norms, envelopes, and expectations. BlackStar’s podcast Many Lumens is back for its second season, featuring new conversations with a variety of groundbreaking artists. Then, Urban Movement Arts hits the stage all weekend long with a trio of dance performances, the fifth annual SpringFest flicks onto the big screen downtown, and the Weitzman Museum reopens its doors with new life and new exhibits.

Many Lumens season two
Streaming now online

BlackStar’s podcast featuring groundbreaking artists, change-makers, and cultural workers is back for its second season. Season one featured the likes of writer and poet Jason Reynolds, filmmaker Janicza Bravo, and musician, filmmaker, writer, and painter Blitz Bazawule. Season two kicks off with Dr. Yaba Blay, a producer, professor, cultural consultant, and author of One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race. Blay joins host and BlackStar founder Maori Karmael Holmes for a conversation about beauty, the pressures Black women face to conform, and finding your way through time and geography. The episode is live now, and you can still check out last season, too. The first season has six episodes, so you’ll be able to catch up quickly!

The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History reopens
Starting Friday, May 13
101 South Independence Mall E, Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History will reopen its building to visitors on May 13 with four new installations and exhibits: a transformative new art exhibition organized by Jonathan Horowitz that explores the significant changes America has experienced since 2020 and issues it has been grappling with for decades; Deborah Kass’s monumental yellow “OY/YO” sculpture on Independence Mall; two artifacts from the January 15 hostage crisis in Colleyville, Texas, that highlight rising antisemitism; and a special installation on military nursing during World War II.

Be sure to keep an eye out for our preview of the reopening next week!

UMA Shows Up
May 13-15
Fringe Arts Theatre, 140 North Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia

Urban Movement Arts hosts a weekend of dance performances inspired by hip-hop, breakdance, and other forms of dance. The weekend includes Truth or Dare, a new work created by Supa Josh and Lady Em that re-considers an old game with playful text, audience participation, and movement poetry.

Then, there’s WORKINONIT, a cabaret-recital showcase that centers on BIPOC and LGBTQ+ artists expanding the contemporary boundaries of folkloric and diasporic dance traditions. Blending vogue, house, capoeira, hip-hop, and more, the performance mixes experts with students alike—which could be a nod to Urban Movement Arts and their emphasis on hip-hop education.

Finally, Can’t Wait to Skate: Philly’s Rollerskating Story rounds up the weekend of shows. Created by India Hyman and Ricky Evans of Great on Skates, Can’t Wait to Skate is a documentary and live performance that celebrates the history of Philadelphia’s roller skate and roller dance traditions.

Philadelphia Film Festival SpringFest
May 13-15
Philadelphia Film Center, 1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

The fifth annual SpringFest is here with a weekend of indie flicks, foreign films, award-winners, and documentaries. Highlights include the Sundance Audience Award winner Cha Cha Real Smooth starring 21 Jump Street and Suspiria (the remakes, obviously) alum Dakota Johnson, Good Luck To You, Leo Grande from director Sophie Hyde and actress Emma Thompson (Angels in America, Matilda), and Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Spin Me Around starring Alison Brie (Community), and the locally-bred Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Rec, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) stars in Emily the Criminal.

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