September is here, and the first week is opening the month up with a bang. A national community virtual pilgrimage featuring Japanese American voices blossoms with Philly roots, Afro-Cuban percussionist Pedrito Martinez pays a visit to NMAJH, and Andrea “Philly” Walls’ digital exhibition closes this weekend. There’s a compelling exhibition at Fairmount Water Works exploring pools and segregation in the US, and Vinyl Tap continues its A Saturday Jawn series with a return to Amalgam Comics.
All of this arrives just as the Fringe and Free Fringe festivals await us on the other side of next week.
Tadaima! A Community Virtual Pilgrimage
Now through September 25, 2021
Rob Buscher, board chair of the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival and contributor to BSR, has been working with the Japanese American Memorial Pilgrimages (JAMP) and the National Park Service to bring us Tadaima! A Community Virtual Pilgrimage. The virtual pilgrimage showcases Japanese American artists through panel discussions, films, and more.
The pilgrimage will also offer one-on-one genealogy sessions, discussions around identity and intersectionality, and more. Following up on last year’s cancelled event due to Covid, this year’s schedule is packed—see for yourself!
The events are free and open to the public now through September 25.
For those wondering, tadaima is Japanese for I’m home!
Afro-Cuban percussionist Pedrito Martinez is coming to Philadelphia by way of the National Museum of American Jewish History this week to show off his innovative and legendary talents. The Havana, Cuba native has been making music professionally since the mid-80s, kicking off his career at 11. Having worked with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Quincy Jones, and Angelique Kidjo.
He’s a founding member of the band Yerba Buena, which I listened to quite a bit in the aughts. Surely, the band’s music played on your Pandora once upon many times.
Martinez is approaching 40 years in the industry, recently coming off of a Grammy nomination and a duo album with Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodriguez. Check out his performance with the NMAJH this week for free with a $10 suggested donation.
Andrea Walls: Memes of Consciousness: Where Beauty Intervenes
Outdoors at Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Avenue
Now through September 4, 2021
This weekend is your last chance to check out Andrea Walls’ digital installation. In a collaboration with Mural Arts’ Guild Members of the Restorative Justice program, the work serves as a culmination of a framework for social change.
Andrea “Philly” Walls is a multidisciplinary artist, curator, poet, and photographer, and I really enjoy her work. If you can’t make it out to see the digital video mural this weekend, give Walls a follow on Instagram and take a tour through her Museum of Black Joy. Her photography captures breathtaking snapshots around Philadelphia.
Memes of Consciousness is free and open to the public. Viewers can play the accompanying soundtrack from their smart devices and watch from the sidewalk throughout the evening. The project comes as part of the ESP’s Night Tours.
If you want to dive deeper into Memes, check out this panel with Walls and Mural Arts director of restorative justice Greg Corbin:
POOL: A Social History of Segregation
Fairmount Water Works, 640 Waterworks Drive
Opens Friday, September 3
Public pools feel like a thing of the past. Can you name more than one near you? When’s the last time you’ve been to one? Going to one in these times now also feels precarious, but that’s not the first time jumping into a public pool came with great risk. Fairmount Water Works is bringing that to attention with its new exhibit opening this week.
POOL is a multi-disciplinary museum exhibition exploring the history and contemporary implications of segregated swimming in the United States. The exhibit will feature audio and video vignettes projected on the floor of the entrance to POOL. Some of the voices featured in the vignettes include Simone Manuel, the first Black swimmer in Olympic history to win an individual gold medal in swimming in 2016; Maritza Correa McClendon, the first Puerto Rican of African descent to become a member of the US Olympic swim team; famed Philly swim coach Jim Ellis (whose name you may recognize from the 2007 film Pride), and many more.
The exhibit also includes a curated collection of art installations and experiences from Philly artists like James Ijames, Calo Rosa, and Philadelphia Jazz Project director Homer Jackson.
A Saturday Jawn with Vinyl Tap
Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, 2578 Frankford Avenue
Saturday, September 4, 12-6pm
Vinyl Tap’s A Saturday Jawn returns to Amalgam Comics this weekend for an afternoon of art, comics, and music from a variety of DJs, including BSR contributor John Morrison. The event is hosted by none other than Starfire, so yeah, good times will be had.
Masks are required to attend. The event is free, but buy some comics and support the shop! It’s a national treasure, you know?