Mural Arts Month, Philadelphia Orchestra, WHITE, and the Virtual Latino Arts Festival

The Weekly Roundup, September 29-October 5

3 minute read
Brown, a Black woman, and Goraczko, a white man, look towards each other in a well-lit room, art canvases are around them.
Veshonte Brown (left) and Paul Goraczko (right) star in 'WHITE'. (Photo by Kimberly Reilly.)

This coming week has a handful of offerings sure to get you to meditate, listen, and laugh. Mural Arts Month is taking over October—but it isn’t waiting until the first of the month to get started. The Philadelphia Orchestra pays a visit to Asian Arts Initiative and a sustainable clothing shop in University City, the Virtual Latino Arts Festival continues through the end of Hispanic Heritage Month, and a much-lauded comedy by James Ijames comes to Villanova.

Mural Arts Month

October is unofficially the month of murals in Philadelphia thanks to Mural Arts. Kicking off this week, Mural Arts has plenty of activities, events, panels, screenings, and more to celebrate the artistic transformation of Philly’s public spaces.

A free PhillyCam Workshop is this Saturday, October 2 at 2pm. The workshop is a hands-on production that ties images for a crowdsourced music video. PhillyCam urges folks to bring a camera (or you can record on your smartphone).

There’s also a panel discussion on climate justice on Friday, and a photography-based panel examining biases around identity and the weaponization of stigmas around formerly incarcerated people convenes on Monday. Heavy stuff for sure, but both panels have vital information to take away.

The rest of the month features a variety of mural dedications, new design reveals, and other edifying panel discussions. Weekend tours are scheduled through the month, covering many corners of the city.

For a full list of events, visit Mural Arts online.

Through October 3, 2021
John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts, 800 East Lancaster Avenue, Villanova

Villanova Theatre kicks off its 2021-22 season with WHITE, written and directed by James Ijames. The comedy (whose world premiere we reviewed here in 2017) tells the story of Vanessa (Veshonte Brown) and Gus (Paul Goraczko) as a museum’s next exhibition meant to showcase diverse voices finds them making a new artistic persona to get into the show. It’s a modern take on Frankenstein and looks to wrestle with themes around racism, misogyny, and cultural appropriation while cracking plenty of laughs.

Our City, Your Orchestra
October 1 and 15, November 1 and 15
Streaming online

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Our City, Your Orchestra returns for another season around the city. The series of free online concerts features small ensembles performing at businesses, organizations, and cultural locations throughout the city. This weekend is their collaboration with Asian Arts Initiative, with their November edition supporting Grant Blvd, an ethically sourced and sustainable clothing store in West Philly. The accompanying podcast HearTOGETHER also returns for a second season.

Virtual Latino Arts Festival
Through October 13, 2021
Streaming online

Esperanza Arts Center has been running its Virtual Latino Arts Festival, and two weeks remain with a handful of events left to close out the celebration. September 29 at 7:30pm is Luna de Cuernos, a concert experience that interprets a Puerto Rican folktale inspired by the true stories of a group of friends and family defending the garden that is the source of their community’s life.

Then, Minas has a performance on Wednesday, October 6 at 7:30pm. The band, which originated in Rio de Janeiro, has made their home in Philly since the mid-80s. The festival closes on Wednesday, October 13 at 7:30pm with a night with Calpulli Mexican Dance Company performing with dance, music, elaborate costumes, and more folkloric traditions.

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