XPN Weekend Arts Crawl: Philadelphia Film Festival, Design Philadelphia, Mural Arts Month are all in full swing!

This film, titled I Am Big Bird, screens at the Philly Film Festival.
This film, titled I Am Big Bird, screens at the Philly Film Festival. courtesy of Philadelphia Film Festival

The 23rd Philadelphia Film Festival runs through October 26th and promises you will “see something you’ll never forget.”  There are movies from around the world, including indie films and Oscar submissions, animated shorts, and several movies about music…and there are celebrity guests, parties, awards and more.  David Lynch’s films Mulholland Drive and Wild at Heart are shown in conjunction with the current exhibition of his work at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.  Venues are around Center City, and for the first time in the suburbs at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute. Continue reading →


Weekend Arts Crawl…Philly photos, parades of pride and boats, celebrating design…and so much more!


The Old City Seaport Festival will include a parade of boats. Courtesy of
The Old City Seaport Festival will include a parade of boats. Courtesy of

Ahoy!  It’s the third annual Independence Seaport Museum Old City Seaport Festival!  You can tour tall ships, see how boats were made in the old days, take a harbor tour, and witness the kick off parade of boats Friday and pirate battles on Saturday and Sunday!  Aye, matey…

Continue reading →


XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…Inside animals, outside in the area, and much more!

Body Worlds: Animal Inside Out previously appeared at museums in Chicago, Dallas,  Salt Lake City, Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. Courtesy of
Body Worlds: Animal Inside Out previously appeared at museums in Chicago, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. Courtesy of

The exhibit Body Worlds has toured the world several times showing what’s under the skin of real humans.  Now there’s Body Worlds, Animal Inside Out, opening Saturday at the Franklin Institute.  Animals large and small are opened up to show their blood vessels, muscular systems and various organs. Two Members Sunday workshops demonstrate how animals’ bodies are like our own. Continue reading →


XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…Shakespeare, opera, and celebrations of heritage!

Joseph Marcell in the Shakespeare Globe Theatre's production of King Lear. Courtesy of
Joseph Marcell in the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Company’s production of King Lear. Courtesy of

The Annenburg Center for the Performing Arts begins its fall season this week with the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Company production of King Lear, direct from London. Joseph Marcell, who played the butler on the TV hit series Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, stars in the iconic title role. Before and after every performance is an INSIGHT event, free for ticket holders, that goes deeper into the play with Penn faculty and performing arts groups, area experts, and the artists themselves. Continue reading →


XPN Weekend Arts Crawl… Fringe Festival, honey bees and City Hall’s new Dilworth Park

Part of the FringeFest's Experiment #39 experience...courtesy of
Part of the FringeFest’s Experiment #39 experience…courtesy of

The annual performance extravaganza, the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, starts today with the grand opening of the new FringeArts building on the Delaware River, as reported on the XPN Morning Show.  The new facility houses La Peg restaurant and bar, a performance venue, and the Festival Bar, the go-to watering hole during the next 17 days of offbeat and cutting edge dance, theater, music that is the Fringe.

As always, some events at Fringe are chosen by FringeArts, others are self mounted.  Among this weekend’s curated offerings…

Experiment #39, pictured above,  from The Institute of Psychogeographic Adventure starts with a psychological survey that leads audience members on a  a personalized walking tour of Old City with a twist…artists pop out at strategic times to give surprise performances.  As The Bard said, “All the world’s a stage…” Continue reading →


XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…Made in America, sold in Longs Park, Labor Day parade…and more!

kings of leon shot for nme magazine, location elms lester painting roomsKings of Leon are the final performers in a music filled weekend on the Parkway as Jay Z brings his Made In America Festival to Philadelphia for the third time Saturday and Sunday (and this year to Los Angeles for the first time).  The three music stages present diverse genres and bands that include Mayer Hawthorne, The National, Spoon, Pharell Williams, Kanye West and area talent like The Menzingers  There are beer gardens, food trucks, and merch booths galore, and XPN staffers are covering the fest here on The Key. Continue reading →


XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…Art furniture, comedy, Ukrainian culture, and more!


courtesy of UASC Tryzub
courtesy of UASC Tryzub

The 23rd Annual Ukrainian Folk Festival is Sunday in Horsham. This cultural celebration is complete with Ukrainian dishes, beers and baked goods. In addition, four main acts are set to play on stage, including a Ukrainian violinist, a colorful and acrobatic dance act, an electronic band that infuses traditional Ukrainian music, and the Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, known for their melding of Ukrainian dance and world culture. A social Ukrainian dance called Zabava is going to be featured on stage after the main show while traditional and modern Ukrainian music is performed in the background. Continue reading →


XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…Music by the river, dance at Suzanne Roberts, classic cars in the street!


Of course, the biggest event for XPN is our annual  XPoNential Music Festival!  It’s the highlight of a year filled with musical discovery and a chance to celebrate down by the river.  We hope you can join us and if not, please tune in and enjoy the music on our airwaves or on our live stream. Continue reading →


XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…Fourth of July Weekend in the place of America’s birth!

courtesy of Fort Mifflin
courtesy of Fort Mifflin

At historic Fort Mifflin’s Freedom Blast! the American flag is raised at 10:15 Saturday to kick off a day of readings of the Declaration of Independence, cannon and gun demonstrations and tours of the forts casemates (storage areas built into hills)  guided by Revolutionary War era living history soldiers and civilians in authentic dress.  The fort is one of Philadelphia’s gems, and you get an added boost of anachronism with the planes flying overhead to land at the Philadelphia Airport.

courtesy of
courtesy of

The Wawa Welcome America festival, which began earlier this week, gets underway at 10 am Friday with the Celebration of Freedom ceremony on the steps of Independence Hall, made extra special this year since it’s the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board Supreme Court decision paving the way for integration and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

This is followed by a parade through Historic Philadelphia, ringing of the Liberty Bell, and the annual celebration on the Ben Franklin Parkway from noon on ending with the big free concert, this year featuring The Roots, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Ed Sheeran, Nicki Minaj, Aloe Blacc and Vicci Martinez, and culminating as always with fireworks over the Philadelphia Museum of Art!

Historic Philadelphia hosts many other holiday events…

At the Independence Visitor Center Friday, Betsy Ross teams up with the Termini Brothers Bakery to produce the nation’s biggest flag made entirely of red, white and blue cupcakes!

Betsy will be in two places at once because she’ll also be at the iconic Betsy Ross House for Betsy’s Independence Day Bash, complete with a children’s naturalization ceremony and ceremonial bell ringing.

Also Friday Colonial reenactors are encamped at 6th and Market Streets and will perform cannon drills, and John Adams is available for a chat at the Historic Philadelphia Center.

Saturday such luminaries as Martha Washington, Baron Von Steuben, Thomas Jefferson and Octavious Cotto, who was a major in the Union Army in the Civil War and later registered black voters in Philadelphia, will be at Historic Philadelphia sites…and there are many activities for the kids.

one of Will Brown's photos
one of Will Brown’s photos

Aside from 4th of July celebrations, other events are happening this weekend…

The annual Super Scooper All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival is all weekend at Penn’s Landing.  The admission fee goes toward funding childhood leukemia research.

The Awesome Fest presents a free outdoor 20th anniversary screening of The Crow Saturday at Liberty Lands on North American Street in Philadelphia.  This 1994 American supernatural action film was based on James O’Barr’s 1989 comic book and tells the story of a rock musician who is revived from the dead to avenge his murder and that of his fiancée.  Rochelle Davis, who appears as Sarah in the movie, will be there!

Arch Street’s Fabric Workshop and Museum has been exhibiting photography by Ray Metzger, Will Brown, and David Graham. Brown captures still street photos, Metzger is well known for his black-and-white city-scapes, and Graham’s landscape work has been described as “bizarre” and “vibrant.”  The exhibits stay up through the end of the summer.

Spiritual Strivings:A Celebration of African American Works on Paper is at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts  It presents two collections. There are 70 works from the expansive Harmon & Harriet Kelley collection that spans the 20th century and is considered the preeminent collection of its kind (through October 12th)…and Eldzier Cortor:Theme and Variations from a living artist in his 90s who has just made a generous gift of his work to PAFA (through August 31st).


XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…Celebrating African-American and LGBT pride, art in the open air, children’s film and so much more!

4718994_orig[1]Sunday the Odunde Festival celebrates its 39th anniversary as one of the largest African American street festivals in the country, filling 12 blocks of South Street with music, dance, authentic African, Brazilian and Caribbean wares and food. There’s a unique procession to the Schulykill River to offer fruit and flowers to the Yoruba river goddess Oshun on what promises to be a stellar day, sunny with a high of 80.  All are welcome!

Image courtesy of the Philadelphia International Children’s Film Festival
The second annual Philadelphia International Children’s Film Festival is all weekend at the PFS Theater at the Roxy in Center City.  The Philadelphia Film Society has partnered with the New York International Film Festival, one of the longest running and most acclaimed children’s film festivals, to present animated, live action and experimental features and shorts from around the world, and some Q&A’s with filmmakers, to open children’s minds to the breadth and variety of films created for them.

The one and only Village People headline the music at the 26th annual Philadelphia Pride Festival Pride Day Sunday, capping off a weekend of LGBT activities.  There’s a parade, of course, starting at noon from 13th and Locust to Penns Landing, and for the first time ever, under Pennsylvania’s new law, same sex couples will marry at Independence Mall during the parade.  Philadelphia’s emcee extraordinaire Henri David hosts the entertainment at Penns Landing which also features the terrific trio BETTY and a boy band of classically trained musicians called Well Strung (!) who play and sing music from Mozart to Lady Gaga.

Philadelphia’s remarkable repository of public art grows bigger on Friday when the Association for Public Art celebrates the installation of a massive new work called Symbiosis on the Ben Franklin Parkway.  The sculpture by New York based artist Roxy Paine is on loan for a year.  It depicts one of the most powerful images from nature, a tree, composed of industrial materials — stainless steel pipe, plate and rods — which have been fashioned into an organic looking form.  The artist has been working all week to put the sculpture in place for its first public display ever and will speak at a free public reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday at the installation site.

And there’s much more… Continue reading →