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 →


XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…Beer, beer, beer and fun on land and water

philadelphia-beer-week-mayor-nutter-680uw[1]Philadelphia’s love of beer reaches a peak during Philly Beer Week, which is actually 10 days through June 8th. The festivities start Friday with the traditional Opening Tap by Mayor Nutter followed by a party at the 23rd Street Armory.  There are over a thousand events including Craft Beer Day in South Philadelphia with 16 hours of events on Sunday on East Passyunk Avenue.

Also Sunday on East Passyunk Avenue is the Italian National Day Festival featuring live music and dance, food, crafts, and a spaghetti eating contest!  It’s free, rain or shine.

The national Collegiate Rugby Championship Invitational is at PPL Park all weekend, bringing together 20 of the country’s top rugby teams to compete for the Pete Dawkins trophy, named for the iconic athlete.

breaking_through_400px[1]It’s your last chance to see the art produced by the graduating class of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, one of the most prestigious art education institutions in the nation.  This is the 113th annual student exhibition, and some of the work is for sale.

Arden Theatre Company presents Incorruptible, a dark comedy set in the Dark Ages, bringing together an itinerant con man with destitute monks in France.  By Philadelphia playwright Michael Hollinger through June 22.

Walnut2Walnut is a unique event on Saturday that combines a 15-mile regatta on both of Philadelphia’s rivers with a scavenger hunt and a walk from one end of Walnut Street to the other!  There’s also a VIP Finish Line Party on Olympia, the 19th century ship at the Independence Seaport Museum, which uses proceeds from the day to fund its on-the-water education programs.
And the Manayunk Wall once again asserts its power over cyclists in the famous Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic on Sunday.  In addition to the professional race there are activities like amateur racing and the East Falls block party during the weekend.

XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…The long Memorial Day Weekend

laurel_hill_cemetery-photo[1]Memorial Day originated as Decoration Day after the Civil War when the graves of soldiers were strewn with flowers. Memorial Day now honors those who have given their lives for this country in all military theaters. Laurel Hill Cemetery is the final resting place for many Civil War and other veterans and is the new home for The Silent Sentry. This historic bronze statue of a Civil War soldier at parade rest was first dedicated in 1863 at Mount Moriah in SW Philadelphia and will be rededicated in its new home on Sunday with a public ceremony and parade…

…The National Constitution Center has special events all weekend to mark Memorial Day including flag ceremonies and workshops on national memorials…

…Historic Philadelphia’s Franklin Square has special family activities for Memorial Day weekend.

The Real Thing

The Philadelphia Weekly said “Nobody in Philadelphia does Tom Stoppard better than The Wilma Theater!”and they’re at it again with a new production of Stoppard’s Tony award winner all about love The Real Thing through June 22nd.

The Devon Horse Show is underway, the nation’s oldest and largest outdoor multi-breed competition.  In addition to horse events there’s a Country Fair with proceeds benefitting Bryn Mawr Hospital. Through June 1st.

 New City Stage Company celebrates the Presidency with its West Wing Festival, currently presenting the Philadelphia premiere of An Evening With Richard Nixon by Gore Vidal which hasn’t had a full production since its run on Broadway in the 1970s until now at the Adrienne Theater…and in the Adrienne Theater Skybox, a free presentation from their Presidential Satire Reading Series!

Philly PHAIR is running two open air festivals, one at Eakins Oval, the other at Headhouse Square, featuring artisans, food trucks, live music and more.

Almanac Dance Circus Theater presents Communitas, an epic dance-driven production about the establishment of a civilization told through acrobatics and music improvisation, at Christ Church Neighborhood House in Old City Saturday and Sunday.




XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…Furry friends, free art, Italian festival, and more!


With Love: Super Adoption Day is Sunday at the Piazza at Schmidts in Northern Liberties. At Philadelphia’s largest adoption event, not only can you meet adoptable dogs, cats and even pigs, but there’s also live music, refreshments, special guests, and free parking.  Sponsored by Citizens for a No-Kill Philadlephia.

Public art in the broadest sense of the word is at the fourth annual Art in the Open all weekend along Schuylkill Banks. This year 25 artists have created site specific works in various media stationed along the river from the Fairmount Water Works south to Locust Street Green.

1dxGGx.St.56[1]Sunday is also Art Museum Day, a part of International Museum Day, and here in Philadelphia that means free admission to some of our greatest cultural institutions…the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Penn Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art, and Brandywine River Museum of Art are all participating!

The annual Italian Market Festival is Saturday and Sunday when South 9th Street offers a procession of saints and others reveling in the delights of the nation’s oldest outdoor market (rain or shine).

2150198_orig[1]Architecture and gardens are featured Sunday in Society Hill’s 36th Annual Open House & Garden Tour , a self-guided tour of ten private homes and gardens in styles from 18th and 19th century to contemporary.

The annual Pride Parade in the streets of New Hope and Lambertville  noon – 1:00 p.m. Saturday is part of New Hope Celebrates Pride Week.  Also Saturday the Rock The Block Party at the Bucks County Playhouse has live music and vendors.  this is the 11th year the area has celebrated its LGBT residents and visitors.



XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…Mother’s Day, juried shows, MOMIX, and more theater than Broadway!


To get ready for Mother’s Day:

The Morris Arboretum has its Annual Plant Sale featuring annuals, new perennial cultivars, woody plants and heirloom roses, as well as the handy expertise of the Arboretum’s staff…

The Pennsylvania Guild Fine of Craftsmen is hosting its third annual Fine Craft Fair all weekend in Rittenhouse Square. The work of some 145 craftsmen encompasses furniture, pottery, photography, jewelry and much more…

Art Star Gallery and Boutique is holding its 11th Annual Spring Art Star Craft Bazaar Saturday and Sunday at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. Over 100 local and national artists have been selected to set up shop and sell their products, which range from housewares to one-of-a-kind curiosities…

Main Line Art Center presents Jewels and Treasures, an exhibition featuring professional yet affordable works of visual art. Proceeds benefit the Art Center’s education and community outreach programs, which reach over 16,000 people annually. Through June 6, with a preview party Friday.

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 6.22.05 PMPeople’s Light and Theatre Company presents Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie. In this biographical musical, four actor-musicians play fifteen instruments, perform twenty-five of Guthrie’s songs, and celebrate the fascinating, beautiful, and sometimes tragic life of an American icon. Through May 25.

The Philadelphia Wine and Food Festival is Saturday at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum with over 600 wines from around the world, food from some of Philadelphia’s most popular restaurants, an on-site wine and spirits store, and a silent auction benefitting the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Dance-illusionist company Momix returns to Philadelphia with its newest work, Alchemia. Choreographer Moses Pendleton’s latest creation is a multimedia spectacle of invention, thrills, humor and sensuality. Through Sunday at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

And there’s always more… Continue reading →


XPN Weekend Arts Crawl: Famed Philadelphia choreographers and photographers open new shows, festivals galore, and more!

Two renowned Philadelphia choreographers unveil new works, both of them this weekend only…

At  FringeArts the world premier of Midway Avenue is a one woman show by Nichole Canuso about growing up in Philadelphia in the 1980s and the selectivity of memory…

Koresh Dance Company premiers Promises I Never Meant to Keep at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. Choreographer Roni Koresh looks “into the growth that occurs through life’s unpredictability, and the promises you never expected to make but find that you’ve kept in the end.”

Galleries around the city are opening new exhibitions on First Friday…

The Fabric Workshop and Museum presents the photographs of renowned Philadelphians Will Brown, David Graham and Ray K. Metzker through July 20th.  Also opening Friday at FWM  Abelardo Morell: Pictures in Three Museums. The Cuban born artist-in-residence photographed and juxtaposed artworks from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy and Barnes Foundation to create something new and will give a talk at Friday’s reception.

The Asian Arts Initiative is hosting a First Friday reception for  Participate, its 20th anniversary  interactive exhibition about what it means to be Asian American.  Attendees are invited to share their own history. Through May 23.

The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is celebrating the 30th birthday of the Philadelphia International Children’s Festival with theater performances and an outdoor Fun Zone that includes crafts, face painting, jugglers and more through Sunday.

There are also plenty of festivals to bring us outdoors on this first weekend of May… Continue reading →


XPN Weekend Arts Crawl: Science, fashion, opera and more!

Science Fest

The Philadelphia Science Festival kicks of this weekend and runs through May 3. The festival encompasses a litany of events, ranging from Friday’s Astronomy Night to Sunday’s High Waterline: A Walking Art Experience. For the full listing of events, click here.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is hosting an opening celebration for its newest exhibition, Patrick Kelly: Runaway of Love, Saturday. The retrospective features eighty outfits from the late African American designer, who’s designs resounded throughout the world during the 1980s. The outfits are complemented by selections of Kelly’s African American memorabilia, videos of his fashion shows, and photographs by multiple renowned artists. Runaway of Love is accompanied by Gerlan Jeans Loves Patrick Kelly, an exhibition exploring Kelly’s influence on the Gerlan Jean Company. Both exhibitions are open to the public Sunday through November 30.


Opera Philadelphia presents Don Giovanni, Friday through May 2 at the Academy of Music. Don Giovanni is Mozart’s classic opera chronicling the part-comic, part-tragic exploits of Don Juan. Opera Philadelphia’s rendition stars noteworthy alumni from the Curtis Institute of Music and the Academy of Vocal Arts.

The Philadelphia Antiques Show is taking place Saturday through Tuesday, with an opening preview night Friday. The show features guided tours, a number of lectures, and both a bar and cafe. In a similar vein, the Moderne Gallery is hosting an exhibition of the furniture of David N. Ebner, a leading figure in the American Studio Furniture Movement. The exhibition opens Friday with a book signing by Ebner and runs through June 30.

Koray Broussard & the Zydeco Unit present a Zydeco Dance Party at the TK Club Friday. Brussard hails from a long line of renowned Zydeco artists, but brings his own funky, soulful style into the mix. The show features a live dance lesson for all skill levels.

Penn’s Landing Playhouse presents Dear Mom, a new play. Inspired by actual letters written by daughters to their mothers, the play tells the story of a middle-aged woman confronted with having to say goodbye to her mother. Through June 4.

And there’s more… Continue reading →


XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…Record Store Day, Earth Day on the way, Philadanco at home, and more!


The seventh annual Record Store Day is Saturday to celebrate independent music vendors around the country.  Numerous new albums and reissues, by everyone from Greenday to DEVO, are being released exclusively for Record Store Day, and local participants  include Creep Records, Repo Records, Main Street Music, Hideaway Music.

Earth Day has been held on April 22nd every year since 1970 and in that spirit…the Clean Air Council‘s 33rd Annual 5K Run for Clean Air on the banks of the Schuylkill River Saturday celebrates sustainability and improvements in the region’s environmental health….Farm Fest  at Eakin’s Oval features locally grown food and beverages, movies and live music… The National Archives of Philadelphia presents Archives Alchemy: The Art of the Dumpster Diver, through April 24, a group show by artists who use recycled materials.MOTH

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, in conjunction with the Mosaic Society of Philadelphia, presents Shattering Expectations: Mosaic 2014 through Sunday. The show looks at the work of the region’s most accomplished mosaicists, and is juried by Nancie Mills Pipgras, the former head of the Society of American Mosaic Artists.

The internationally famous dance company Philadanco returns to its hometown for Blood, Sweat and Dance. The show blends African American-based dance with ballet, jazz and modern, and features a company premier by renowned dancer-choreographer Ulysses Dove. Through Saturday at the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts.

The Free Library of Philadelphia‘s eighth annual Philadelphia Book Festival through Saturday is at neighborhood libraries and the Parkway Main Branch, featuring author appearances and other events during National Library Week

People’s Light and Theatre Company presents Dear Elizabeth through April 27 based on the correspondence between acclaimed American poets Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell.

And there’s more… Continue reading →