What began three decades ago as an attempt to deal with a graffiti problem has evolved into an internationally-renowned leader in the field of socially engaging art-making. The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program has involved thousands of community members in free mural-making activities, resulting in over 3600 murals. The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts celebrates the 30th anniversary with "Beyond the Paint: Philadelphia's Mural Arts," opening November 15 through April 6, 2014, Samuel M. V. Hamilton Building, 128 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia. Offering archival and documentary material including audio, photography and videos (with new commissions by artists Josh MacPhee, Temporary Services, and Megawords), the extensive exhibition showcases all aspects of the organization that helped build and sustain a vibrant local community of artists, many of whom are PAFA students, alumni and faculty. Programming accompanies the exhibition, with something for everyone including family workshops, classes, tours, camp for kids, and more.
In its seventh season as the resident dance company of the Wilma Theater, BalletX glides onstage with three world premieres from award-winning choreographer and filmmaker Gabrielle Lamb, New York-based choreographer, dancer, and filmmaker Adam Barruch and BalletX Co-Artistic Director Matthew Neenan. Lamb's HeedfulNeedful explores ancestry and the story of family ghosts―both past and future―and how their presence can influence and shape the decisions of the living. Barruch's new ballet, If The Heart Runs, examines the transformation of human sensuality across time. Neenan's new ballet, There I Was, blurs the line between music and dance with the themes of love and despair. Performances run November 20-24, 265 South Broad Street, Philadelphia. New this year is a unique dance appreciation initiative called The X-Process, featuring interactive lectures, artist conversations, and a new company blog that will take participants behind the scenes. Special events include an Opening Night pre-performance Q&A on November 20, Young Xers Night on November 21, and A Pie, A Pint, & The Process on November 23.
Onstage at Arden Theatre Company is "Stick Fly," by playwright Lydia R. Diamond. Set during one summer weekend in Martha's Vineyard as the LeVay brothers bring their girlfriends home to meet their parents. Directed by Walter Dallas, former artistic director of Philadelphia's Freedom Theatre (Pennsylvania's first African-American theatre), and starring U.R., Juliana Zinkel, Biko Eisen-Martin, Jessica Frances Dukes, Jerome Preston Bates, and Joniece-Abott Pratt, through December 22 at 40 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia. Post-show discussions held following the November 17 and December 15 performances at 2pm and on November 20 and December 4 at 6:30pm. Open captioned and audio described performances take place Friday, November 22, 8pm and Saturday, November 23, 2pm. The Scene, Arden's young professionals networking event is Friday, November 15.
Itzhak Perlman returns to conduct and perform with the Philadelphia Orchestra for the first time on subscription concerts, for four performances, November 21-24, leading Beethoven's Two Romances for violin and orchestra as soloist, and conducting the great Philadelphia strings in Dvorak's Serenade for Strings. Also on the program is Beethoven's Second Symphony and the Brahms Academic Festival Overture, Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center, Philadelphia.
The third annual Fairmount Park Holiday Gingerbread House Display is back at The Shops at Liberty Place, with thirteen structures on view, modeled after Fairmount Park historic sites and handcrafted by Philadelphia chefs. Look for Cedar Grove by Chef Gerald Drummond of STARR Restaurant Group, Mount Pleasant by Chef Peter Scarola of R2L, Woodford Mansion by Chef Diana Anello of Bredenbeck's Bakery and more, through November 22, 16th and Chestnut Streets, Philadelphia. Free and open to the public. Presented by the Fairmount Park Conservancy.
- Public Radio