January 27, 2015 |

Top 5 Events: Art and Culture

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Sunday is Super Bowl weekend! And gameday, with all its food and friends and fun, is sure to be entertaining even if you don’t care who’s playing. So, to balance out all of that sports-centric excitement, this week’s Top 5 will focus on the opposite end of the entertainment spectrum: art and culture. From film and music to photography and the Chinese New Year, the events going on in Philly are sure to fill your cultural inclinations. So get out there,  learn something or appreciate something, and enjoy the vibrant artistic expression of the city!

AVA After Dark: La bohème
When: January 28th, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Where: Academy of Vocal Arts, 1920 Spruce Street, Philadelphia Cost: $10

La bohème is one of the world’s most performed operas, and you can see AVA’s production of it for just $10. Nineteenth century Paris comes to life on the stage, as quixotic depictions of love and loss define the lives of starving artists. The music is composed by Giacomo Puccini, who is considered one of the best Italian operatic composers; his melodies are well-known to anyone familiar with opera. Opera aficionado or not (hey, opera music can be fun), this performance is definitely a must-see! After the performance, head to the Café Momus for French-style treats and brewery (21+). Get your tickets here!

Sanctuary Series: History of Early Photography in Philadelphia
When: January 28th, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Where: Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catharine Street, Philadelphia Cost: $10

In the mid-19th century, America was already internationally known for its photography (in its early forms, daguerreotype production). This recognition stemmed largely from developments that were being made in Philadelphia. Alice Cutler will present a talk on the boom of photography in Philadelphia. Ms. Cutler currently manages the Alexander Artway Archive in Philadelphia, and received a Master of Arts in Photography from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London. Her discussion will explore how photography was transformed by the scientific community, as well as how it was used and shaped by entrepreneurs in Philadelphia from 1839-1851. If you have an appreciation for photography or history, or are interested in learning more about the technological and artistic progression of the medium, this event is an intriguing opportunity.

St. Lawrence Quartet
When: January 28th, 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Where: Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, 1528 Walnut Street, Philadelphia Cost: Free!

Enjoy a night of string sounds when the St. Lawrence Quartet rolls into Philly. Quartet-in-Residence at Stanford University, the group’s performances are internationally acclaimed for their exquisite and exciting musical performances.  The group will be performing pieces composed by Haydn, Berger, and Adams. Even if you normally appreciate music that is the opposite of this group’s forte, such as pop or folk or rock, this is an opportunity to see one of today’s most impressive chamber music groups—so don’t miss out. Open Arts members can attend the performance for free, so be sure to get your tickets here!

Penn Museum World Culture Series: Chinese New Year Celebration
When: January 31st, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Where: Penn Museum, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia Cost: Free with admission ($10)

February 19 will mark the Chinese New Year, the Year of Sheep (or Goat). Celebrate the approaching New Year with a day of festivities at Penn Museum! There will be music and dance performances, Tai Chi and Kung Fu demonstrations, and crafts. You can exercise your creativity at a variety of workshops, including calligraphy, tangram, and paper cutting. Also be sure to check out the amazing galleries featuring Chinese and Buddhist art. Don’t miss this fun day of celebrations!

Penn Humanities Forum: “Pariah” Screening 
When: February 4th, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Where:  International House, 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia Cost: Free!

The Penn Humanities Forum’s series featuring New Black Cinematography continues this week with a free screening of the 2011 film Pariah. This cinema series honors the work of Bradford Young, the acclaimed cinematographer whose work captures visions of African-American communities from New York City to Mississippi. He again presents a visual masterpiece in Pariah, which tells the story of Alike, a 17-year-old African American teenager who discovers her lesbian identity and must handle her family’s response. The film won the Sundance Excellence in Cinematography Award. Enjoy a night of film with this commended screening!

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