30 Days of Philly Arts

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The Franklin Institute has been all things science since it was founded in 1824 to honor Benjamin Franklin and further the usefulness of his inventions.
Picturesque New Hope, PA, an hour's drive from Philadelphia, grew up as a mill town on the Delaware River and its artists and artisans, galleries and craft shops have made it an arts and shopping hub for the past century.
The Institute of Contemporary Art turns 50 this year. It has been the home of cutting edge and controversial art and a significant fixture in the national art landscape since the 1960s.
The Arden Theatre Company is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Since its founding in 1988 as a vehicle for great stories on stage, in the classroom, and in the community, the Arden has won scores of awards, locally and from the Wall Street Journal, for its productions and drama school. Even its home in Old City, purchased and renovated in 1995, has won awards.
This is the perfect weather for enjoying the many outdoor delights that Philadelphia has to offer.
In 2015, Jane Austen's novel Emma will be 200 years old. But the concerns and observations of the famous English writer have relevance for today and have earned her a devoted following in this technologically savvy and jaded world, quite a different place from the country estates of Georgian-Regency Britain where her novels are set.
Bryn Mawr Film Institute was founded in 2004 to save the historic Seville Theater in Bryn Mawr, built in 1926 as one of six film palaces of the day along the Main Line. The building had been neglected for decades and was in danger of being repurposed by a health club franchise. After the Institute bought the building in 2004, it was named to the National Register of HIstoric Places in 2005. Restoration of the building is expected to be completed next year.
MM2 Modern Dance Company was founded over a decade ago to be an incubator for emerging dancers and for new work that demonstrates their choreographic chops as well as their dancing talents. Founder and artistic director Steven Weisz also founded the website PhiladelphiaDANCE.org and its Dance Journal.
If one thing is certain it’s that Philadelphians love their city’s food. Even if you are just visiting the city, everyone knows to venture towards South Street to try the world-famous Philly Cheesesteak. Two companies, Taste of Philly and Chew Philly, run food tours in two unique neighborhoods of Philadelphia. Taste of Philly explores the Reading Terminal Market in the downtown district, and Chew Philly runs through the Manayunk neighborhood.
The works of Anne-Marie Mulgrew and Dancers Co. (AMM & DCO) have been called "visually arresting" and "highly imaginative." One of Philadelphia's longest running dance groups, AMM & DCO keeps reinventing itself in presenting mixed media, experimental work that derives from wide cross-cultural influences.
1812 Productions is the only professional all-comedy theater company in the nation. 1812 presents both original works and well established plays, ranging from slapstick to vaudeville, and everything in between.
Geoff Sobelle's work embodies the differences between mainstream theater and fringe.
Here in the cradle of our nation's government, the 226th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution is a big deal.
Eastern State Penitentiary, which housed prisoners from 1829 to 1971, is a National Historic Landmark. In 1787, while helping to put together the Constitution of the United States (tomorrow is Constitution Day!), Benjamin Franklin convened a committee to deal with the miserable conditions in which prisoners were kept in Europe and America.
Laurel Hill Cemetery is the final resting place for a who's who of Philadelphia history, from Thomas McKean, who signed the Declaration of Independence,
Tony Braithwaite, Artistic Director of Act II Playhouse in Ambler, has been appearing at the theater for the last ten years, and he's a veteran of the Philadelphia stage as well.
Every Thursday from April through December, a group of folks meet at 6th and Chestnut Streets and go back in time as they pub crawl through Historic Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art hosts many exhibitions from around the world but some of the most gratifying are from the long cultural tradition of Philadelphia itself.

Nature Theater of Oklahoma, the New York ensemble theater company, embodies what is most prized about the FringeArts Festival...an absolutely original approach to stagecraft that constantly explores new terrain. In their 14 years the Obie award-winning company has drawn admirers around the world and are returning to FringeArts for the third time to present their latest work, Life and Times, Episodes 1-5.

Brian Sanders, who hails from Princeton and got his BFA in dance at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, is no stranger to artistic experimentation. He danced and choreographed internationally for ten years with MOMIX, a company known for its stage innovation and illusion.

Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts is the oldest art museum and art school in the country and has been housed at its present location in a Frank Furness/George Hewitt designed building since 1876. The building is a National Historic Landmark and its chronologically and thematically installed collection explores American art from the 1760s through today.

The Doylestown Arts Festival is one of Bucks County's largest annual events. Now in its 22nd year the festival is free (with free parking and shuttle service!) and presents a juried array of over 150 exhibitors in downtown Doylestown today and tomorrow.

The original neighborhood of Philadelphia, Old City, started as a thriving waterfront district. In the 1970s it was discovered by artists who moved their studios into former industrial and warehouse buildings. In the 80s and 90s the transition was completed with an influx of art galleries, design firms, architects and performance groups. All of which led to the creation of the Old City Arts Association and its first ever First Friday in 1991.

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