Celebrating the Culture: Black History Month Creative Arts Events in Philadelphia, PA (various dates)

Happy Thursday MMT Fam! I know it’s been a minute, but I’m working diligently on a couple of creative projects – and hoping I’m able to share what they are soon! What I can share today are a few Black History Month happenings in Philadelphia during the month of February! The Greater Philadelphia Film Office and our friends at The Kimmel Center have a lot of cool events – many of them are family-friendly and free!

You can visit kimmelcenter.org to get additional info and tickets for its events listed, and click the GPFO hyperlink below or here to purchase tickets for the February 11th short film event.

Until next thought, Thomasena

Kimmel Center Cultural Campus’ Commonwealth Plaza
Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 11:00 a.m.
Join the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus for an hour of interactive fun as children age 0-5 are introduced to the vibrant world of jazz and/or musical theater. Attendees will learn to sing, dance, and use their imaginations during a fun-filled, monthly adventure! And best of all, IT’S FREE! The Kimmel Center’s PNC Grow up Great concerts were selected as Best Free Family Programming in the 2019 Philadelphia Family Magazine LOVE Awards.

Leading February’s PNC Grow Up Great, ILL Doots is a Philly-based artist collective, known for being a band that not only makes quality music, but creates experiences that feed the audience’s mind, body, and soul. Anthony Martinez-Briggs with Elle Morris, Andrew Nittoli and Jordan McRee from ILL Doots participated in the 2019 Kimmel Center Theater Residency, in partnership with Joe’s Pub.

Attendees are invited to stay for a free performance from the Youth Troupe of The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, beginning at 12PM! The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts has been based in Germantown since 2008. The teach adults and kids recreational classes in circus skills such as tumbling, aerials, tightwire, and unicycling. Of the 500 students per week who come through their doors, some of their most talented young people take part in the Youth Troupe. This year’s Youth Troupe includes acrobats, equilibrists and jugglers ages 10-16.

Philadelphia Chamber Music Society
Kimmel Center Cultural Campus’ Perelman Theater
Sunday, February 9, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.
As the nation’s first chamber music ensemble composed solely of accomplished musicians spanning the African diaspora, the Ritz Chamber Players brings fresh perspective and energy to classical music. Founded in 2002 by artistic director and clarinetist Terrance Patterson, the Ritz Chamber Players seek to increase the visibility of African American classical composers and heighten public awareness of African American musicians’ contributions within the classical music genre.

Spotlighting repertoire by African American composers, their PCMS debut program promises novel sounds from “one of the most interesting and dynamic ensembles to emerge in recent years” (Baltimore Sun). Program highlights include Jeff Scott’s “Poem For A Lost King”—which pays homage to the many African kings, elders and tribal chiefs abducted from their land during the ‘Middle Passage’ era—and Pulitzer Prize winner George Walker’s “Music for Three.”

Kimmel Center Cultural Campus’ Verizon Hall
Monday, February 10, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
International best-selling artist Gregory Porter’s music is at once timeless yet utterly of its time, solidifying his standing as his generation’s most soulful jazz singer-songwriter. In his remarkable career, Porter has time and again demonstrated his innate ability to transcend genre and connect with audiences from all walks of life.

The two-time Grammy-winning vocalist’s stunning fifth studio album Nat “King” Cole & Me is a heartfelt tribute to the legendary singer, pianist, and Capitol recording artist who influenced Porter’s life and music. The album hit number 3 on the Official UK Album Chart, landing him his highest ever chart position and biggest selling first week. Nat “King” Cole & Me is the follow-up to Porter’s Grammy-winning albums Liquid Spirit (2013) and Take Me to the Alley (2016), which broke records by becoming the first jazz album to break into the top 5 for over a decade.

We Have Something To Say: 5 Women. 5 Films. 5 Shorts.
By Greater Philadelphia Film Office
1701 Arch St, 42nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Tuesday, February 11, 2020 6:30 – 8 p.m.

NAMIC Philadelphia and Greater Philadelphia Film Office will host We Have Something To Say: 5 Women. 5 Films. 5 Shorts at Comcast. The event will spotlight 5 short film projects by African American women filmmakers, followed by a Q&A.

She Speaks Not by Jody Austin

By Law, by Love by Angel Hogan

N O W by Bethel Bates

Ether by Tia Whitfield

In the Room by Shameka Sawyer and Carissa Anik

Kimmel Center Cultural Campus’ SEI Innovation Studio
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
8 p.m.—Doors open
9 p.m.—Music begins
The February program celebrates Sittin’ In: Live Sessions’ founder and curator Anthony Tidd with a Birthday Bash featuring some of Philly’s favorite artists. Lineup to be announced at a later date.

The Philly POPS
Kimmel Center Cultural Campus’ Verizon Hall
Friday – Sunday, February 14 – 16, 2020 – Times Vary
With her towering vocal strength, unparalleled passion, and bittersweet nuance, The Queen of Soul’s voice shaped the future of R&B—belting her way into the hearts of millions of fans. During her career,she recorded over 100 Billboard-charted singles, won 21 GRAMMY Awards, three American Music Awards, a Kennedy Center Honor, a Presidential Medal of Freedom, and more. For decades, Aretha Franklin was the most-charted female artist in history. Rolling Stone appropriately ranked her number one in their list of “100 Greatest Singers of All Time.” As a celebration of Aretha’s incomparable contribution to American popular music, The Philly POPS pays its RESPECTs with the dynamic combination of Broadway powerhouse Capathia Jenkins and GRAMMY-nominated R&B singer Ryan Shaw. The program features Aretha’s signature renditions of “Chain of
Fools,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Amazing Grace,” and “Respect.”

Kimmel Center Cultural Campus’ SEI Innovation Studio
Wednesday – Saturday, February 26 – 29, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.
Using themes from Shakespeare’s Othello, M’Balia Singley confronts her experience as a black woman in America with equal parts humor and honesty in this brand-new theatrical work. Turn weaves original songs, comedy, and engrossing stories into a performance that is both sweeping and intimate.

From societal expectations to relatable family disfunction, Singley turns to the unlikely 16th century play and finds connections to our 21st century lives.  Turn was commissioned and developed through the Kimmel Center’s 2017-2018 Theater Residency.



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