Virtual Arts Fest Programming

As the West Park Arts Fest comes back from the pandemic, we are excited to present this fabulous line-up of virtual programming so that anyone can experience Philadelphia’s diverse fabric of arts and culture from the comfort of their own home.

The schedule below is organized so that you can enjoy different virtual programs each day of the festival, but all of these programs will be available for the full three days June 9-11. Check them out at your own pace. 

Note: on Friday, June 11, Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture presents a live concert at 7:30 PM – so save the date!

And on Saturday, June 12, join us for West Park Arts Fest In-Person, on Parkside Edge in West Fairmount Park from 1 – 4 PM. Register here!

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9

 

The Mann Center

 

The Mann Center for the Performing Arts is a nonprofit performing arts center located in the Centennial District of Philadelphia’s West Fairmount Park, built in 1976 as the summer home for the Philadelphia Orchestra, and now a thriving hub for music, art, and community engagement. The Mann Music Room offers these three performances for West Park Arts Fest. 

  • Benu Ausar Philly
    Benu Ausar Philadelphia is a traditional West African band led by Saantis Fenmu Davis, a local music educator and performer who specializes in traditional West African music as well as other global percussion styles. Saantis is also a music teacher in the Philadelphia’s school system, working with the youth to educate them on percussion instruments from around the world.
  • Three Aksha
    Three Aksha is an Indian Dance Company based in Philadelphia teaching an Indian dance form called Bharatanatyam. Originally a temple dance for women in southern India, Bharatanatyam often is used to express Hindu religious stories and devotions. It was not commonly seen on the public stage until the 20th century. The dance movements are characterized by bent legs, while feet keep rhythm
  • Los Bomberos de la Calle
    Los Bomberos De la Calle is a Puerto Rican Bomba and Plena group from North Philadelphia. They have grown into a family who spreads the knowledge and cultural music of Puerto Rico through educational performances at community events, schools, and workshops. They focus on interactive history lessons of Bomba & Plena as well as class engagement through understanding of the percussion, dance and song for all youth and families. The aim of their performances is to provide a greater understanding of the history and culture of Puerto Rico.

Please consider making a donation to support the work of The Mann Center! 

 

We Are the Seeds

We Are the Seeds of Culture Trust is committed to amplifying Indigenous voices through the arts. The organization was founded by a team of Indigenous women who are dedicated to honoring Native arts and cultures as a means to understanding Indigenous peoples, the history of what is now called the United States, and who we all are as American people today. We Are the Seeds produces cultural events that feature Indigenous fine art, music, dance, fashion, literary, and culinary art. Additionally, Seeds hosts interactive art programs that focus on educating and empowering the youth.

  • Tchin: Storytelling and Courting Flute
    Tchin is a nationally known artist and educator of arts and culture. Through the art of oral tradition, he tells stories portraying the creation of the world and how things came to be. These stories have been passed down through generations and illuminate both young and mature minds. Tchin brings the stories alive with his gift of magic. As part of this program, Tchin will perform and explain the seldom seen or heard courting flute.

Please consider making a donation to support the work of We Are the Seeds! 

 

The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus

Happy Pride Month! The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus (PGMC) entertains audiences, supports communities, and fosters acceptance through exceptional musical performance.

Please consider making a donation to support the work of the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus!

 

For Kids! Presented by Please Touch Museum

Since 1976, Please Touch Museum has been the Children’s Museum of Philadelphia. Over three decades and more than two million visitors later, Please Touch Museum has grown into one of the nation’s premier children’s museums by becoming experts in play. The mission of the museum is to enrich the lives of children by creating learning opportunities through play, laying the foundation for a lifetime of hands-on learning and cultural awareness.

  • Weather & Wiggles, a dance game
    What would the sun dance or move like? What about rain or a cloudy day? Move with Ms. Maggie to explore how different weather conditions might dance if they were human. No dance or movement experience necessary; all abilities and bodies are welcome!
  • Make a Straw Oboe
    Welcome to the Innovative Instruments Series! In this video, we will create an oboe out of materials you can find around your house. Let’s get creating!
    You Will Need:
    –  one or more plastic straws
    –  scissors
  • Make a Cardboard Cajón
    Join us and build your own instrument with Ms. Katie Rose! In this video, we will create a cajón out of materials you can find around your house. Let’s get creating!
    You will need:
    – a shoebox (or other cardboard box of similar size)
    – about ten paper clips
    – tape
    – scissors (ask an adult to help you use them!)

Please consider making a donation to support the work of Please Touch Museum!

 

THURSDAY, JUNE 10

 

Shofuso Japanese House and Garden

Shofuso is a 17th century-style Japanese house and nationally ranked garden that reflects the history of Japanese culture in Philadelphia. Designed by architect Junzo Yoshimura, Shofuso was built in Japan in 1953 using traditional techniques and materials. It was shipped to New York and exhibited in the courtyard of the Museum of Modern Art in New York before moving to West Fairmount Park in 1958. This historic site and museum includes a hill and pond garden with a tiered waterfall, island, and koi fish, a tea garden featuring a traditional tea house, and a courtyard garden leading to a bathhouse. In 2007, international artist Hiroshi Senju, inspired by the garden’s waterfall, donated 20 contemporary murals to Shofuso, which are permanently displayed inside the house.

  • Shofuso and Modernism Documentary
    On the artistic interconnections between woodworker George Nakashima, the design team of Antonin Raymond and Noémi Pernessin Raymond, and Junzo Yoshimura. 
  • Pebble Beach Documentary
    Based on 1957 drawings made by Shofuso’s original garden designer, Tansai Sano, Shofuso brought to life a traditional Pebble Beach on the garden’s boat-landing shoreline. 

Please consider making a donation to support the work of Shofuso!

 

Shakespeare in Clark Park

Shakespeare in Clark Park is a theatre company committed to presenting free, outdoor productions of Shakespeare’s plays, creating a cultural event accessible to the Clark Park neighborhood and the greater Philadelphia area. While engaging the community and expanding Philadelphia’s summertime cultural scene, Shakespeare in Clark Park re-imagines the world of the park through the works of Shakespeare.

  • Every Everyman
    Every Everyman is a modern retelling of the 15th century morality play, Everyman.  Set in Philadelphia today, Every Everyman is a playful, touching romp about virtues, values, and what really matters in the story of a human life.  Every Everyman was staged on the back of a modern pageant wagon for individual blocks in West Philadelphia in October of 2020.


Please consider making a donation to support the work of Shakespeare in Clark Park!

 

Philadelphia Zoo

By connecting people with wildlife, Philadelphia Zoo creates joyful discovery and inspires action for wildlife and habitats.

Please consider making a donation to support the work of the Philadelphia Zoo!

 

Kung-Yan Lin Dance

Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers (KYL/D) is one of the country’s premier contemporary Asian-American dance companies, described as “deeply spiritual” by Dance Magazine. Hailed for superbly trained dancers and inventive choreography, KYL/D celebrates the ability of dance to integrate body, mind, and spirit, inviting viewers to engage in their own journeys of self-discovery. Drawing upon Eastern modalities while expanding the perimeter of contemporary dance, founder Kun-Yang Lin’s zen-inspired practice of dance manifests in lush works of poetic sensibility that the New York Times says “create and inhabit worlds of their own.”

  • KYL/D Signature Performances
    Experience performance snippets from some of KYL/D’s signature works. First is HOME/S. 9th St., which references immigrant journeys, notions of “American-ness” and the meaning of “home”. The work is informed by the stories of diverse community members along Philadelphia’s famed South 9th Street corridor, where KYL/D’s dance center – CHI Movement Arts Center – is located. The next work, ONE-Immortal Game, is a work inspired by Kun-Yang Lin’s research into the Chinese Chess game as a metaphor for life. Exploring humankind’s rituals surrounding the drive to win, “ONE” becomes a meditation on the journey from external division to internal oneness. 

Please consider making a donation to support the work of Kun-Yang Lin Dance!

 

For Kids! Presented by Mural Arts

For over 35 years, Mural Arts has united artists and communities through a collaborative process, rooted in the traditions of mural-making, to create art that transforms public spaces and individual lives. Mural Arts engages communities in 50–100 public art projects each year, and maintains its growing collection through a restoration initiative. Our core program areas—Art Education, Restorative Justice, and Porch Light—yield unique, project-based learning opportunities for thousands of youth and adults. Each year, 15,000 residents and visitors tour Mural Arts’ outdoor art gallery, which has become part of the city’s civic landscape and a source of pride and inspiration, earning Philadelphia international recognition as the “City of Murals.”

  • Haiku Writing with Ursula Rucker
    Learn the art of haiku writing with poet, artist, and activist – Ursula Rucker. In this episode, Ursula, shares the origins of the haiku, what makes up a haiku, and brings you into her writing process. 
  • Creating Rhythm with Watercolors
    In this new episode of Homeschool with Mural Arts, our teaching artist, Taty Hernandez, shows us how to create rhythm using watercolors and fun shapes. 

Please consider making a donation to support the work of Mural Arts!

 

FRIDAY, JUNE 11

 

Blue Stoop

Blue Stoop is a hub for Philly writers. We nurture an inclusive literary community by creating pathways to access writing education, inspiration, and professional support, and celebrating Philadelphia’s rich writing tradition.

  • Andrea Lee, author of Red Island House, in conversation with Asali Solomon
    Join us for a celebration of Andrea Lee’s newest novel, Red Island House, moderated by author Asali Solomon. From National Book Award–nominated writer Andrea Lee comes a gorgeously evocative epic about love, clashing cultures, and identity, set in the tropical African island nation of Madagascar. Andrea Lee and Asali Solomon are both West Philly born and raised!

    This is a pre-recorded Zoom event requires the following access passcode: +M3C%Z^p

Please consider making a donation to support the work of Blue Stoop!

 

Indego & The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia


Indego, Philadelphia’s bike-share program, offers 24-hour, 30-day, and yearly pass options to ride one of the hundreds of bright blue bicycles, and white electric-assist bicycles stationed at more than 140 stations around the city
. The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia leads the movement to make bicycling a safe and fun way to get around for anyone in Greater Philadelphia through advocacy and education. 

  • Indego Rider Spotlight: Iresha Picot
    Watch our rider spotlight video! Follow along with previous Indego Passholder of the Month, Iresha, as she takes us on a bike ride around Parkside and Fairmount Park! Iresha Picot is a passionate cyclist who uses Indego as a healthy, eco-friendly, and social form of recreation and transportation. This video was created in partnership with the Da Vinci Art Alliance as a part of Da Vinci Fest Live.
  • New! Parkside Ride Guide
    Welcome to Parkside, a gateway to the past, present, and future of West Philadelphia, and the home of America’s first World’s Fair, the Philadelphia Exposition of 1876. At that time, the world came to Philadelphia and to Belmont & Elm (later Parkside) to see all the wonders the late 19th century had to offer. Check out this interactive map for some of the resources and sights that Parkside has to offer, along with suggested bike routes!

Please consider making a donation to support the work of Indego and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia!

 

danceLogic


This unique West Park Cultural Center program combines dance and computer coding leading to development of original choreography and performance. Teen girls ages 13 through 18 years old learn the value of focus, dedication, and teamwork, as well as industry standard computer coding language. 

  • danceLogic During the Pandemic
    During the pandemic, danceLogic was in-person outside when weather permitted with protocols and coding classes with proper ventilation, masking, and social distancing. Most of the time, however, the girls have participated virtually. The video is a fun dance compilation of in-person and virtual.

Please consider making a donation to support the work of West Park Cultural Center!

 

LIVE EVENT, 7:30 PM! Presented by Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture


Rooted in Arab arts and language, Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture offers artistic and educational programming that enriches cross-cultural understanding and celebrates diversity. “Al-Bustan,” Arabic for “The Garden,” serves youth and adults of all ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds, while supporting the pursuit and affirmation of Arab American cultural identity and playing a constructive civic role within broader American society.

  • Irtijaliya: Maqam & Raga at Play, featuring Issam Rafea and Matt Rahaim performing Arab and Hindustani music fusion.
    Rafea (oud) and Rahaim (voice) move freely between traditional forms of maqam and raga and unexplored spaces of free improvisation. Playing with the limits of poetry, moving towards the frontiers of the ineffable, they find their paths spontaneously, guided by the heart’s compass.
 
 

And join us on Saturday, June 12, from 1 – 4 PM, at Centennial Commons, for our in-person festival. Registration HERE!