Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello
On the corner of 7th and Market streets stands a colonial Georgian brick house that most of us walk right by without even noticing. It was in this structure in June of 1776 that Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence, that famous document that oh-so-eloquently announced the beginning of a new and independent American nation. Within it, Jefferson declares “all men are created equal ... endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” Meanwhile, over the course of his life, Jefferson owned 600 people—scores of men, women and children—as property.
Later on in his only published book, 1785’s Notes of the State of Virginia, Jefferson compiled information regarding the natural history, inhabitants and political organization of the state, including a most extensive discussion of his views on race. Like many others during the time, Jefferson believed that blacks were fundamentally inferior to whites. He questioned whether their low status was due to inherent inferiority or to generations of degrading enslavement. Even during his terms as president, Jefferson hinted at the idea of a gradual emancipation, though he made no real moves to incorporate these ideals into actual policy and remained publicly silent on the matter.
Through mid October, the National Constitution Center will host and house Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello, a striking, in-depth look at the families of enslaved Africans who worked, lived and died at Jefferon’s historic Virginia plantation. Focusing on the lives and trials of the Fossett, Granger, Gillette, Hemings, Hern and Hubbard families, the exhibit features more than 280 artifacts that represent each family’s trade, as well as personal items of Jefferson himself. Guests are encouraged to explore the U.S.’ brutal history of slavery in hopes that they will be curious about their own family’s heritage—and celebrate how far, as Americans, we’ve all come. // KENNEDY ALLEN
Through Oct. 19. National Constitution Center, 525 Arch St. 215.409.6600. constitutioncenter.org
PHILLY TECH WEEK
Launch of Date My Apartment
Don’t you just hate it when you move into an apartment, and you’re filled with regret once you face noisy neighbors, faulty plumbing or some other burden? Date My Apartment lets you schedule a 24-hour stay in a potential abode before you sign a lease. The new web site launches tonight with a party as part of Philly Tech Week. 6pm. Free. Benjamin’s Desk, 1701 Walnut St. date-my-apartment.ticketleap.com
Sarah Lewis: The Freedom in Failure
In her new book, art historian Sarah Lewis looks at the frustrating, trial-and-error-laden path to success by citing examples such as Frederick Douglass and Samuel Morse. The event also includes a discussion with NCC President/CEO Jeffrey Rosen. 6:30pm. Free. National Constitution Center, 525 Arch St. constitutioncenter.org
PHILLY TECH WEEK
N3RD Street Squares
It’s like Hollywood Squares! But with a focus on e-commerce and front-end UX developing: This evening of Philly Tech Week goofiness will feature appearances by industry leaders and a performance by Polkadelphia. 6:30pm. Free. National Mechanics, 22 S. Third St. phillytechweek.com
SINema After Hours
For three nights, watch as the horror-hosting team of Stabigail and Cadavera present a new batch of scary movies, including Filmiracle Productions’ The Cold Eyes of Death and Broken Brain Pictures’ Raptor. 11pm. $10. Walking Fish Theatre, 2509 Frankford Ave. 215.427.9255. walkingfishtheatre.com
Unpacking Equality in Arts & Culture
Spiral Q Puppet Theater honors the Leeway Foundation, Michael Norris and the Philadelphia Folklore Project with a discussion about what they’ve done to improve their respective communities. The panel will also talk about equality’s role in the arts. 6pm. Free. Leeway Foundation, 1315 Walnut St. 215.222.6979. spiralq.org
It’s pretty exciting to see so many area bands putting out big records this year. We got new ones from the War on Drugs and Nothing and have Pattern Is Movement and Sharon Van Etten records to look forward to. And just last month, our friends from the banks of the Delaware River, Thomas Crystal and Benjamin Louisiana, gave us their ecstatic and overjoyed Insurgents. Boy, is it emphatically charming. Maybe there’s something to this rote press-fodder tagline: “Work Drugs makes music specifically for boating, sexting, dancing, yachting and living.” Try as you might to find it over-the-top, you can’t—you’ll fail. If you’re ready to fish out that Hawaiian shirt, pull out some aviators and a Captain’s hat, then you’ve found your new heroes. And don’t worry, mate: Morgan’s Pier days are nigh.
Lurking dangerously close to Passion Pit’s combination of hype, high-pitched frontman energy and playful, dancefloor-friendly production, it sounds like Work Drugs can clearly see the line that they’re towing. There’s something majestic about this new one, a delightful child of The Blow’s Paper Television and Mates of State’s Bring It Back (both peculiarly ‘06 LPs), a cousin to Michael McDonald on one side and Justice on the other. They tour as a quintet, in support of bands like Two Door Cinema Club, Memoryhouse and Peter Bjorn & John, and they’ve even been associated with Umphrey’s McGee and the festival scene. So these guys’ll be ready to bring the vibes: Sun kissing your face, a fine salty mist pleasantly spraying you and your guests, laid-back leisure at its finest. // BILL CHENEVERT
8:30pm. $10. With Teen Men. The Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St. 267.639.4528. bootandsaddlephilly.com
Camille Brown Dancers: Mr. TOL E. RAncE
The Painted Bride Arts Center celebrates African-American humor and explores the history of the black performer with this stage show that draws influence from the works of Mel Watkins, Spike Lee and even Dave Chappelle. 8am. $25-30. Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine St. paintedbride.org
PFF Spring Showcase
This new spring extension to the Philadelphia Film Festival gives viewers the chance to screen anticipated summer releases along with films that have made a big impact during the last year. PFS will also show Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuaron’s entire filmography over a period of four days. Noon. $11-$13. PFS Theater at the Roxy, 2023 Sansom St. 267.239.2941. filadelphia.org
PHILLY TECH WEEK
Philly Tech Week celebrates the city’s technological community with an interactive expo and demo party. Play video games while enjoying beer provided by Yards Brewing Company and food from Shake Shack and Di Bruno Brothers. 7pm. Free. Comcast Center, 1701 JFK Blvd. 215.286.1700. phillytechweek.com
Acclaimed dancer Malakiva Sarukkai will once again visit the U.S. to dazzle audiences with her mastery of the Bharatanatyam style. Her choreography is meant to convey tales of life on the banks of India’s holy river. 8pm. $20-$55. Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut St. 215.898.6702. annenbergcenter.org
The Wonder Years
The Wonder Years have come a long way since writing songs about Captain Crunch cutting the roof of your mouth. Now the preeminent bastions of the pop-punk/emo revival—or whatever you want to call it in that hotly contested conversation—The Wonder Years’ latest LP, The Greatest Generation, cracked the top 20 of the Billboard 200 upon its release last year. Fronted by Dan “Soupy” Campbell, the Lansdale-born band is four albums into their career and have earned a revered standing amongst fans of the genre. Look no further for evidence than the fact that this gig at the Electric Factory has long been sold out.
Heartfelt and easy-to-sing-a-long-to jams about male angst will never go out of style, and thankfully, The Wonder Years have perfected that formula since their inception in the mid-2000s. If that wasn’t enough, these transplants from the ‘burbs are never bashful about name dropping our fine city: Their 2010 album The Upsides features songs titled “Logan Circle,” “Melrose Diner,” “Washington Square Park” and “It’s Never Sunny in South Philadelphia.” That alone’s worth a big cheer.
Tonight, TWY headlines a packed five-band bill, joined by Fireworks, Real Friends, Citizens and Modern Baseball. Defenders of pop-punk, be prepared for maximum bummage if you can’t get into this show. // DANIEL GELB
6:30pm. Sold out. With Fireworks, Real Friends, Citizens + Modern Baseball. Electric Factory, 421 N. Seventh St. 215.627.1332. electricfactory.info
PHILLY TECH WEEK
Philly Women in Tech Summit
Learn about the ever-evolving face of communication between individuals and businesses in the modern age. Guest speakers include Marie Claire magazine director Lea Goldman and Startup America Partnership’s Kathleen Warner. 9am. $50-$250. WHYY Studios, 150 N. Sixth St. witsphl.ticketleap.com
Manayunk StrEAT Food Fest
Philly’s best food trucks convene for a street food bonanza. Coinciding with Manayunk’s Restaurant Week, the StrEAT Fest provides visitors with a wide range of food truck options at affordable prices. 11am. Main Street in Manayunk. manayunk.com
Music For All Ball
Rock to the Future, a group aimed at supporting free music education to Philly’s under-served youth, present their first-ever gala event. Food, drinks and plenty of live music will highlight the fundraising event. 7pm. The Ukie Club, 847 N. Franklin Street. rocktothefuturephilly.com
Boathouse Row Craft Show
Enjoy a day along the Schuylkill during Boathouse Row’s local craft fair. More than 30 local vendors will showcase their work, and catering will be provided by Cosmic Cafe. 10am. Free. Lloyd Hall, 1 Boathouse Row. 215.685.3936.
Robin Becker: Tiger Heron
Philly native Robin Becker comes home to read selections from her eighth published poetry collection, rich with animal imagery. 7pm. Free. Musehouse, 7924 Germantown Ave. 267.331.9552. musehousecenter.com
Community Outreach Workshops with The Femme-mynistiques
Dance, poetry and theater converge during The Femme-mynistiques’ performance. Join the ladies for a day of creative exploration, including discussions on songwriting and a one of a kind tribal dance experience. 1pm. Suggested donation of $10-$20. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St. thefemmemynistiques.com
The Train Driver
Based on true events, Athol Fugard’s The Train Driver tells the story of a man’s guilt after a terrible accident. Fugard’s tale of truth and reconciliation is directed by Matt Pfeiffer. 8pm. $20-$38. The Lantern Theater, 923 Ludlow Street. 215.829.0395. lanterntheater.org
Creating a sustainable and robust local economy is the focus of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia. Tonight’s SustainaBall aims to showcase the strength of Philly businesses through food, entertainment and a nifty silent auction. 7pm. $75-$100. The German Society of Philadelphia, 611 Spring Garden St. sbnphilly.ticketleap.com
Mourning Becomes Electra
Quintessence Theatre concludes its fourth season with Eugene O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra, a retelling of Aeschylus’ Oresteia, chronicling the fall of a wealthy family as its secrets of the past threaten those in the present. The current production presents all three parts of the play, digging out all the incest, adultery, murder and savage wit of O’Neill’s Mannon clan. Through April 27. $15-$25. Sedgwick Theater, 7137 Germantown Ave. quintessencetheatre.org
Three Days of Rain
Richard Greenburg’s play begins in 1995 and flashes back to 1960 as a brother and sister attempt to uncover a mystery involving their parents. 7pm. $25. Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St. 215.574.3550. walnutstreettheatre.org
More than 600,000 Americans have died of AIDS since the first case was diagnosed in 1981, more than all the U.S. combat deaths since the beginning of World War I. There are an estimated 30,000 people living with HIV in the greater Philadelphia area alone, and while awareness of HIV/AIDS has risen, there’s still no cure. In spite of fundraising walks and clinic outreach programs, very few HIV-positive Americans have their personal stories told with accurate representation or the dignity and respect they deserve.
In her award-winning Bumming Cigarettes, local screenwriter-director Tiona McClodden tells the story of Vee, a young lesbian who, in the aftermath of a bad breakup, decides to get tested for HIV/AIDS. While waiting for the results, she asks Jimmy, a middle-aged, HIV-positive gay man, for a cigarette. What ensues afterwards is a surprisingly intimate exchange between the two, giving audiences an opportunity to look past the cultural stigma surrounding those living with the virus and, instead, focus on their shared humanity.
Bumming Cigarettes is McClodden’s first short narrative fiction film, though not her first time in the director’s chair. Her previous work, Black./Womyn.:Conversations with Lesbians of African Descent, won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival—now QFest—in 2008, and she’ll be previewing clips from her new feature-length documentary The Untitled Black Lesbian Elder Project. Post-screening, McClodden will be on hand for a Q&A with the event’s attendees. // K.A.
5pm. Free. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St. therotunda.org
Philly Farm and Food Fest
Growing in size every year since its inception in 2011, the Philly Farm and Food Fest has created a new, yearly marketplace for local food producers and farmers. More than 150 local businesses will be showcased, along with cooking demonstrations, speakers, drinks and more. 11am. $15-$20. PA Convention Center Annex, 1101 Arch St. phillyfarmfest.org
Jazz Jive & Praise
Join the Jazz Barrons for an afternoon of music and worship on the Avenue of the Arts. George Barron, his wife Janet and their son Farid make up the West Philly jazz trio, with leading man George on the sax. 4pm. $20. Tindley Temple United Methodist Church, 750-760 S. Broad St. 215.735.0442. tindleytemple.org
Arch Enemy Arts’ spring group exhibition, Equinox, features the work of Scott Kirschner, Michael Reedy, Archer Dougherty, Jel Ena, Jessica Dalva and Hannah Yata: Mind-blowing artists who all maintain the delicate balance between light and dark throughout their work. Through April 27. Arch Enemy Arts, 109 Arch St. 215.717.7774. archenemyarts.com
Philadelphia Book Festival
The eighth annual Philadelphia Book Festival kicks off a week-long celebration for National Library Week. Events at all city public libraries will including author readings, book making tutorials and other bibliophile specialties. Through April 19. Philadelphia public libraries. 215.567.7710. libwww.freelibrary.org/bookfestival
Friends and Family Safari Overnight
The Academy of Natural Sciences will be burning the midnight oil for their sleepover night of wonder. Bring your kids to the museum after hours for a night of prehistoric exploration they won’t soon forget. 6:30pm. $40-$45. Academy of Natural Sciences, 19th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway. 215.299.1060. ansp.org
Behind the Wall: A Symposium on Mass Incarceration
Philadelphia’s revered Mural Arts Program spreads insight, information and opportunity in some of the area’s most hope-deprived communities with the same passion and focus it puts into meticulously planning and painting the color-splashed artifacts of amazement blessing walls and corridors throughout our great city. Its day-long conference continues conversations began and sustained in similar public gatherings in 2007 and 2012 geared toward creating strategies and pathways for restorative justice, making whole what was broken, strengthening what was weak, with the aid of former criminals and crime victims, the weary, heartbroken families of both and the neighborhoods that hold and house them.
Writer/activist Aja Beech, a board member of Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, moderates a panel exploring effective re-entry programs with J. Jondhi Harrell of Philadelphia’s Center for Returning Citizens, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Francis Lawn and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Williams. Officials from the PhillyRising Collaborative will share speaking time with Movita and Yancey Johnson, whose teenage son, Charles, was slain by gunfire in 2011. Reconstruction Inc.‘s Hakim Ali helms a session featuring former offenders Michael Whittington, coordinator of the Mural Arts Program’s Restorative Justice Dept.; longtime local activist Malik Aziz and Cornell Drummond, who successfully completed the Federal STAR (Supervision to Aid Re-entry) Program, a court-based strategy with boastworthy results: According to its studies, while 47 percent of federal offenders across the country return to prison before their court-mandated supervision ends, that figure drops dramatically—to about 20 percent—among STAR Program participants. And, of course, the transformative power of art, both for those who make it and the neighborhoods enriched by it, will be discussed in-depth with Philadelphia artist Eric Okdeh, Justseeds founder Josh MacPhee and others.
Entry price for Beyond the Wall includes your choice of two workshops, a scheduled performance of renowned two-time author Bryonn Bain’s one-man Lyrics on Lockdown, plus a light breakfast and lunch. There’s no need to miss a minute. // KENYA BEVERLY
9am. $40-$50. Community College of Philadelphia, Fox Rothschild Center for Law and Society, 1700 Spring Garden St. muralarts.org
Income Tax Day
Celebrate our nation’s least favorite holiday by taking an informative look into the history of taxation in America. The Constitution Center’s exhibit The Story of We the People delves deep into famous taxation related events such as the Stamp Act, the Whiskey Rebellion and the Boston Tea Party. 9:30am. Free with museum admission. National Constitution Center, 525 Arch St. 215.409.6600. constitutioncenter.org
UArts’ gargantuan alumni group exhibition, featuring the next generation of artists working across every imaginable medium. The work of internationally renowned artists and UArts alumni Hratch Babikian and Dotty Attie will also be featured. Through April 15. University of the Arts, 320 S. Broad St. 215.717.6140. artunleashed.uarts.edu
In ’86, Robert Hampson and his then-girlfriend Bex Stewart started gigging—he on guitar, she on drums, both singing, but mostly Hampson. The first Loop lineup had Glen Ray in it, but he and Stewart were gone pretty quickly and replaced by John Wills, James Endeacott and Neil Mackay. Scott Dowson turned in the unforgettable guitar work on the third and final Loop LP, 1990’s A Gilded Eternity, which was remastered in ‘09. Their first two albums, Heaven’s End (‘87) and Fade Out (‘89), are also totally awesome black and burnt drone listens from beginning to end.
Listening to Loop underscores that there are bands out here who could seamlessly blend the hypnosis of Portishead with the dark and disturbing occult of The Craft. They’re like Morphine on a particularly pissed-off day, My Bloody Valentine in a quiet and coy buildup—a subdued but ill-tempered Wire or a sedated Swans or Mastodon. It sounds a little like the psychedelic ‘60s of London, with psychotropic drugs and kaleidoscopic light effects and everything, but hung over, melancholic yet suddenly really pissed off about a lot of things. Their records are perfect time capsules of haunted gothic London metal that was aware of bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam—but thought they were cute lil’ babies.
They didn’t even last for five years, but Loop’s mark has been made on tripped-out metal and noise. Their reunion tour announced last year—their first in the U.S. in 24 years—means a stop at Kung Fu Necktie, the kind of small, divey hotspot from which they knocked fire back in South London. // B.C.
8pm. $14-$17. With Far Out Fangtooth + Gondola. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St. 215.291.4919. kungfunecktie.com
Putting the X and Y in Sexy
Developmental Biologist Dr. Scott Gilbert discusses the genetic tendencies of X and Y chromosomes and how they merge to create the male and female sexes. Dr. Gilbert seeks to redefine the two-sex world by analyzing our identities based on biological research. 6pm. Free. Wagner Free Institute, 1700 W. Montgomery Ave. xandy.eventbrite.com
The Dumpsta Players celebrate their 150th show with the return of Promtrash Broadway. Area drag queens will compete for title of “Trashiest Prom Queen” in what promises to be a raucous evening. 10pm. $1.99. Bob & Barbara’s, 1509 South St. dumpstaplayers.org
Philadelphia Photo Arts: Digital Photo Booth
Step inside a hand-painted photo booth, and leave with a unique portrait of yourself courtesy of the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center. The photos will then be included in and upcoming exhibit at the gallery. 11:30am. The Porch at 30th Street Station. philaphotoarts.org
The Serpent Woman
Join Bryn Mawr and Haverford colleges as they present The Serpent Woman, a tragicomic play about a fairy princess who falls in love with a human prince and chooses mortality to marry him. The situation transforms her into a serpent. The prince must fight through demons and madness to earn back his wife and children. Fri., April 11, 7:30pm. Bryn Mawr College, 101. N. Merion Ave. 610.526.5210. brynmawr.edu
Join more than 100 vendors and sex professionals in the country’s largest event dedicated to love and sex. The convention will feature more than 150 adult stars, live entertainment and an educational seminar series. Ladies attend free on Friday. Major adult film industry names scheduled to appear include Ron Jeremy, Tera Patrick and Riley Steele. April 11-13. $39-$149. Trump Taj Mahal, 1000 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, N.J. 267.909.9760. exxxoticaexpo.com
Experience the thrill of magic when illusionist, mentalist and magician Mike Super, winner of NBC’s Phenomenon, comes to town. The charismatic and intense magician captivates audiences through his down-to-earth charm, stunning illusions and amazing mind tricks. Fri., April 11, 7:30pm. $16. Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, 601 N. Lansdowne Ave., Upper Darby.
Norm Schaut’s “Antique City”
Pennsylvania’s largest and most diverse antiques show features more than 300 vendors and 250 booths. Shop for beautiful antiques or check out vintage and retro collectibles including pottery, jewelry, furniture, paintings and more. Sat., April 12, 8am. $8. Rauch Fieldhouse, Lehigh University, 123 Goodman Dr., Bethlehem. 800.822.4119. antiquecityshow.com
2014 Indoor Ultimate National Championships
See the 12 best Ultimate Frisbee teams from around the country face off for the chance to be one of the three teams to represent the U.S. in the World Championships in Europe. The IUC will donate all ticket sales to charities, including One Simple Wish, United Way of Greater Mercer County and YMCA of Trenton. Sun., April 13, 9am. $10-$30. Sun National Bank, 81 Hamilton Dr., Trenton, N.J. sunnationalbankcenter.com
Compiled by Jake Abbate, Thomas Beck, Daniel Gelb and Candice Martinez.