This 11-day grassroots art event gives local up-and-coming artists the opportunity to produce and show work they might not otherwise have the means to create. Performing their experimental solo pieces in private homes and nontraditional venues across the city, 100 percent of the revenue goes straight back into their pockets. Meanwhile, the audience is only asked to pay as much as they can afford up to $10.
Through June 19. 7pm. $0-$10. Various locations. 267.207.4488. solowfestival.blogspot.com
9th Annual Celebration of the Drum
Honoring the tradition of drumming and African Diaspora culture, the annual family friendly celebration showcases drummers, dancers and performing artists from the tri-state area. This year’s event will also include a special tribute to Gil Scott-Heron, the ’70s soul/jazz musician and spoken-word performer who died last month. Scott-Heron’s music and poetry is considered to have heavily influenced contemporary hip-hop.
Sun., June 26, noon. Free. Hatfield House, 3201 W. Girard Ave. 215.455.5885
Philadelphia Independent Film Festival
Offering temporary relief from the slew of lame summer blockbusters, the five-day festival showcases feature films, shorts, animation and music videos from both the local and international film community. The screenings will be held at several different venues around the city.
June 22-26. Various locations. 215.592.1242. philadelphiaindependentfilmfestival.blogspot.com
Manayunk Arts Festival
More than 250 artists from around the country will line Main Street showcasing a variety of one-of-a-kind creations that include jewelry, ceramics, photography and sculpture. Two public art installations created in partnership with the Mural Arts Program will also be unveiled.
June 25-26. 11am. Free. Main and Levering sts. 215.482.9565. manayunk.com
Philadelphia Sound Konnosseurs
Before the Roots celebrate Independence Day on the Parkway, ?uestlove will be hosting an underground, all-star evening of hip-hop featuring DJ Spinna, J Rocc and Philly’s own Diplo. DJ Jazzy Jeff will join ?uest for a special performance. That same night, the Roots will be presenting local group Work Drugs over at Johnny Brenda’s.
Sun., July 3, 9pm. $29. Club Voyeur, 1221 Saint James St. 215.735.5772. voyeurnightclub.com
R . Kelly
With his string of sex scandals seemingly behind him, the multi-talented R&B artist released his 14th studio album last year and is now taking his smooth sound and panty-dropping lyrics on the road for his “Love Letter Tour.”
Sun., July 3, 7:30pm. $59. With Keyshia Cole and Marsha Ambrosius. Mann Center, 5201 Parkside Ave. 215.893.1999. manncenter.org
Gritty, old Philadelphia is the most bike-riding big city in America. According to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, biking in Philadelphia has exploded since 2000, when the rate was just .86 percent, nearly doubling between 2005 and 2008 alone.
Years ago, local theater companies closed up shop in mid-June and headed off to the beach, the mountains or wherever theater folk go during the summer to inspire their creative juices. Thankfully, times have changed and stages are busy this summer with an abundance of exciting productions.
While the allure of leisure and fun in the sun will have most Philadelphians high-tailing it to the shore, planning much-needed vacations or enjoying the plethora of outdoor activities this summer, Kawana Love, founder of B. Coleman Black Wings A’eronautique Club, will spend her summer weekends leading a group of inner-city youth down an unconventional path.
PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide