September 30, 2015 |
They call American culture a melting pot, but a better name for it would be a stew - chock-full of ingredients from black culture. To explore that potent blend, the Annenberg Center is presenting "African Roots, American Voices. " The series, celebrating the contributions of the African diaspora to American culture and running through 2018, begins this week. Each year will focus on a different musical genre, said Dawn Frisby-Byers, Annenberg director of marketing and communications , born "out of the African American experience in this country.
September 25, 2015 |
THE FIRST MESSAGE speaker Erika Bachiochi posted on the big screens behind her during yesterday's World Meeting of Families lecture "Responding to 'Hook-up' Culture" came from the Bible's book of Genesis. "Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you," it read. The self-proclaimed "new feminist" spoke to an audience of mixed ages and nationalities. Most were female. Some were nuns. Others she referred to as "noble, virtuous men. " "The Catholic Church is more pro-female than any strand of women's studies that I've ever studied," she said, to applause.
September 21, 2015 |
As Philadelphia prepares to welcome Pope Francis this week, its museums and cultural institutions are offering visitors opportunities to engage with religion - and, sometimes, not just one. On view, not surprisingly, are historical documents of the Catholic Church and treasures from the Vatican. But Dead Sea Scroll fragments, an ancient illuminated Quran, a Sumerian tablet, and George Washington's assurances to the Jews of Rhode Island also are out there. And should you choose to get smarter at home, there's the latest of Sam Katz's city-centric documentaries, Urban Trinity : The Story of Catholic Philadelphia, to be broadcast over the course of the week on 6ABC . In three parts, Katz's History Making Productions 78-minute film describes the suspicion and sometimes violent prejudice that early Catholic immigrants faced in a Protestant-dominated Philadelphia, the phenomenal growth of church membership and influence from the mid-19th to mid-20th century, and the changes and challenges of the post-war era. Says Katz, "We planned this production schedule to deliver an iconic story about American Catholicism in one of the nation's most Catholic cities to be seen at a moment when the world's eyes would be on Pope Francis and Philadelphia.
September 17, 2015 |
Philadelphia might soon be able to answer the question: What if you have a million people visit but nobody can get in? Some might think the question relates to the city in general during next week's visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia. But it specifically applies to at least a half-dozen exhibitions - largely of the "treasures" variety and specifically inspired by the papal visit and the World Meeting of Families - that will be on view for the million-plus visitors city officials are expecting.
September 5, 2015 |
The uphill battle covers just 400 words. On Page 18 of its Constitution and Bylaws, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association uses 12 bullet points to cover those 400 words in its fight against athletes transferring between high schools. Those rules state that students cannot transfer for more playing time, to play with a certain coach or team, for more college exposure. But in the PIAA's District 12, made up of the Philadelphia Public and Catholic leagues, the prevalence of Amateur Athletic Union basketball and loose geographical boundaries have coaches pointing to a thriving "transfer culture" in high school hoops.
August 26, 2015 |
YOU COULD TELL that the big, shambling man walking the streets of West Philadelphia had been a football player. The slope of his shoulders, the athletic spring in his step even in his 60s. And that voice! It seemed that Paul Robeson could still belt out the kind of operatic aria that had enthralled music lovers around the world. Although he was not in the best of health when he lived the last 10 years of his life in West Philadelphia, Paul Robeson enjoyed walking the neighborhood or sitting on the porch of the rowhouse at 4951 Walnut St. where he lived, greeting neighbors who may or may not have known that this big, friendly guy was an international celebrity.
August 20, 2015 |
Frances P. Aulston, 75, founder and executive director of the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and a moving force in the preservation of the Paul Robeson House, died Sunday, Aug. 9. Her family declined to release the location and cause of her death. A Philadelphia resident, community leader, and activist, Ms. Aulston was a former research librarian for the Free Library of Philadelphia. In 1984, Ms. Aulston founded the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance (WPCA) with the help of several local artists.
August 13, 2015 |
Douglas MacDonald Cameron, 71, a professor of modern languages at Ursinus College whose love of Hispanic literature and culture impressed students and colleagues, died Saturday, Aug. 8, of cancer at Phoenixville Hospital. Dr. Cameron made observation, discourse, and the written word his life's focus. He imbued students with his own passion for literature, then made intellectual connections with architecture, film, music, and the visual arts. "Family, friends, students, and colleagues worldwide mourn the loss of this brilliant mind, one that questioned, challenged, and required others to think more deeply - not to accept the obvious - and to find the connections between art, cultures, and words," his family said in a tribute.
August 10, 2015 |
BURLINGTON, Vt. - Although it is the very essence of Vermont, Burlington is decidedly not one of the quaint village towns that define the popular image of the Green Mountain State. Burlington in August is a lot like Philadelphia in August, without the oppressive heat and the odor of trash, but with cool breezes and spectacular views of one of North America's largest glacial lakes. Its magnificent natural setting and lively Vermont culture make it an ideal summer oasis for Philadelphians looking to try a different flavor of New England - a place where some of the best craft beer in the country flows like water, where bikers glide into sunsets over Lake Champlain, where cars really do stop to let you cross the street, where parking is anywhere from cheap to free, and people eat local because, up here, being a "locavore" is positively the best choice.