If you want to tell a story—any story—the right way, you have to listen long and hard before any actual “telling” begins. And when the story is Philadelphia, well, it pays to get comfortable.
That’s just what Jeanne Van Heeswijk did. Three years ago, the Dutch artist and her team began immersing themselves in local communities, asking questions and making art. The result is “Philadelphia Assembled,” a series of exhibits, workshops and programs addressing the city’s past, present and future through a social justice lens.
“Philadelphia Assembled” spent the spring and summer collecting gathering steam at venues across the city. This fall, it culminates with an ambitious lineup of events and an immersive takeover of the Art Museum’s Perelman Building, which will offer pay-what-you-wish admission for the duration of the project. Here are just three reasons to check it out.
“Recipes For Change”
September 21, Parkway Central Library
Spoken word artist Catzie Vilayphonh swings by the Central Library’s Culinary Literacy Center for an installment of Welcoming Week, an annual series that brings together immigrants and refugees. A child of Laotian recipes, Vilayphonh will share a tale about mieng, a Lao lettuce wrap, during an evening of food, storytelling and community building.
The AfroFuturist Affair Costume Ball
October 27, The Perelman Building
Part of the project’s Final Fridays series, this sci-fi themed evening is presented alongside Black Quantum Futurism Collective and promises three things that, frankly, every weekend should include: time travel, pageantry and body painting. Start working on your costume now.
The Philadelphia Fathering Festival
November 11 & 12, The Perelman Building
This two-day celebration and examination of modern-day fatherhood seeks to support men as they pursue meaningful relationships with their children and partners. The weekend’s films, dance, poetry and theater are inspired by individual stories collected throughout the duration of “Philadelphia Assembled.”
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Philadelphia Assembled Kitchen
Tuesdays through Sundays, September 9–December 10; Perelman Cafe
There is, perhaps, no better way to learn about a city than its food. A collaboration between Philadelphia cooks, storytellers and residents, the Philadelphia Assembled Kitchen is serving up a series of curated lunches inspired by stories of struggle, survival, striving and thriving.
For a full schedule of events and reservations, visit phlassembled.net.