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Arts leaders rally at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Placemaking or place breaking at Moore College of Arts and Design, Wilmer Wilson IV performs on SEPTA’s Market Frankford line, Asian Arts Initiative hosts migrant poets, Feminist film classic at International House, Willie Cole at Arthur Ross Gallery, Yolanda Wisher curates Poetry Festival at 30th Street Station, and RIP James Rosenquist

Lots of happenings for you today in the news post, including a major event at PAFA from the Philadelphia arts and culture community. April is National Poetry Month, so celebrate with Yolanda Wisher at the Outbound Poetry Festival and the Sanctuary Poetry series at the Asian Arts Initiative. Also, performances by Wilmer Wilson IV, a talk by Artblog favorite Willie Cole, a new documentary about the seminal 1972 DNC, and RIP Pop art pioneer James Rosenquist.

Lenfest Plaza view of PAFA. Photo courtesy of DAVID RUBIN Land Collective.
Lenfest Plaza at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Photo courtesy of DAVID RUBIN Land Collective.

Community Leaders Convene at PAFA on April 6 to Advocate for Federal Support for the Arts and Humanities
In March, Michael and Roberta spoke with numerous arts and culture leaders in Philly about what they were doing to speak out in our current political climate. We are pleased to see that after a long spell of relative public silence, it looks like everyone is coming out to PAFA on Thursday, April 6 at 8:30 am to voice their support for federal funding of the arts and humanities. From the press release:

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance present a community briefing and press availability to discuss the threatened elimination of federal funding for all facets of arts and culture.

The event will take place on Thursday, April 6, at PAFA, 118 North Broad Street in Philadelphia. Community and media members are invited to arrive at 8 a.m. Remarks will take place from 8:30 to 9:00 a.m., and speakers will be available afterward to provide additional comments and answer media questions.

The Cultural Alliance has valuable information regarding what is at stake if the funding cuts are implemented, what citizens can do to express their support for continued arts and culture funding, and much more at

Additional information, including speaker bios, data on the scope and impact of federal funding for cultural organizations, and more will be available at the briefing.

Artblog will be there! Will you?

Public Talk at Moore College–Planning for the Future: Place Breaking to Place Keeping
Thursday, April 6 at 6:30 pm

How do we make plans for the kind of city we want? One place to start is by asking how plans currently get made. Another way is to ask each other what our visions are. This process is not restricted to urban planners and policy makers, but their participation helps. This event will explore how artists and designers are working within and independent of conventional urban planning processes.

With an introduction by Damon Rich, and Philadelphia reports by Melissa Kim, Thoai Nguyen, Li Sumpter and Park Powers participants.

This event is free, ADA accessible and open to the public. To register, click here.
It will be live streamed

Wilmer Wilson IV performs on SEPTA’s Market-Frankford line April 2–6
If you find yourself on the blue line over the next few days and you see a man with a  television, that’s part of Wilmer Wilson IV’s new performance piece made for the Barnes current show, Person of the Crowd. Here’s a description:

The source for Wilmer Wilson IV’s performance, Channel, and sculpture, a long pane beatin, is a 1968 Philadelphia Tribune news story. The article described a young man who “was good at repairing television sets” but had been killed as a result of the police practice known as “turf-dropping,” whereby black suspects were left in rough neighborhoods rather than being charged with a crime. Every sunny day from February 25 until April 2, Wilson will respond by walking the city streets and collecting discarded tube televisions, which he will bring to the Barnes and configure to display X-rays of human ribs. From April 2 to April 6, he will carry select working televisions into the streets, where he will activate them and intervene in pedestrian life—with the presence of the X-rays against his own body.

Sanctuary: A Migrant Poetry Workshop at the Asian Arts Initiative
Friday, April 7 at 7 pm
Celebrate National Poetry Month at the Asian Arts Initiative. This Friday marks the culmination of their first-ever poetry workshop. It’s more important than ever to listen to these voices.

Over the past five weeks, participants of the inaugural Sanctuary: A Migrant Poetry Workshop have been exploring the intersections of craft and migration in poetry, critically engaging poems that reflect their multilayered histories, and building a powerful community of language and imagination. At this culminating event, they will share their work with the broader public. Sanctuary: A Migrant Poetry Workshop series ran every Saturday through the month of March 2017, facilitated by poet Cynthia Dewi Oka with the support of the Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant and in partnership with Asian Arts Initiative.

Feminist film classic, Another Look at the Miami Convention (1972) at IHouse
Friday, April 7 at 7 pm
Want to get in touch with your feminist roots? Check out IH’s screening of this seminal  documentary about the 1972 DNC, featuring an all-woman team of videographers and reporters.

The Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, presents a rare screening of the feminist masterwork, Another Look at the Miami Convention (1972). Another Look was shot using Portapaks at the 1972 Democratic National Convention by the Women’s Video News Service for Manhattan cable television. Their coverage of the convention focused on the newly formed National Women’s Political Caucus and the candidacy of Shirley Chisholm for president and other related events largely ignored by the mainstream media. Featuring appearances by Gloria Steinem, Flo Kennedy, Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan, Nanette Rainone and others. The original hour-long version of Another Look is being screened here for the first time in its entirely since it was originally broadcast on cable television in 1972.

The screening will be followed by a conversation between author William Kaizen, scholar Leslie Jones, and artist Sharon Hayes to discuss the importance of revisiting Another Look in our contemporary political context as well as the potential embedded in participatory media.

Artist Willie Cole. Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Willie Cole speaks about his work at the Arthur Ross Gallery
Friday, April 7 at 5:30 pm
Willie Cole has long been an Artblog favorite. The NJ-born artist has a new solo show opening up at the ARG, where he will speak about his work. It’s sure to be a good conversation!

Yolanda Wisher, Philadelphia’s Poet Laureate, curates a Poetry Festival at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, April 10–21
More poetry for you! Philly’s own poet laureate Yolanda Wisher, together with The Philadelphia Contemporary, presents a series of events and readings in and around 30th St Station during the second half of April.

For two weeks in April poetry will come alive in Philadelphia’s iconic 30th Street Station in a series of 10 weekday afternoon readings and a Saturday afternoon of poetry and music. Curated by Yolanda Wisher as her Signature Project as the City of Philadelphia’s Poet Laureate, the readings will feature a multi-generational pantheon of local and out-of-town poets whose styles and voices celebrate the diversity of the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.

Poetry will be happening–in passing, en route, parenthetically, and unexpectedly. Join us during National Poetry Month in 30th Street Station as poets from up and down the East Coast celebrate the serendipity of poetry. Slam poets, page poets, teaching poets, jazz poets, and people’s poets, including Otter Jung-Allen (City of Philadelphia Youth Poet Laureate) and The Twin Poets (Delaware State Poets Laureate), will deliver daily rhapsodies to the citizens of Philadelphia and riff along the continuum of poetry and song in an extended Saturday performance.

Free and open to all–commuters, passersby, and serious poetry aficionados–the readings will take place in 30th Street’s South Waiting Room every weekday afternoon at 4:52 pm, from April 10 – 21. On Saturday, April 15 join us at 2:35 pm for a joyous mix of poetry and acoustic music. The festival will kick-off with a reading and book signing by Yolanda Wisher at Ulises on Sunday, April 9 at 4:07 pm.

RIP James Rosenquist, who helped define Pop Art in its 1960s heyday with his boldly scaled painted montages of commercial imagery. He died on Friday in New York City at  83 years old.
Here’s a link to his obit in the NYT.