BlackStar Film Festival, the Women’s Theater Festival, and a peachy event top this weekend’s Things to Do

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Geffen Reinherz, 5 (left), and Skyla Car, 7, draw with chalk at Broad and Poplar Streets while Broad Street is closed off for Philly Free Streets on August 11, 2018. (Rachel Wisniewski for WHYY)

Geffen Reinherz, 5 (left), and Skyla Car, 7, draw with chalk at Broad and Poplar Streets while Broad Street is closed off for Philly Free Streets on August 11, 2018. (Rachel Wisniewski for WHYY)

Art exhibits, a celebration of National Peach Month, the Women’s Theater Festival and the BlackStar Film Festival are among the things to do this weekend in the Philadelphia area.

BlackStar Film Festival
International House
3701 Chestnut St.
Screenings at various locations
Thursday, Aug. 1 – Sunday, Aug. 4; various times
$12 individual films; $8 for students/seniors (in person only)

“By Indie Means Necessary” is the motto of the BlackStar Film Festival, now in its eighth year. Founded by Maori Karmael Holmes, the festival has become an important stop for filmmakers of color and a welcome addition to the mostly white film festival circuit. This year’s showings include the Philadelphia premiere of Numa Perrier’s “Jezebel;” “The Apollo,” a documentary about the famed Harlem theater; a sneak premiere of “Hip-Hop: The Songs That Shook America,” whose executive producers include Questlove and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter of The Roots; and a screening of Solange Knowles’ “When I Get Home.” To commemorate the 30th anniversary of “Do The Right Thing,” Spike Lee will be in conversation with #MeToo founder Tarana Burke.

The Realistic Colors of Art by Geraldo Gonzalez
Mezzanine Gallery
820 N. French St., 4th floor
Wilmington, Del.
Friday, Aug. 2 – Friday, Aug. 30; 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. weekdays

Wilmington-based artist Geraldo Gonzalez works mostly in watercolor and colored pencils. What distinguishes his work, aside from vivid color, is his focus on public transportation – subways, buses and trains. Known as “The King of Transit”, Gonzalez’s work has earned him a 2019 Individual Artist Fellowship in Folk Arts: Visual Arts from the Delaware Division of the Arts. On Friday, Aug. 2, Gonzalez will host a free kick-off reception from 5 to 8 p.m.

African and Caribbean Festival
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, Del.
Saturday, Aug. 3; 2 p.m.-10 p.m.

African and Caribbean culture is celebrated through the things that make it special in the first place: food, music, art and fashion. “Relational Undercurrents,” an exhibit of Caribbean art that runs to Sept. 8, features paintings, sculpture, installation art, video, photography, and more from 50-plus artists from Cuba, Martinique, Jamaica, Barbados, Aruba, Guadeloupe and more.

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Wine and Music Series – Oldies Music with DJ Johnny Tocco
Summit City Farms and Winery
500 University Blvd, Glassboro, N.J.
Saturday, Aug. 3, 7 p.m. –10 p.m.

Part of an ongoing series of theme nights at the South Jersey winery, this one features DJ Johnny Tocco, a local wedding, special events and karaoke entertainer, as well as an Elvis impersonator. Complimentary snacks are included in the admission price, and you can even bring outside food in.

11th Annual 2nd Street Festival
North Second Street between Germantown Avenue and Spring Garden Street
Sunday, Aug. 4; noon-10 p.m.

If you think almost every street in Philadelphia hosts a summertime festival, you may be right. This weekend’s edition is in Northern Liberties. The revitalized area is home to an eclectic mix of artists, bars and restaurants and is credited as one of the places that ignited Philadelphia’s thriving craft beer scene. So naturally, the festival includes several beer gardens, food, two stages for live music, art, workshops and more. The brainchild of three NoLibs entrepreneurs, the 2nd Street Festival has earned over $60,000 for improvements to the business district.

Philly Free Streets
North Broad Street from City Hall to Erie Avenue
Saturday, Aug. 3; 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

If the increased vehicular traffic in a growing Philadelphia annoys you, or if bumpy streets seem more like obstacle courses than drivable roads, this festival should be on your weekend list. For the fourth year in a row, Philly temporarily shuts down North Broad Street to all vehicular traffic to throw an automobile-free block party. If that’s not appealing enough to get you there, there are community organizations, fitness activities, games, storytelling, and other fun events planned along the route. One of the more appealing features on a summer Saturday has to be the Beach on Broad Street, a real, if temporary, beach installation. Poet Sonia Sanchez, Philly Girls Jump, GirlTrek, fitness/dance/cycling guru Alexis Rose, and Mural Arts Philadelphia will be on hand, and even Mayor Jim Kenney is coming to lead his annual power walk. A full schedule of events is here.

Queen & Adam Lambert
Wells Fargo Center
3601 S. Broad St.
Saturday, Aug. 3; 8 p.m.

In the 1970s and ’80s, the English band Queen, fronted by iconic singer/songwriter Freddie Mercury, was a stalwart on the radio, with major hits like “Somebody To Love” and “We Are The Champions,” among others. Although Mercury, the subject of the 2018 biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” starring Rami Malek (who won an Oscar for the role), died of AIDS in 1991, two of the band’s original lineup, guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, have carried on. Adam Lambert, of “American Idol,” fame has substituted for Mercury as the group’s frontman since 2004, along with Paul Rodgers. NOTE: The show is close to selling out, however, tickets can also be found here.

70’s Soul Jam – The Stylistics, The Chi-Lites, Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, Blue Magic with Jimmie “JJ” WalkerMann Center For the Performing Arts
5201 Parkside Ave.
Friday, Aug. 2; 7:30 p.m.

Fans of classic Philly soul and smooth doo-wop sounds can rejoice this weekend as several of the genre’s most prolific groups are in town. On the bill are Philly’s own Stylistics, whose hits “Betcha By Golly Wow” and “You Make Me Feel Brand New” inspired a generation of falsettos; Chicago’s Chi-Lites, who hit with “Have You Seen Her” and other classics; Blue Magic, also from Philadelphia, who scored with “Sideshow;” and Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, whose most famous member, Teddy Pendergrass, had his own successful solo career until it was derailed by an infamous auto accident. Originally recruited as the band’s drummer, Pendergrass would score his first five hits as a vocalist with the Blue Notes on songs like “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” “Bad Luck” and “Wake Up Everybody.”

Peach Festival
Linvilla Orchards
137 W. Knowlton Rd.
Media, Pa
Saturday Aug. 3; 8 a.m.-7 p.m.

August is National Peach Month, and Linvilla Orchards is celebrating the sweet treat with a family-friendly festival. Not only can you “pick your own” peaches — along with an array of other fruits and veggies, including tomatoes, plums, corn and eggplant — you can also fish, ride a train, and enjoy games and music. Costume characters, jugglers, children’s artist Silly Goose and Val will be on hand, and live music will be provided by three kids bands from Rockdale Music.

Great Plaza, Penn’s Landing
101 S. Columbus Blvd.
Sunday, Aug. 4; 2 p.m.–8 p.m.

African music and dance is the center of the ACANA fest at Penn’s Landing. The African Cultural Alliance of North America, which has put on the event for the last 11 years, is a nonprofit dedicated to providing support and resources to the African and Caribbean immigrant community in the Philadelphia area. Grammy-nominated African artists will perform, and family-friendly games, food and activities are on the day’s agenda as well.

Craft Beer, Music and Crab Festival
Emlen Physick Estate
1048 Washington St.
Cape May, N.J.
Saturday, Aug. 3; 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Free; food and drink for purchase

What could go better together in the summertime than craft beer and crabs? Well, ask the folks of Cape May — they’ve had the chance to indulge in both during their summer festival for the last eight years. What’s a festival without music, you ask? Not much, and this one features music all day from 11 a.m. onward. Festival proceeds go to free educational programs in Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland counties, so you can indulge while contributing to a good cause.

Kappa Philly Fest
Thomas Paine Plaza
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Saturday, Aug. 3; noon–5 p.m.

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest historically Black Greek letter organizations, established on the campus of Indiana University in 1911. Its national headquarters is in Philadelphia, and this year, so is the annual conclave, a series of events both public and private. The signature public event takes place in Center City’s Thomas Paine Plaza. Philly’s own Musiq Soulchild, Philly hip-hop pioneers DJ Cash Money and Schoolly D, and more will converge on the plaza for an all day party including food trucks, artwork, Greek letter paraphernalia sales, and more. Click here for a full list of conclave events.

Philadelphia Women’s Theater Festival
Arden Theatre Company – Hamilton Family Arts Center,
62 N. Second St.
Thursday, Aug. 1 – Monday, Aug. 5; various times
$10 per play, or pay as you can; festival passes $25-$50

The festival returns for its fifth year, highlighting the work of local female playwrights. Over the course of five days, eight plays written by women will be performed. The festival was created by Polly Edelstein, an alumna of Villanova University’s graduate theater program, to encourage works by women in a still male-dominated industry. To that end, it has succeeded if only in giving more exposure to playwrights who might not otherwise get an opportunity.

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