Opera on the MOVE, virtual art and ‘Love Your Park’ online in this week’s ‘Things to Do’

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The Philadelphia skyline can be seen from Fairmount Park's Belmont Plateau (Emma Lee/WHYY)

The Philadelphia skyline can be seen from Fairmount Park's Belmont Plateau (Emma Lee/WHYY)

While the region prepares reopening plans, health officials still believe it’s safer to remain at home, if you can. Organizations around the Delaware Valley, in an abundance of caution, are mostly still shuttered but have moved education, exhibits, and even annual events online. Here are some of the best they have to offer this weekend along with a new Hot Ten.

Hot Ten

May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a celebration of the rich history and culture of people who can trace their ancestry back to the Asian continent and to the Pacific Island nations. We asked our friends at Asian Arts Initiative, a community-based arts and cultural organization in Philly, to share what they’re watching that reflects the beauty and diversity of Asian Americans. Here’s the list:

  1. “Little America”  – Apple TV“I’ve been enjoying Little America, an anthology series on Apple TV that’s fictional but based on real stories of immigrant experiences in the U.S. As a first-generation Asian American, I find so many relatable moments in each of the 30 minute episodes. Plus, it comes with a killer soundtrack, including music from Syria, China, India, and Nigeria.” – Sunanda Ghosh, director of external relations for Asian Arts Initiative’s board of directors
  2. “Kim’s Convenience” Netflix
  3. “Wu Assassins” – Netflix
  4. Tigertail” – Netflix
  5. “Pen 15” – Hulu
  6. Minor Feelings” by Cathy Park Hong – “‘Minor Feelings’ is an essential read for anyone who wants to be seen as a complete human.” – Anne Ishii, executive director 
  7. “Never Have I Ever”- Netflix
  8. “The Host” – On demand
  9. “Killing Eve”- BBC America/AMC
  10. “Feeling Asian” podcast – “The ‘Feeling Asian’ podcast by comedians Youngmi Mayer and Brian Park has been in my rotation of podcasts while I work at home. Youngmi and Brian are always open and honest but the quarantine episodes have been especially necessary in keeping my sanity in check.”– Catherine Lee, development & communications manager

House music

WHYY has found a new beat during the coronavirus crisis and they’re sharing it with you. The ‘House Concert Series’ is a new initiative featuring musicians performing from their own homes. The series can be viewed on demand online at WHYY, on its YouTube channel and via the PBS video app. Performers so far include violinist Richmond Punch, singer/songwriter Joy Ike, Eric Schenkman of the Spin Doctors and singer/songwriter and RN Nancy Huebner.

Parked at home

The Fairmount Park Conservancy along with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, and the city’s Park Friends Network put on the annual ‘Love Your Park,’ event which celebrates Philadelphia’s vast park system. But this year, it becomes ‘Love Your Park @ Home’ and takes place online. Parks have been the saving grace of the coronavirus pandemic and this event acknowledges their value. Through the weekend, ‘Love Your Park @ Home’ will host virtual sessions including guided yoga and meditation sessions, a happy hour with park guides to tell their stories, a wellness day, and a gardening and greening day.

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Spring stream

The annual Haverford Spring Fest is headed to a social media page near you. They’ve opted to go online this year, and will present 10 hours of music a day for three days from 50 recording artists. Those artists include Christine Elise, Kuf Knotz, Christine Havrilla, Ben Arnold, Jesse Loewy, Elton Rohn, Matt DiMarino’s Billy Joel Tribute and Andrea Nardello. Performances will broadcast live over a six-hour period Friday, May 15 through Sunday, May 17 on the Kelly Center for Music, Arts and Community’s Facebook and YouTube channels. All content is free and any donations will benefit the artists and Havertown’s Kelly Center. Shows start at 4 p.m. each day.

Bucks beats

Visit Bucks County, like many tourism destinations in the area, has taken a hit economically but hopes to bounce back for the summer travel season. In the meantime, they’ve issued a work-from-home playlist that reflects the diversity of recording artists originally from the area. The list includes platinum recording artists Pink and “American Idol” runner-up Justin Guarini, both from Doylestown, and rapper Asher Roth, from Morrisville. You can find the playlist here.

Opera on the MOVE

The notorious MOVE bombing took place in Philadelphia 35 years ago this week (May 13). It took the lives of 11 people, including 5 children, and rendered 61 families, whose houses were destroyed in the bombing, homeless. It remains one of few times in American history (if not the only) that U.S. citizens have been bombed by authorities on U.S. soil. As part of its online O Festival, Opera Philadelphia will stream “We Shall Not Be Moved,” a chamber opera based in part on the MOVE tragedy. You can watch through August 31 here. 

Blooming in N.J.

Salem County’s annual ‘Arts in Bloom’ festival has pivoted to the virtual realm this year due to the coronavirus. That just means artists, who work in multiple mediums including puppetry, pottery, photography and loom-knitting, will provide tours of their work and studios online. The two-day festival, sponsored by the Salem County Arts League, will rotate those artists with live appearances on its Facebook page starting on Saturday with a video introduction at 9:55 a.m. As part of the festival, ‘Dig into Art’ offers tutelage in art projects and other hands-on activities hosted by artists in their area of specialty.

 Keep checking in with “Things To Do” as we continue to provide our picks for entertainment during the industry’s COVID-19 hiatus. Please consult our coronavirus updates to keep up with the latest information regionally.  

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