Get ready for the arrival of Pope Francis in Philadelphia with Penn Museum’s Sacred Writings: Extraordinary Texts of the Biblical World. Plus, music festivals old & new, theater shows & exhibits. Robin Bloom shares her picks.
Sacred Writings: Extraordinary Texts of the Biblical World
Penn Museum honors the first visit by Pope Francis and the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia with Sacred Writings: Extraordinary Texts of the Biblical World, opening August 15 through November 7. The special centerpiece exhibition offers one of the world’s oldest fragments of the gospel of Saint Matthew, the first Bible printed in the Americas (in the Native American Massachusett language), a New Testament Bible published in twelve languages in Nuremberg, Germany, 1599, and more. Also, rare artifacts from the museum’s collection and rare books and manuscripts from Penn Libraries, including a Latin Bible produced in Arras, France in the late 13th century, the first authorized Roman Catholic translation of the New Testament Bible into English, the first complete Bible printed in the New World, a polyglot New Testament Bible, a late 15th century Italian illustrated manuscript copy of Werner Rolevinck’s history of the world detailing events from the creation to the election of Pope Sixtus IV, an early 16th century Rabbinic Bible, and more, along with the museum’s renowned ancient Near East, Egypt, and the Canaan and Ancient Israel galleries, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia. Pictured: An ancient clay tablet in Sumerian cuneiform from the site of Nippur in Mesopotamia (now in Iraq), ca. 1650 BCE, contains the earliest version of the Mesopotamian flood story. Photo courtesy of Penn Museum.
Delaware River Waterfront Events
Enjoy festive and free summer fun on the riverfront: Screenings Under the Stars: The Lego Movie, Thursday, August 13 beginning at dusk. Smooth Jazz Summer Nights concert with Brian Culbertson, Friday, August 14, 7:30pm. On Saturday, August 15 is the annual Festival of India, 1pm-7pm, celebrating India’s Independence Day and the Greater Philadelphia region’s vibrant Indian community, with music, food, art, vendors and more. Transport yourself to the islands with the 29th annual Caribbean Festival, Sunday, August 16, 12pm-8pm. All events at Great Plaza, 101 S. Columbus Boulevard at Market Street, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.
STAMP in Old City
The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance’s STAMP (Students at Museums in Philly) offers Philadelphia teenagers (14-19 years old) free tours of participating institutions and is hosting a free party at Old City museums on Friday, August 14, 3:30pm-6:30pm. The fun begins at the National Constitution Center and then continues at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, National Liberty Museum, National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia History Museum and Independence Visitor Center with a free afternoon of live music, games, food and dance party. Free for Philly residents only. Registration for a STAMP Pass is available online. Photo by Wide Eyed Studios.
Pirates on the Delaware!
Fort Mifflin brings the colorful history of piracy on the Delaware River to life with Pirate Day, Saturday, August 15, 10am-4pm. Explore 18th century history and interact with pirates and soldiers. Battles take place at 11am and 3pm along with a scavenger hunt, guided tours, treasure dig, drills with wooden muskets, live parrots and live music. Dress as a pirate (circa 1772), Fort Mifflin & Hog Island Roads, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of Fort Mifflin. #SassySays
Collingswood Crafts and Fine Arts Festival
The 10th annual Collingswood Crafts and Fine Arts Festival is Saturday, August 15 and Sunday August 16, 10am-5pm, with over 150 craft and fine artists from all over the country presenting contemporary works in wood, clay, glass, metal, fiber and more, along with food, entertainment, family activities, silent auction and more, along downtown Haddon Avenue, Collingswood, NJ. Free. #SassySays
Reeds ‘N’ Seeds Watermelon Fest
Celebrate the quintessential summer fruit at the 4th annual Reeds ‘N’ Seeds Watermelon Fest, Tuesday, August 18, 10am-1pm, at the Water Star Grille at the Reeds at Shelter Haven. Enjoy watermelon related activities including watermelon eating contests with heats by age group (starting from age 3 to adult) beginning at 10:30am, watermelon pong and other games, watermelon snacks, crafts, live music, cupcake decorating and more. Start working on your speech to enter for your chance to be the Reeds ‘n’ Seeds King and Queen. Free and open to the public, rain or shine, 9601 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor, NJ. Photo courtesy of The Reeds at Shelter Haven.
The Philadelphia Folk Festival
The Philadelphia Folk Festival is back for the 54th year August 13-16 at the Old Pool Farm in Upper Salford Township near Schwenksville, PA. Featured performers include Lyle Lovett and his Large Band, Arlo Guthrie performing the 50th anniversary of Alice’s Restaurant, Bruce Cockburn, Tom Paxton, the North Mississippi Allstars (pictured), and many more, with lots to do for families, including crafts, The Great Groove Band, jugglers, storytellers, kid-oriented musicians, food and more. Photo by David Conger.
Chris Staples at Ortlieb’s
Singer/Songwriter Chris Staples brings his poetic sound to Ortlieb’s, Thursday, August 13, performing songs from his new album with a full band at 847 N. Third Street, Philadelphia. Doors open at 8pm, show at 9pm. Staples’ widely-acclaimed album American Soft was hailed by NPR as one of the top albums of 2014. Photo courtesy of Riot Act Media.
Black Masala at Johnny Brenda’s
Expect a high-energy show with the seven-piece Gypsy music-inspired brass band Black Masala (pictured) at Johnny Brenda’s, Friday, August 14. Doors open at 8pm, show at 9pm with Josh Jones and then the nine-piece Philly exotica punk orchestra Mercury Radio Theater opening, 1201 N. Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia. Photo by JPZ Photography.
Hidden River Blues Festival
Dance to live blues along the Schuylkill River at the inaugural Hidden River Blues Festival, Saturday, August 15, 11am-8pm. Expect a mix of national and local blues artists including headliners Otis Taylor Band (pictured), Sugar Blue Band, James Supra Blues Band, Deb Callahan Band, Steve Guyger and the Excellos, and Tattar Tucker Moog Jackson Band with “Chicago” Carl Snyder. Also, food vendors, beer garden, and merchants, plus sprinkler stations to cool off, Venice Island Performing Arts Center, 7 Lock Street, Manayunk. Bring folding chairs or blankets. Rain or shine. Photo by Alvin Clay.
Pinelands Music Festival
The inaugural Pinelands Music Festival comes to Millville, New Jersey, Saturday, August 15, beginning at 2pm with live music from more than 25 bands including Jukebox the Ghost, Early November, X Ambassadors (pictured), Good Old War, Plantation, Palmas and more along with food trucks, go-karts, vendors and more, New Jersey Motorsports Park, Millville, NJ. Photo by Kayla Surico.
“The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe” at Cape May Stage
Cape May Stage goes on The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, made famous by Lily Tomlin, who won a Tony for her performance. The show was written by Jane Wagner (Tomlin’s wife), stars New York actress Tricia Alexandro, and is directed by Roy Steinberg. The provocative and funny one-woman show reflects on the human condition through September 4 at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse, 405 Lafayette Street, Cape May, NJ. Special events include a post-show discussion with cast and crew on August 21 and pay-what-you-wish performance on September 1. Photo courtesy of Cape May Stage.
“BEEHIVE: The 60’s Musical Sensation” at Eagle Theatre
Don’t miss BEEHIVE: The 60’s Musical Sensation, as five female vocalists belt out the hits of Janis Joplin, The Supremes, Carole King, Brenda Lee, Aretha Franklin and more with songs including “Respect,” “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” “Proud Mary,” and more, August 13-23, 208 Vine Street, Hammonton, NJ. While there, visit the on-site wine lounge! Free parking. Photo by Chris Miller.
Art Appreciation – Watercolors
Garden State Watercolor Society’s 46th annual Juried Show
Garden State Watercolor Society’s 46th annual Juried Show Nature’s Beauty is on display at D&R Greenway Land Trust, showcasing 65 artists from across the state, many nationally known, including Tom Chesar, Joan Gantz, Charles McVicker, Beth Shoenleber, and Jimmie May, and juried by Philadelphia trained artist Jeanne Dobie. Related events include Debby Fryer demonstrating wet-in-wet painting of a Yosemite Park Landscape on Tuesday, August 18, Lucy McVicker with an artist demonstration using different techniques and materials such as monoprint on synthetic Yupo paper, Wednesday, August 26, experimenting with Clayboard demonstration and plein air session, August 26. Plus, more demonstrations, gallery walks, and an awards and closing reception on Friday, September 25, in the circa 1900 restored barn (Johnson Education Center), One Preservation Place, Princeton, NJ. Pictured: Going Fishin’ by Tess Fields. Photo courtesy of D&R Greenway Land Trust.
Delaware Watercolor Society’s Juried Exhibition
Delaware Watercolor Society‘s juried exhibition offers as many as 50 watercolors on display through September 20 at the Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal Street, Dover, DE. Award winners include Chillin’ Out in January by Elizabeth Forsythe (First Place), The Winifred by Christine Heyse (Second Place – pictured), and Feeding Osprey by Nancy Orms Mysak. Photo courtesy of the Delaware Watercolor Society.
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Each week, the Entertainment Guide spotlights interesting local arts offerings happening now, including music, dance, theater, museums, special exhibitions and other arts events from across the region.
To submit an event to be considered, email Robin Bloom at email@example.com.