July 2012

Inga Saffron and the Built Environment

Art — Produced by Michael O’Reilly

Chapter 1 — From the Delaware to the Schuylkill river; from the bridges that span these rivers to the parks that line their banks; from decaying buildings to the newest skyscrapers; from sidewalks to bike lanes, everything built (or abandoned) in Philadelphia is fair game for Philadelphia Inquirer Architecture Critic, Inga Saffron. We take the FRIDAY ARTS cameras to the Race Street Pier, the South Street Bridge and the Reading Viaduct (to name but a few places), to see how individuals are trying to effect change in Philadelphia’s built environment and how Inga sees herself as a “conversation starter” in the midst of it all.

Web Extra: Blogging About Architecture

Upper Darby Summer Stage

Art of Life — Produced by Karen Smyles

Chapter 2 — Each year more than 50,000 audience members from around the Delaware Valley, come out to enjoy the magical performances of Upper Darby Summer Stage at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, and you only need to experience one performance to discover why. Year after year they produce high caliber shows guaranteed to please everyone in the family.

The mission of Upper Darby Summer Stage is to encourage young people ages 11 thru 28 to build self-esteem through the theater arts. Every summer hundreds of young people participate in programs that develop skills in acting, singing, dancing, set building and the technical aspects of putting on a show.

This month Friday Arts visits Summer Stage for a behind-the-scenes look at how it all happens. We talk with founder, Harry Dietzler, a native of Upper Darby Township. While in college at Temple University, he saw the need and great opportunity for a youth summer theater arts program and, with the support of the Township of Upper Darby and the Upper Darby School District, founded Upper Darby Summer Stage in 1976.

Today Upper Darby Summer Stage is considered one of the most successful youth theater programs in America. Its distinguished alumni include Emmy Award-winning actress and writer Tina Fey, Terrence J. Nolen and Amy Murphy (the founders and directors of The Arden Theatre, who met at Summer Stage), playwright Tom Donaghy, and many others.

Vegan Chefs

Art of Food — Produced by Monica Rogozinski

Chapter 3 — Vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, raw, macrobiotic — at times the flurry of words used to describe the different types of diets available to the modern eater can seem puzzling. However, there is a common philosophy behind them: more mindful eating and paying closer attention to how food affects our bodies and minds, as well as the world around us. This month’s “Art of Food” goes behind the scenes at Vedge, a contemporary vegetable restaurant recently opened by Philadelphia natives and chefs Richard Landau and Kate Jacoby. They discuss their concept of an ethical-yet-elegant dining experience with the absence of any animal products and an emphasis on fresh produce. We also speak with Christy Morgan, vegan chef and food blogger, known as The Blissful Chef for her principle of following one’s bliss through easy and healthful cooking.

Web Extra: In the Kitchen at Vedge Restaurant

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