NIGHTSCAPE, A Toy Story, Brazilian Fare at COOK

NIGHTSCAPE and the KLIP Collective

Producer: Michael O’Reilly

KLIP Collective, as the name might suggest, is not a commune of barber hippies. It is not even a collective in the traditional “one for all and all for one” sense of the word. Rather, it is a collection of talented designers, compositors and filmmakers that make video, among other things, that is used in “projection mapping”. Instead of telling you just what projection mapping is, Creative Director Ricardo Rivera would rather show you. (Essentially, it is projecting video onto an object and manipulating the video so that it takes the shape of that object.) And show you he does – in a big way – at Longwood Gardens with the NIGHTSCAPE “light and sound experience, transforming the gardens into a living canvas where light dances with shadow and music fills the air”. Using the naturally occurring plant life and landscaping that is a hallmark of the famed outdoor and indoor arboretum, KLIP projects video on individual trees and plants. Projections of fish actually seem to leap out of a pond with a stand of trees serving as the backdrop for the dual projectors working in tandem to the music. The tour de force is a variety of projections in the topiary garden, synchronized to music composed specifically for these projections. Exquisitely sculpted bushes actually seem to “become” a series of fantastical musical horns, huffing in time to the bass oomph one hears in the music. Judging by the crowds of couples, strollers, scooters, Rascals and walkers, NIGHTSCAPE is an unqualified hit for Longwood Gardens, with people of all ages.

A Toy Story

Producer: Karen Smyles

The Philadelphia History Museum, formerly known as the Atwater Kent Museum, may not be huge but its inventory is. Nowhere else in the city will you find more objects that tell the story of Philadelphia, starting at around 1682 with William Penn, right up until today. One of the current exhibitions will make you feel like a kid again. Friday Arts shares the story of “The Santa Clause of Kensington.”

In 1872 a young man named Albert Schoenhut came to Philadelphia from Germany. His father and grandfather were toy makers and he came here to continue the family tradition. Albert started out making toy pianos and musical instruments and by the time he died in 1912 the company was the largest toy maker in the world and the only company that exported toys to Germany.

Schoenhut died in 1912 and remains arguably the most famous American maker of wooden toys. The company itself ceased operations in 1935, when the Great Depression made toys an unaffordable luxury for most Americans. Albert’s son, Otto, partnered with Stanley Osborn to start O. Schoenhut, Inc. The new company’s 4-5-6 Pick Up Sticks toy became one of the first real fads in American toys and remained popular with adults and children for over 20 years.

Highlights of the exhibition include one of Albert’s most popular toys, the Humpty Dumpty Circus, along with dolls, pianos, a battleship and a submarine that explodes. A unique object will be also be on loan from the Schoenhut family, a Connie Mack doll in suit and bow tie, Albert was a big A’s fan.

Executive Director & CEO, Charles Croce talks about the museums history and shares interesting facts about a few of the objects on display. Curator, Jeffrey Ray and Schoenhut collectors, Carol Corson and Joseph Wells take us through the story of what was once billed as the ”Largest Toy Company In The World’ which happened to be right here in the City of Philadelphia!

Brazilian Fare at COOK

Producer: Monica Rogozinski

COOK is Philadelphia’s state-of-the-art, fully equipped, sixteen-seat kitchen-classroom where guests come to enjoy chef tastings, culinary demonstrations and cooking classes in a beautiful, intimate setting. Friday Arts visits COOK for their October’s cookbook author series featuring teacher and cookbook author Leticia Moreinos Schwartz. Leticia shares her passion for her native Brazilian cuisine while preparing some traditional Brazilian fare including: Pão de Queijo (Brazil’s iconic cheese bread); Moqueca de Peixe (Brazilian fish stew) with Arroz Branco (rice) and Farofa (traditional side dish made with manioc flour); plus a molten Dulce de Leche Cake with Sour Cream Sorbet for dessert. We also learn some new cocktails made with the popular sugar cane liquor “Cachaça” and discover some hidden Brazilian spots in the Northeast region of Philadelphia.

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