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Do Something: Buy Refugee Textiles

A burgeoning South Philly textile co-op hosts a pop-up for Valentine's Day. Plus, attend a luncheon to benefit the Mazzoni Center, pack up books for prisoners and more ways to be a beautiful citizen this week

Every Monday we round up a handful of fun ways to get involved throughout the week to make your city better. Have ideas for upcoming events? Email tips here.

Learn How Art Can Inspire Revolution

South Philly Barbacoa opens a new art exhibition that celebrates an important artistic bond between Mexico and Puerto Rico, and the way that art played a role in those countries during a time of revolutionary change. “Mexico and Puerto Rico: A Shared Legacy in Print” features works from Mexico’s Taller de Gráfica Popular (TGP), a politically engaged artist collective that created art to fascism and promote progressive ideals. The works from Puerto Rico come from a variety of print workshops that, despite being government-funded, were directly inspired by the TGP. The installation is a unofficial complement to the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s recent major exhibition on Mexican Modernism. Stop by the opening reception this Tuesday night to enjoy food and wine as you learn about the works comprising and ideals behind the exhibition, or start by reading the curatorial statement here. Tuesday, February 7, 5-8 p.m., free, South Philly Barbacoa, 1703 S. 11th Street. 

Lunch on Behalf of LGBTQ Legal Rights

As long as the Mazzoni Center exists, low-income LGBTQ residents of Pennsylvania will always have a place to turn if they’re in need of legal assistance. The nonprofit organization’s Legal Services program provides free legal services—whether it be offering advice or representation—and helps LGBTQ people understand how to use the law to protect themselves in cases of discrimination. That kind of service is more important than ever, considering we live in a state in which it’s still legal to discriminate against someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.  Do your part to make sure Mazzoni thrives by attending the nonprofit’s annual Justice in Action luncheon. As always, the day features an awards presentation honoring a person who’s made a big impact on the LGBTQ community over the past year. In 2017, that honoree is Mara Keisling, founder and executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. If you really want to get involved, get tickets for the pre-luncheon discussion panel entitled “Protected or Not? When, Where and How do Sex Discrimination Laws Protect LGBTQ People?” That goes from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Friday, February 10, 11:30-1:30 p.m., $49-$175, Loews Philadelphia Hotel, 1200 Market Street. 

Buy Gorgeous Textiles, Support Refugees

Southeast by Southeast, the South Philly mental-health and community-based arts center for Burmese, Bhutanese and Nepalese refugees, plays home to a burgeoning textile cooperative featuring work by local refugee and immigrant community members. This week they host their second pop-up shop for Valentine’s Day, giving folks a chance to snag some of the most gorgeous textiles and weavings this side of the Himalayas. All sales from the pop-up benefit the women involved in the textile cooperative and will fund their efforts to launch their business with economic development corporation PIDC and Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance. Saturday, February 11, 1-5 p.m., pay as you go, Southeast by Southeast, 2106 S. Eighth Street. 

Slip Some Books Through the Bars

Join Books Through Bars Saturday afternoon to pack up some good reads for incarcerated men and women in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, New York and West Virginia. Volunteers can take on a variety of jobs. You could read letters from prisoners and fulfill their book requests by choosing reading materials from the bountiful Books Through Bars library. Or you could put your wrapping and packing skills to good use by actually putting together the packages to be sent off in the mail. It’s an all-day affair, lasting from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., so drop in anytime to help out. If you plan on rolling in with a group of four or more, email organizers so they can make room in their compact space. They can be reached at info@booksthroughbars.org. While we’re on the subject, Books Through Bars is always accepting book donations on topics that range from urban fiction and tattoo art to Wicca and erotica. Here’s a good rundown of what’s needed, or you could check out their Amazon Wishlist to browse specific titles. Saturday, February 11, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Books Through Bars, 4722 Baltimore Avenue. 

Have a Big Bowl of Winter Soup

PhilaSoup will be filling up soup bowls on Sunday afternoon for a brunch to benefit local educators with great ideas about how to make our schools better. Here’s how Winter Soup works: While you’re slurping soup, educators stand up and give a three-minute presentation on projects they hope to get funded, and then take some questions. When all spiels are spieled, attendees will vote on the project they would like to see receive the largest amount of funding. Cash comes from the day’s ticket sales plus matching by PhilaSoup of up to $500. While one educator will receive the bulk of the earnings, everyone who presents will walk away with a portion of the funds. Sunday, February 12, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Ritter Annex at Temple University, 1301 Cecil B. Moore. 

Header photo from Southeast by Southeast Facebook

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