NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

Do Something

Check out AprilFoolChild

List to AprilFoolChild on Spotify, YouTube, or Apple Music. You can also follow her work on Instagram.

Check out the track “Link Up” right here:

Connect WITH OUR SOCIAL ACTION TEAM



Join Us

At our Citizen of the Year celebration on January 30

The Philadelphia Citizen honors Philadelphians who’ve made a big impact on our city in our first-ever Citizen of the Year Awards on January 30 at the Fitler Club.

Individual tickets for this special event cover dinner and access to an intimate conversation with MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi and actor/activist George Takei. All proceeds will benefit The Philadelphia Citizen, Philly’s only nonprofit, nonpartisan, solutions-focused civic media outlet.

Be a Better Philadelphia Citizen

Here's how

One of the founding tenets of The Philadelphia Citizen is to get people the resources they need to become better, more engaged citizens of their city.

We hope to do that in our Good Citizenship Toolkit, which includes a host of ways to get involved in Philadelphia — whether you want to contact your City Councilmember about supporting Philly’s art, music, and culture scene, get those experiencing homelessness the goods they need, or simply go out to dinner somewhere where you know your money is going toward a greater good.

Find an issue that’s important to you in the list below, and get started on your journey of A-plus citizenship.

Vote and strengthen democracy

Stand up for marginalized communities

Create a cleaner, greener Philadelphia

Help our local youth and schools succeed

Support local businesses

LISTEN

To this story in CitizenCast

Welcome to Big Rube’s interview of Brielle Kimmins, AKA AprilFoolChild


And go here for more audio articles from CitizenCast

Big Rube’s Philly: Brielle Kimmins, AKA AprilFoolChild

The chef / photographer reconnects with an old muse, and finds a kindred spirit — a fellow artist and polymath with deep Philly roots and an eye for what’s next

Big Rube’s Philly: Brielle Kimmins, AKA AprilFoolChild

The chef / photographer reconnects with an old muse, and finds a kindred spirit — a fellow artist and polymath with deep Philly roots and an eye for what’s next

I met Brielle Kimmins about 10 years ago in Rittenhouse Square. She was on the corner, playing her flute, being a social butterfly. I liked her look and took her photo. Brielle was the first person featured in my “Street Style” column for the Philadelphia Daily News, back when I was Philly’s own Bill Cunningham, bike and all.

Brielle Kimmins and Big Rube Harley.

We got to know each other. She told me who her dad was … Of course I knew him: C.B. Kimmins, the steadfast West Philly anti-violence activist — a legend, an icon. I remember him out there with the bullhorn and the hard hat, how he effected change wherever he went, especially in the Mantua area. What he did, what he stood for, is amazing. (Kimmins died in 2020.)

Brielle and her dad, C.B. Kimmins.

Brielle is a living spirit. When she told me she was moving to L.A. seven years ago, she said she had to break ground out there, and I said, Go for it. That’s been my thing with Brielle: Telling her: Go for it. On the West Coast, she worked on “finding my own voice, identifying myself outside of my dad’s light,” she says. She stayed for four years.

An outdoor performance.

Reunion

A couple of years ago, we found each other again, again in Rittenhouse. She was having dinner with her friend, an actor from Insecure, at Parc. I was there with friends and my lady. Brielle and I didn’t miss a beat. She calls me, and I’m there. I need a model; she’s there. She and her girlfriend were my guests at Philly Fashion Week. I styled them both. When Brielle arrived, she stayed in the car, nervous about her avant garde outfit. She called me up and I said, Get in here.

Modelling Burberry.

Brielle has legendary godmothers: Phyllis Hyman and Natalie Cole. This is where she gets her musical side from. Me being an avid thrift shopper, I find things for her to channel both of their iconic looks. I style her. When Brielle performs (as AprilFoolChild), everybody In the audience is like, Where did you get that? Who styled you?

Building her own legend

Today, C.B. Kimmins’ daughter is writing her own path; it’s a beautiful thing. She’s bringing back her father’s mission, mentoring students in West and North Philly schools through Sen. Vincent Hughes’s program, See Me — Imagine YOU. Sen. Hughes is also behind an upcoming mural of C.B. Kimmins in Mantua by Mural Arts fellow Shanina Dionna. Brielle is raising her 11-year-old son. She’s finishing a degree in music business, getting ready to go to law school to become an entertainment lawyer.

Last fall, under her artist name AprilFoolChild, she released her first album, Lost in Translation.

I went straight from a Phillies playoff game to the release party at Dahlak. Brielle has a beautiful voice; her lyrics are not like everybody else’s. The party was an eclectic mix of people, everyone was paying full attention. An overpouring of love was there for her. You couldn’t even walk around. It was all her voice, no background music, just her beautiful voice. I’d been standing for 10 hours prior, but I couldn’t sit. Her music was uplifting me, and I’m standing up, cheering her on.


West Philly born and raised with a slosh of Brooklyn New York in between, Big Rube partnered with Mitchell & Ness in 2000 to help make it a global brand marketing and selling high-end vintage jerseys. He has been photographing Philly since 2009, including in a Daily News Column from 2011 to 2017. He’s also a chef, operating Chef Big Rube’s Kitchen seven days a week at Pitcher’s Pub in Manayunk, selling the best handmade food in a Main Street dive bar.

MORE FROM BIG RUBE’S PHILLY

Brielle Kimmins performing as AprilFoolChild

The Philadelphia Citizen will only publish thoughtful, civil comments. If your post is offensive, not only will we not publish it, we'll laugh at you while hitting delete.

Be a Citizen Editor

Suggest a Story

Advertising Terms

We do not accept political ads, issue advocacy ads, ads containing expletives, ads featuring photos of children without documented right of use, ads paid for by PACs, and other content deemed to be partisan or misaligned with our mission. The Philadelphia Citizen is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization and all affiliate content will be nonpartisan in nature. Advertisements are approved fully at The Citizen's discretion. Advertisements and sponsorships have different tax-deductible eligibility. For questions or clarification on these conditions, please contact Director of Sales & Philanthropy Kristin Long at [email protected] or call (609)-602-0145.