Do Something: Explore Black Neighborhoods Through Art

Two stunning new exhibitions at AAMP explore African American communities through photography. Plus, learn how to win a committee person seat in your ward and more ways to be a well-rounded citizen this week

Do Something: Explore Black Neighborhoods Through Art

Two stunning new exhibitions at AAMP explore African American communities through photography. Plus, learn how to win a committee person seat in your ward and more ways to be a well-rounded 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.

Win a Committee Person Seat in Your Ward

Photo: Sabina Louise Pierce

Philadelphia 3.0 is back with a second iteration of its selling-like-hot-cakes“Get Mad, Then Get Elected” event, which promises to dole out all the tips and trick you’ll need to not only start a campaign for a committeperson seat in your ward, but how to win, win, win. A handful of presenters, like attorney and campaign finance expert Adam Bonin and Felicia Harris from Influencing Action Movement will discuss running a campaign on a shoestring, and effective ways to get your voters to the polls. A handful of current committeepeople will also be on hand to impart some first-person knowledge about what a committee person job is truely all about—and talk about some of the ways they were able to reap the most impact from their role. At the end of the night, you’ll walk away with all that knowledge plus a few invaluable resources, including walk-lists of supervoters in your division and personalized campaign materials. Tuesday, January 31, 6-9 p.m., $10, Pipeline Philly, 30 S. 15th Street. 

Show Up for Racial Justice

Philly SURJ (Show Up for Racial Justice) is fired up after the Women’s March in Philadelphia, and as they approach their first gathering of 2017, they know there’s a lot of work to do. At this event, they’ll brainstorm ideas on how to push their agenda of encouraging white people to organize and speak up for #BlackLivesMatter and the injustices faced in the Black community. Attendees should be ready to attend training sessions about mobilization, and spread out into groups depending on their interest—whether it’s family, political education or canvasing. There will be snacks and childcare available—and the building is wheelchair accessible. If you’re new to the group, show up a little earlier that night, between 6 and 6:30, to meet members and get a quick lesson about what Philly SURJ is all about. Or you can reach out before then by emailing the local chapter at [email protected]. Tuesday, January 31, 6-8 p.m., Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street. 

Explore Black Neighborhoods Through Art

Make a trip to the African American Museum of Philadelphia Thursday night for the opening reception of two photography exhibitions that “explore the true depth and beauty of historically African American neighborhoods.”

Photo by Shawn Theodore

Shawn Theodore’s “Church of Broken Pieces” brings to life the tug-of-war between successful mobilization efforts by the Black community, like Black Lives Matter, and constant threats, like hate-related violence, socioeconomic disparity and displacement, that threaten to scale back any progress that’s been made. His artist statement says that, “These depictions weave together the corporeal elements of black neighborhoods in flux to create a visual language which conveys the spirit, rich cultures, histories, and the present course of black life.”

Photo by Dawoud Bey

In “Harlem, U.S.A,” photographer Dawoud Bey takes locals on a tour of historic Harlem, where he spent a lot of time as a youth. The dozen-plus black-and-white prints comprising the exhibit aim to showcase the “types” people of that make up Harlem—the barbers, the church ladies, the too-cool-for-school youth—without pandering to stereotypes. The show was first displayed in 1979, at Studio Museum in Harlem, and remains just as relevant today in the telling of a neighborhood that’s “just as varied as any in the country.”

The free opening exhibition is part of AAMP’s 40th anniversary celebrations, and features wine and light fare. Both exhibitions are open through April 2, so there’s plenty of time to explore if you can’t make the soiree. Thursday, February 2, 6:30-9:30 p.m., free, African American Museum of Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street. 

Hear Good Music for Worthy Causes

Music lovers will find a handful of ways this week to take in their favorite past time while also helping out some worthy causes.

Locally formed multi-genre jam band The Disco Biscuits gear up for a weekend-long residency at the Fillmore Philadelphia that benefits Conscious Alliance, a nonprofit that organizes food drives around music and sporting events. The three-night show features a set by The DBs, which is always punctuated by a spectacular light show, and a different supporting act each evening. On Thursday see Aqueous; Friday, Swift Technique; and Saturday, Tom Hamilton’s American Babies. Attendees are asked to bring a load of non-perishable food items that they can donate upon arrival. Conscious Alliance encourages health-oriented products, like low-sodium and organic options. February 2-4, 8 p.m., $90 (for three-day pass), $36 per night, The Fillmore Philadelphia, 29 E. Allen Street. 

For more of an underground scene, head to West Philly venue Lava Space for a night of tunes that benefits the PHL Autonomous Anti-Repression Fund, “a resource for people in Philadelphia fighting against racism.” Your $5 ticket treats you to an eclectic—and oh-so-West Philly—night of music—from basement rockers The Guests and punk metal band Haz Lo Correcto to Cornelius the Third, who describes his music as “chain-smokin’ alcoholic outlaw rap.” There will be food and drinks on location for purchase. Saturday, February 4, 7-11 p.m., $5, Lava Space, 4134 Lancaster Avenue. 

Header Photo by Dawoud Bey, as part of his "Harlem, U.S.A." exhibit.

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