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.
Photo: Backstage Barbers
Whether it’s shopping for school supplies or buying new clothes for the fall season, back-to-school time can be expensive for parents. To show their commitment to cultivating a strong community—and cut your wallet some slack—Backstage Barbers holds their first-ever back-to-school haircut day for any kid in grades K-12. Youth who show up with an adult will receive a complimentary trim. To sweeten the pot, kids will also receive a free book after this cut and then each and every time they return. Tuesday, August 30, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., free, Backstage Barbers, 1430 W. Cheltenham Avenue.
Get to know what Philadelphia was like in its colonial days on this walking tour of Old City architecture led by the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. You’ll stroll down paths both familiar and undiscovered as you learn how Old City served as the heart and soul of Philadelphia until business and government moved to Center City in the late-19th century. Stops include quaint Elfreth’s Alley, converted mercantile areas and pit stops at later-generation Victorian structures. Wednesday, August 31, 6-7:30 p.m., $15, meet at the benches near Elfreth’s Alley and North 2nd Street.
You’ve probably heard that South Philadelphians are in the throes of a contentious debate over whether or not the City should enforce no-parking laws on the South Broad Street median. Our recent poll with BeHeardPhilly showcased that anger, but didn’t find there was much room for consensus between the two rivaling sides. So what’s a person to do to take their side of the issue to the next level? Find a group that represents your beliefs and get involved. If you’re on the side of enforcing the ban, join 5th Square at Dolphin Tavern this Thursday night for a dance party that raises funds for their mission to rid the median of parked cars for good. Ticket sales and bar proceeds from 6-8 p.m. benefit the local PAC’s efforts to fund the next phase of their campaign, which includes professional planning and design work and public engagement sessions to empower South Philadelphians to rethink what South Broad Street could be. Thursday, September 1, 6-8 p.m., $5, The Dolphin Tavern, 1539 South Broad Street.
For one night only, Martial Arts Hero Factory welcomes ladies to their studio for a free self-defense workshop. Women aged 15 and up can stop by to get hands-on training about how to protect themselves in the event of an assault—which unfortunately happens all too often in this city. To get in, guests must register by calling 215-551-6252. Dial quickly; spaces are limited. Thursday, September 1, 8-9:30 p.m., free after registration, Martial Arts Hero Factory, 1532 Packer Avenue.
Throughout history, art has acted as a potent vessel for social change. But what are the ethical guidelines for artists and arts leaders as they work to document communities facing injustices in our city and beyond? This, along with other hard questions, like “How does one highlight a community without exploiting them?” and “How can artists keep from being exploited themselves?” will be answered at the Barnes Foundation this week during a “Creative Genius Connectors Salon” led by Small But Mighty Arts and Artistic Rebuttal Book Project. The discussion will be led by a panel of speakers including Lindo Yes, a spoken word artist and actor, and Philly street art blogger Conrad Benner. Friday, September 2, 5:30-7 p.m., free for first 25 guests, The Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.