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Do Something: Have a Wholesome Halloween

Smith Memorial Playground Halloween bash promotes healthy living for youth. Plus, grab a TED talk in Norristown, finish out Mural Arts Month with a bang and more ways to be a boo-tiful citizen this week

Do Something: Have a Wholesome Halloween

Smith Memorial Playground Halloween bash promotes healthy living for youth. Plus, grab a TED talk in Norristown, finish out Mural Arts Month with a bang and more ways to be a boo-tiful 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.

Put the Final Stroke on Mural Arts Month

Photo: Steve Weinik

As the end of October creeps upon us, Mural Arts Philadelphia (MAP) readies for the finale of its monthlong itinerary of Mural Arts Month activities. There are a handful of Citizen-approved ways to get involved with the celebrations this week, starting Wednesday night with a panel discussion at the Philadelphia Museum of Art about the intersection of art and activism. A LAB Fest in Northeast Philly on Thursday celebrates community-driven arts projects created throughout the month at Tacony Library and Arts Building. This weekend, catch two mural dedications: Eric Okdeh’s Contemplation, Clarity, Resilience (pictured) at 56th and Chestnut streets, and, on Saturday, MAP closes down the Spring Garden Bridge to unveil a new work by Betsy Casañas and students from Freire Charter School. That dedication coincides with a street festival that officially closes Mural Arts Month with food, music, games and more family-friendly good times.

Raise Your Voice for Local Schools

A town hall Wednesday evening seeks to give local parents the chance to let City Council members know what local education issues to prioritize in their next budget, whether it’s bills addressing class size, school safety, or the quality of school facilities. Hosted by Councilwoman Helen Gym and fellow Council members O’Neill, Domb, Jones and Green, the town hall is part of a series of local educational gatherings that purport to have succeeded in “placing a full-time nurse and counselor in every public school, restoring water access in our school buildings, and working to end split grades and massive overcrowding.” To RSVP, go here. Wednesday, October 26, 5-9 p.m., free, George Washington High School, 10175 Bustleton Avenue.

Whoop it up For #FirstVotePhilly

On November 8, a population of naturalized Philadelphia citizens will step into a ballot box and cast their vote for the very first time. That’s cause for a celebration, right? The Committee of Seventy and the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians sure think so. Several weeks before Election Day, they host a celebration to commemorate these first votes in the Mayor’s Reception Room at City Hall. The bash is part of Citizen University’s Knight-funded #JoyofVoting project, which works to revive America’s age-old tradition of actually feting our election process with parties, parades, street theater and festivals. There will be food and drink, story-sharing and live music from traditional jarana band Son Revoltura (pictured). Wednesday, October 26, 6-8 p.m., free, Mayor’s Reception Room at City Hall, level 2, room 202, 1401 JFK Boulevard. 

Sneak in Some Healthy Treats

Once Monday roles around, your kids will likely have pillowcases full of candy corn, Snickers, bubble gum or any other kind of treat that’ll have them zapped into a sugar coma—unless, of course, they fill up on more wholesome goodies instead. Give them a head start Saturday afternoon at Smith Memorial Playground. The massive play space hosts their annual Healthy Halloween soiree featuring games, arts and crafts, science experiments and other activities promoting active and healthy living. Better-for-you snacks will also be doled out courtesy of Beech-Nut, Clif Bar, Wegmans and Bitsy’s Brainfood. Costumes, of course, are highly encouraged. Saturday, October 29, 10 a.m.-noon, Smith Memorial Playground, 3500 Reservoir Drive. 

Hear a Ted Talk in Norristown

Photo: Akbar Hossain

An evening of idea-exchanging TEDx talks comes to Norristown Saturday evening, courtesy of organizer and veteran TEDx talk-giver Akbar Hossain. The night includes presentations by four Norristowners: Calvary Baptist Church Pastor Douglas Avilesbernal, who just just published his latest book, Welcoming Community: Diversity that Works; John Doyle, the artistic director and co-founder of Iron Age Theatre company; artist and SpeakMeFree Productions creative director Mydera Taliah; and Dr. Tonya Thames Taylor, an associate professor of history at West Chester University, where she also founded the African American Studies Program. Saturday, October 29, 5-10 p.m., free, Centre Theater, 208 DeKalb Street. 

Header photo courtesy of Smith Memorial Playground

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