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Do Something: Celebrate Mural Arts Month

A monthlong itinerary pays homage to Philly's murals. Plus, blend up your criminal record, join us for the first presidential debate and more ways to be an active citizen this week

Do Something: Celebrate Mural Arts Month

A monthlong itinerary pays homage to Philly's murals. Plus, blend up your criminal record, join us for the first presidential debate and more ways to be an active 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.

Watch the Debate With Us

Some say it could be the most-watched television event in history, when presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump square off in their first face-to-face debate since this whole crazy election season began. You might as well experience it with some good friends. Join us, along with Philadelpha 3.0, Committee of Seventy and Influencing Action Movement, for a watch party Monday night at the American Pub in Center City. We kick off things at 8 p.m. with drinks and discussion before turning our eyes to the TV screen at 9. Your $5 cover gets you free bar snacks for the first hour, and the chance to vote on a civic or political non-profit that will receive the evening’s proceeds. Monday, September 26, 8-10 p.m., American Pub, 1500 Market Street. 

Visualize Sustainable Citizenship

Photo: Pixabay

This week, Temple University’s Office of Sustainability kicks off a new educational series aimed at spotlighting and promoting “tangible, interdisciplinary practices that impact our environment.” “Seeing Stories: Visualizing Sustainable Citizenship” begins this week with no less than three events that touch on modern efforts in building a sustainable future (Tuesday), guest worker initiatives (Thursday) and the impact of collecting and curating digital histories on migrant workers (Friday). The series continues through mid-November with activities that range from a bird and bird habitat tour to the sexual politics of meat and a culminating art exhibition. All events are free and open to the public. For dates, times and more information, go here.

Fete Philly's Murals

Photo: Steve Weinik

A dance party in South Philly Friday night kicks off Mural Arts Month. Throughout October, Mural Arts Philadelphia curates a whopping 30 events to commemorate and draw attention to the myriad works of public art that brighten up blighted nooks and crannies around our city. Themed “Roots & Risk,” the monthlong celebration includes events for every type of reveler—from informative panels and walking tours to new mural dedications and a host of bashes like the kickoff party happening this weekend.  Speaking of, swing by Snyder Plaza on Friday to dance to live music, grub at a lineup of food trucks and check out performances by local contemporary circus troupe Circadium. You’ll also be treated to a brand new Steve Powers mural that just got its finishing touches there this week. For more on what else is happening during Mural Arts Month, go here. Friday, September 30, 6-10 p.m., $5 suggested donation, Snyder Plaza, Snyder Avenue and Swanson Street. 

Purée Your Criminal Record

On Saturday, the People’s Paper Co-op (PPC), a re-entry program run by the Village of Arts and Humanities, hosts a free legal clinic where guests can not only have their criminal records expunged, but blend them to smithereens. Legal experts will be on hand to walk participants through the steps needed to clean up their criminal records. Then guests print out their old records, rip them up and stuff them into blenders to create new, blank sheets of paper. How’s that for symbolic new beginnings? The program coincides with PPC’s internship program for women in re-entry. It includes months’ worth of community-building events and workshops geared toward helping ladies who are returning from prison get back on their feet. There are lots of ways to lend a hand to the project, including donating items to a “Welcome Home Kit,” and making a financial contribution. For more information, contact [email protected]. Saturday, October 1, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., free, The Village, 2544 Germantown Avenue.

Go to a Kickass Block Party

Philly AIDS Thrift (PAT), one of Philly’s kookiest gems with a heart of gold, turns 11 this year. It’s celebrating on Saturday with what could be one of the weirdest block parties of the fall season. Expect sword-swallowing clowns, a mini costume parade and lots of dancing in the street courtesy of local DJ Robert Drake. Proceeds from the day—including anything you buy within the store—benefit PAT’s ongoing mission to fund HIV/AIDS service organizations in the Philadelphia region. To date, the business has donated over $1.5 million to nonprofits like AIDS Fund, ActionAIDS, GALAEI, the William Way LGBT Community Center and more. If that’s not enough to have you cutting a rug in the street, nothing will. Saturday, October 1, noon-6 p.m., Philly AIDS Thrift, 710 South 5th Street.

Header photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

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