Every Monday we round up a host of fun ways to get involved throughout the week to make your city better. Have ideas for upcoming events? Email tips here.
Rally for Public Education
Monday is the first day back after the primary race for legislators in Harrisburg, so Public Citizens for Children + Youth (PCCY) is heading to the capitol to welcome them with a rally for public education. Their bus leaves Philly at 7:45 a.m. that morning, sure to be packed with passionate folks ready to make their case to lawmakers and House and Senate leadership. (If you miss the bus, you can meet them in the capitol.) Their message? Institute fair education funding, “because every child deserves a chance to succeed.” Can’t make it? You can still make a difference. Use our guide here to contact your elected officials to make your voice heard. Monday, May 2, 7:45 a.m., United Way Building, 17th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Meet Philly Startup Leaders
It’s an exciting time for the local startup scene. Innovative companies are popping up every day with smart, forward-thinking ideas about how to make our world a better place to live. Meet with representatives from 60 of these businesses at the 8th annual Entrepreneur Expo, including some folks we’ve written about, like Roar for Good and MilkCrate. Make a night of it by grabbing dinner courtesy of some local food trucks that will be on the scene. Wednesday, May 4, 6-9 p.m., free, The 23rd Street Armory, 22 South 23rd Street.
Engage in Urban Exchange
On Thursday, Urban Consulate hosts a pop-up idea-exchange parlor in Le Meridian hotel, where business leaders from around the country will gather to chat about ways they’re working to energize civic engagement in their cities. Guests include Joan Vorderbruggen of Made Here, a Minneapolis initiative with creative ideas about how to connect citizens to local art, and Dwayne Wharton of Philly’s own The Food Trust. Funded by the Knight Foundation, this is the first in Urban Consulate’s new series of pop-up parlors, called City Lobby, taking place on the first Thursday of every month. To get updates about future events, go here. Thursday, May 5, 5-7 p.m., free, Le Meridian, 1421 Arch Street.
Contemplate Our Prison System
An ambitious and first-of-its-kind exhibition opening this weekend at Eastern State Penitentiary aims to expose America’s grossly high rate of incarceration through a series of interactive multimedia installations. The exhibit comprises, for instance, a Criminal Justice Police Video Wall screening prison-related policy decisions dating back to the 1960s. A video installation by Gabriela Bulisova features interviews from people currently serving time. A call-to-action section at the end lays out steps visitors can take to make a difference in the American criminal justice system. The fact that it all takes place within the storied Eastern State Penitentiary drives the message home even further. Opens Friday, May 6, Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Avenue.
Be Entertained for Autism
Performers from every walk of life come together for a variety show to raise money for SpArc Philadelphia, a program working to bolster confidence and strengthen community connections for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The evening includes performances by circus artist Taylor Scott doing some aerial acrobatics, bellydancer Queen Yareli, and contortionist Bizzare Bryn. Drag queen Mistor Farenheit hosts. Saturday, May 7, 8 p.m., $7-$20 donation encouraged, Connie’s Ric Rac, 1132 South 9th Street.
Photo Header: “Prisons Today” rendering courtesy of Eastern State Penitentiary