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Do Something: Learn About City Plants

A West Philly herbalist educates locals on the plants growing in their backyards. Plus: Enjoy theater in the park, nab a free recycling bin and more ways to be an awesome 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.



Is there something about cities that makes your heart race and excitement jump throughout your body? If so, join Urban Consulate in its new monthly pop-up parlor, City Lobby, that focuses on urban exchange for city-lovers. July’s theme is civic spaces and equitable communities. Some of the featured speakers include Knight Foundation’s Patrick Morgan, Parks and Recreation’s Kathryn Ott Lovell and Jamie Gauthier of the Sustainable Business Network and Garden Court Community Association. They will bring their expertise on this important topic of civic spaces and equitable communities. Cocktail specials will be available for pay, but City Lobby is always free to attend and join the conversation. Thursday, July 7, 5-7 p.m., free, Le Meridien, 1421 Arch Street.


Join South of South Neighborhood Association on Thursday for the Triangles Plaza Summer Music Series and receive a free recycling bin. Kailey Prall will provide the tunes, and Jules’ food truck, parked in the plaza, will provide the thin crust pizza. Can’t make it Thursday? Stop back at Triangles Plaza with your seat cushion on Sunday for the kids edition of the music series, with performances from Emily Bate and All Around This World, and food from the visiting Pitruco truck. Thursday, July 7, 6-8 p.m., free, Grays Ferry Triangles Plaza.


The weeds growing from your sidewalk are seen more as a headache than a cure for your aches and pains—unless you’re West Philly clinical herbalist Kelly McCarthy. McCarthy is leading a walk around West Philly to teach attendees about local plants and their healing properties. Guests will learn about basic plant identification, sustainable harvesting practices and medicinal uses. Take a walk around your community or branch out to somewhere new to learn more about urban planting, and maybe more about your fellow community members in the process. Thursday, July 7, 6:30-8:30 p.m., $10-$20 suggested donation, Jewish Farm School, 5020 Cedar Avenue.


So you can’t afford the $100,000 per ticket price tag to see Hamilton. Luckily, the next best thing is free and taking place in parks right here in Philly. The Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company’s take on Moliere’s 1600s comic masterpiece Tartuffe transports viewers back to the 1980s—to the time of Reagan conservatism, Tammy Faye Baker and colorful punk rock. The company is hosting multiple showings in parks around the area. All for free! July 7-21, 7 p.m., free, Multiple outdoor venues.


We see it in the news and in the stats about our justice system: A systemic disparity in the U.S. justice system has a disproportionate impact on people of color. The African American Museum in Philadelphia is hosting a community-led town hall discussion about this important topic that goes along with AAMP’s latest exhibition, “Arresting Patterns: Perspectives on Race, Criminal Justice, Artistic Expression and Community.” Guests who attend should arrive an hour early to join an interactive open house to see the new exhibit and pop-up performances by local artists, including poet Jamarr Hill. Later, the town hall will begin with a stirring performance by panelist Abby Dobson playing a song called “Say Her Name,” a tribute to black women killed by the police. Sunday, July 10, 2-5 p.m., free, The African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street.

Header photo: Jewish Farm School

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