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For Development...for Good: Built to Heal


Join us for the next installment of The Citizen’s Real Estate Development… for Good, powered by Drexel University’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation and Fitler Club

Michael Murphy, award-winning co-founder and Trustee of nonprofit architecture design firm MASS (for “model of architecture serving society”) Design Group, sees buildings as vessels for healing individuals and communities, as demonstrated in his work from hospitals in Rwanda and Uganda, to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, AL, which has been called “the single greatest work of American architecture in the 21st century.” Murphy will explore the way architecture can “be a transformative engine for change” with The Inquirer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Inga Saffron.

Free to Fitler and Citizen members. $5 for non-members.

The Citizen Recommends: Countdown to the 250th

The second annual pep rally for Philadelphia’s celebration of the country’s semiquincentennial is a fundraiser and party for planning our country’s birthday bash

The Citizen Recommends: Countdown to the 250th

The second annual pep rally for Philadelphia’s celebration of the country’s semiquincentennial is a fundraiser and party for planning our country’s birthday bash

Another December, another year closer to Philadelphia’s yearlong celebration of our country’s 250th anniversary in 2026. On December 6, Philadelphia250 — which is the official name of the commemoration of the semiquincentennial (a spelling bee word if there ever were one) — will hold it second annual “Countdown to the 250th” at World Cafe Live.

Last year’s Countdown, says PHL250 President and CEO Danielle DiLeo Kim, “focused on our legacy projects and the legacy community of partners that are working on capital projects, social impact projects and civic impact projects.” Those projects were three:

    1. Cities of Inclusion, an effort to increase accessibility citywide for people with disabilities.
    2. An immigrant-led storytelling and cultural preservation program from the community around the South Ninth Street Market, by Philadelphia artist Michelle Angela Ortiz.
    3. Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse’s “Revolutionary Action Figures,” an initiative to teach children about local Black leaders and everyday heroes.

Now, if you’re wondering: When is this gonna get to the World Cup? Or All-Star baseball? Wrestlemania, for god sake? Those types of marquee events are certainly part of the big year, and they’ll surely bring on a spike in visitation. But, like other such one-hit-wonders, their effect will surely be less than lasting in a let’s-make-big-good-changes-to-our-city way.

So, Philadelphia250’s main priority is psyching up the city, its institutions and non-touristy neighborhoods — “beyond the traditional historic boundaries,” says DiLeo Kim — to build “people-powered programs,” with benefits well into 2027. As such, the second Countdown to 2026 will feature:

    1. Oyewumi Oyeniyi, Philadelphia’s Youth Poet Laureate, reading an original work about the meaning of the 250th.
    2. Legendary radio host and music historian Dyana Williams, to master-of-ceremonies live performances by and of the No Name Pops, Gamble, Huff, & Bell, Clef Club of Jazz and Musicolab.
    3. Philadelphia Ballet, celebrating their own 60th anniversary.

As for the end game, says DiLeo Kim, “We want the global recognition of Philadelphia as a destination at the top, and from a Philadelphia resident perspective, I would love to see a really increased, renewed sense of civic pride.”

Wednesday, December 6, from 6 to 9pm, World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street. Tickets from $75.


A scene from 2022's Countdown to the 250th, courtesy of Philadelphia250.

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