Close out October with a bang at a host of events happening in Philly this week for a good cause, including art exhibits, street festivals, parades and more.
This is the first week of a brand new special exhibition at the Barnes Foundation that spotlights 30 influential African-American artists past and present.
Fall festival season continues in South Philly, when Hawthornes shuts down a section of 11th Street for its annual Great Harvest Beer & Cider Fest, which spotlights dozens of local breweries and must-try food truck operations—and supports a local youth-centric nonprofit.
The First Person Arts Festival kicks off at the end of the week with a jam-packed itinerary of super-thoughtful storytelling events that are tailor-made for engaged Philadelphians like yourself.
Get the scoop on all that and more in our guide to the week’s best do-good events below.
Things to do in Philadelphia this week for a great cause
The latest, months-long special exhibition at the Barnes fills the museum’s Roberts Gallery with works by 30 of the world’s most influential African-American artists—both past (Jean-Michel Basquiat, Robert Colescott) and present (Nina Chanel Abney, Leonardo Drew, Xaviera Simmons). The powerful works of art within the show explore issues of personal and cultural identity while challenging common stereotypes surrounding race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender and more. “30 Americans” has premiered in cities across America of the last ten years, but this is the first time it’s being shown in Philadelphia—at the same time, coincidentally, as a new exhibition at the African America Museum in Philadelphia that features photographic works by 55 female and non-binary artists. Has the city ever showcased so much Black art all at one time? Through January 12, 2020, Wednesday–Monday, 11am–5pm, $5–$25, the Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Rosy’s Taco Bar celebrates Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday honoring deceased loved ones, with a three-day fiesta rife with food and drink specials, family-friendly activities, live entertainment and more. The bulk of the festival happens on Saturday, when you’ll find face painting and costume contests from noon to 2pm, and later that night a DJ rolls in at 9pm for some nighttime fun for grown folk. October 31–November 2, various times, pay-as-you-go, Rosy’s Taco Bar, 2220 Walnut Street.
Representatives from dozens of non-profit, governmental and advocacy-based organizations in Philadelphia meet under one delicious roof for Young Involved Philadelphia (YIP)’s annual—and free—Civic Engagement Fair. Taking place at The Bourse Food Hall, the event is an excellent stepping stone for those looking to become more engaged with city and community organizations that are working toward issues they care about most. Attendees can chat with reps to learn about each organization’s mission, what events they have coming up and what kinds of volunteer opportunities are available—all while enjoying pay-as-you-go food and drink from The Bourse vendors. The fun continues at United By Blue, which is hosting an after-party for participants from 7:30 to 9pm. These events serve as the kickoff to YIP’s State of Young Philly festival, which includes events around the city inspired by the theme “Love Thy Neighborhood. Know Thy Neighborhood.” Find the full schedule here. Friday, November 1, 5:30–7:30pm, free, The Bourse, 111 S. Independence Mall East.
Hawthornes shuts down 11th Street in South Philly for a daylong community hoopla centered around more than 75 types of suds—mostly of the seasonal variety, like hard ciders, toasty lagers and pumpkin ales. A dozen-plus food trucks will be parked around the premises, which will also be filled with live musical performances, activity zones for families and kids, and contest booths where you can bob for apples or stuff your face in a pie-eating contest. Besides the opportunity to build community, the event comes with an extra do-gooder twist: Hawthornes will donate 10 percent of the day’s sales of three ciders—Downey Brewing Company’s pumpkin cider, Wyndridge Farm’s cranberry cider and Virtue Cider’s apple cider—to CORE, a nonprofit that provides health- and wellness-related support to the children of restaurant employees. Saturday, November 2, 11am–8pm, pay as you go, 11th Street between Fitzwater and Catharine streets.
The annual First Person Arts Festival is a long-running gem of a local event, full of moving—and oftentimes hilarious—storytelling events that aim to “connect audiences of all backgrounds around the commonality and wonderful nuances within the human experience.” Proud, engaged Philadelphians will find plenty to love on the schedule, which includes engagements like a reading by Tina Chang, whose poems examine being mixed raced in America through the lens of motherhood; “Engaging Males of Color” brings together four Black men who were recently incarcerated to talk about what it was like coming home after prison; and #IMNOJANEDOE features a handful of journalists, like Megan Twohey, the New York Times reporter who broke the Harvey Weinstein story, who’ve brought stories about sexual assault into the limelight. November 3–17, various times, prices and locations.
More things to do in Philly this week for a good cause
- October 31: Several Philly organizations are coming together to host a daylong, Black feminist-centered forum on disrupting sexual violence.
- November 2–3: The 10th annual, two-day Philly Bike Expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center “celebrates the bicycle like no one else.”
- November 2: Author Rashad Malik Davis visits Amalgam Comics to wow little ones with live, dramatic readings of the first two chapters of his award-winning children’s book series Carefree, Like Me!. The tale takes readers on an epic adventure, teaching lessons in empathy, emotional literacy and diverse historical representation along the way.
- November 2: Spirited Tattooing Coalition hosts a Spooky Tat Benefit to raise funds for two organizations working to end rape culture.
- November 2: The Pennsylvania SPCA’s annual Bark & Whine Gala gives you a chance to gussy up in support of the local organization that’s working to stomp out animal cruelty.
- November 3: The fifth annual Philadelphia Veterans Parade steps off from Juniper and Market streets Sunday with more than 7,000 participants and 21 Veteran Service Organizations. The procession concludes with a Veterans Festival on Market Street between 4th and 5th streets. 🇺🇸
- November 3: Bartram’s Garden hosts a free Harriet Tubman Legacy Hike in conjunction with the opening of the new biopic about the freedom fighter, Harriet.