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FunTimes Magazine

Drink up this January event juice to fuel you

Jan 25, 2023 05:00PM ● By FunTimes Staff

January is flying by like a rocket ship. Your “Dry January” vow is almost over. And you’re in the home stretch with that new exercise kick that includes a diet of more shredded salad than Roger Rabbit can eat. You’ve been good, so far, tossing out those sinful Belgium chocolates that were calling your sweet name. And you visited your parents at least 10 times already. That’s what New Year’s resolutions look like. If any of your resolutions include getting out into the community more often, then we can help with that. Here are some free events in the new year that are waiting for you – guilt-free.

But before venturing out to these in-person activities, please respect the ongoing pandemic safety protocols, and check individual event-attending instructions with the organizers. As a general rule: If you feel unwell, please do not attend in person.


Campaign for Working Families takes the sting out of taxe$

January 27, 2023. Taxes are usually a sore subject. But Campaign for Working Families, Inc. (CWF) brings a positive to a painful reality, especially during tax season, which technically begins now. CWF is a non-profit, based in Philadelphia, helping working low-to-moderate-income families and individuals to achieve economic empowerment. They do it by providing free tax preparation, resource building and asset development in Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey. The group works hard to put money back in your pocket through tax credits like EITC, which maximizes federal and state tax credits impacting those facing poverty, while increasing families’ annual gross income.

Getting the word out, so everyone knows about this program, is important. The EITC is the focus of its annual Earned Income Tax Credit Day event on January 27th.  Under EITC, a family can get $6,728 back on its tax returns. Those who are single with no kids can receive even more. In 2022, CFW helped secure an impressive $47.5 million in various tax refunds.  The backbone of CWF are volunteers who fill a host of key roles: They prepare taxes or assist preparers, greet taxpayers at appointments, assist in a call center and more. Free, 11 a.m. Earned Income Tax Credit Day, CWF’s Center City Tax Site,  1415 N Broad Street/Leon H. Sullivan Building. For more info about EITC Day, volunteering or CWF’s services: 215-454-6483 or

 Poet James-Thiaw

Poetry with purpose

January 28, 2023. Catch up on your Iambic pentameter with Live Poetry Event with Maria James-Thiaw, Anthony Cappo and Ann E. Michael. The accomplished James-Thiaw is the author of Count Each Breath and an award-winning poet, performer and playwright. She has penned four poetry collections; her work has been published in journals and anthologies including Black Lives Have Always Mattered, and Essential Voices: A Covid19 Anthology. Poems from her play, Reclaiming My Time: An American Griot Project earned the Art of Protest Award from Penn State University’s Center for American Literary Studies in 2018. Free, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Fergies Pub, 1214 Sansom St., 215-928-8118 or Event Website.


ENAensemble’s Serial Opera Project is celestial

January 25, 2023. ENAensemble presents its second Serial Opera Project, a multi-month performance of a new chamber opera written by three composer-librettist teams focusing on the theme of “the celestial.” Sounds heavenly! Each performance will feature a premiere of the next part of the opera, as well as selected chamber works and a song for voice and one instrument as part of ENAensemble’s New Song Series. Got all of that? Free, 4:45 p.m. to 7 p.m., Parkway Central Library (Music Dept.), 1901 Vine St., 215-686-5316 or e-mail: [email protected] or

Courtesy of Bryan Collier, from his book I, Too, Am America by Langston Hughes & Bryan Collier

The stories & history of Black Lives Matter movement

Free Library of Philadelphia staffers have compiled a list of 40 organizations and initiatives (with website links) featuring books, films, educational resources, organizations, blog posts, historical documents and images to provide context and connections to #BlackLivesMatter. 

The pivotal movement occurred in 2013 in response to a jury’s decision to acquit the armed civilian who murdered teen Trayvon Martin. Though activists and organizers have resisted the long history of police violence against Blacks in the United States since the first police force formed in the 1830s, the police killings in 2014 and 2015 of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Laquan McDonald, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland and Philando Castile spurred an unprecedented #BlackLivesMatter’s international movement against police brutality. Following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, the 2020 #BlackLivesMatter protests evolved into the U.S.’s largest social movements, with millions of people expressing themselves, highlighting systemic racism, White supremacy and anti-Black violence. Free. Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St.,1-833-825-5357 or