August is off and running…Aug 15, 2023 04:00PM ● By FunTimes Staff
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto
FunTimes Magazine ‘Culture & Entertainment’ column, Week of August 14, 2023
August is a bit off….off the hook, off the charts, and the chain. From movie nights to community days, get into the summer swing with these free or low-cost community events in the Philadelphia area.
FunTimes’ event highlights mental-health awareness
Friday, August 25, 2023. It’s a community block party of sorts. FunTimes is teaming up with the offices of Pennsylvania State Rep. Joanna McClinton and Philadelphia City Councilwoman Jamie Gauthier to host a family community event to raise awareness about mental health resources and services that are available through the new 988 national crisis hotline. FunTimes is committed to promoting wellness in communities of color where the growing mental-health crisis hits hardest. The key message is that Hope has a number: 988. Meet State Rep. McClinton and Councilwoman Gauthier. Find out about helpful local government and neighborhood services including mental health information and giveaways at the event’s FunTimes community table. Also, get free back-to-school supplies. Job seekers can bring resumes and connect with potential employers. Free, 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST. Near 149 S. 60th St. on the block between Walnut and Chestnut streets in West Philadelphia. E-mail: [email protected] or funtimesmagazine.com.
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The art of jazz
Thursday, August 17, 2023. Art and jazz jam together naturally like a leaf to a tree. The union also inspires creations like the Ubuntu Fine Arts Jazz Series. Established by Germantown photographer Steven CW Taylor who has traveled the world capturing the images of the BIOPIC, the event focuses on the marriage of Taylor’s images with the soul-stirring jazz of the Khadijah Renee Trio. $30, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST. Ubuntu Fine Arts, 5425 Germantown Ave. eventbrite.com.
Be on your game at ‘FAMILY FUN DAY’
Friday, August 18, 2023. It is all fun and games when Laurel Hill Mansion teams up with After School Activities Partnerships for FAMILY FUN DAY featuring ASAP Chess and Scrabble at beautiful Laurel Hill Mansion. It’s for both experienced game players and beginners, who will be availed to Instructors to teach them the ropes. Managed by the nonprofit Women for Greater Philadelphia, Laurel Hill Mansion is historical, built around 1767, in Fairmount Park. Enjoy scenic views and great spots to play board games. Bring your lunch. Game boards provided, free entry and parking, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST. Laurel Hill Mansion, 3487 Edgley Dr. Register: www.laurelhillmansion.org/fun.html, or e-mail: [email protected] or 215-235-1776.
A half-century of Hip Hop history
Friday, August 18, 2023. Tune into WXPN radio’s Culture Cypher Radio program hosted by John Morrison if your jam is Hip Hop. It’s part of Hip Hop 50, which digs deep into the history of the genre. Immerse yourself into the first decade through live recordings, 70s funk records, and cool breakbeats that were played at hip-hop’s birth in the Bronx in New York City in August 1973. That’s when DJ Kool Herc scratched his magic on the turntable complemented by amplifiers and towering speakers while playing a mix of funk and soul. It was the start of something big that led to the introduction of commercial rap records released from 1979 to 1983. Reminisce to “groundbreaking beats, cultural revolutions, and artistic evolution.” Check out the raw music and stories of the urban genre. Free, 4:30 p.m. WXPN 88.5 FM (public radio in Philadelphia), xpn.org.
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Movies on the lawn
Saturday, August 19, 2023. If you like films with plenty of music and cool hip-swiveling dance moves, well, “Save the Last Dance” for your must-see movie-going list. It stars Julia Stiles, Sean Patrick Thomas, and Kerry Washington. It’s about a white aspiring dancer, Sara, who transfers to a mostly-Black high school after moving in with her estranged father. She soon enters into an interracial relationship with Derek. For the rest of the flick, you have to go and see for yourself. It’s part of The Lawn at Ucity Square’s latest outdoor monthly movie series. Free (including a snack) but pre-register, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST. Bring chairs, blankets, snacks, and drinks. The Lawn at uCity Square, 37th and Filbert Sts., thelawnphl.com/events.
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Sax in the city
Saturday, August 19, 2023. Check out Ikechi Onyenaka in concert. He’s a 26-year-old American jazz-neo soul saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and recording artist from Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. And Onyenaka is on the rise on the Philly music scene. Through tight saxophone and piano melodies, Onyenaka truly has created his lane with his inspiring debut ‘The City Dreams EP’ – a collection of modern jazz selections. Join Onyenaka and his band for a night of riveting music. $5, 9:30 p.m. EST., TIME, 1315 Sansom St., 215-985-4800 or patch.com
The Sonny side of the street
Saturday, August 19, 2023. The late R. Sonny Driver was one of a kind, the patriarch of the community newspaper business in Philadelphia. For 57 years, the founder and publisher of SCOOP U.S.A. weekly opened the doors of opportunity for many Black journalists and was a community champion with passion, persistence, and purpose. In the early 2000s, he stood tall in a City Streets Department bucket truck with then-Mayor John Street, as a draped sign was uncovered on West River Drive, which was renamed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. That was Sonny’s doing. Philly had been one of the few cities in the U.S. with no official main street paying tribute to King. Sonny, who died in 2018 at age 91, later would get his street renamed after him when Watts Street and Girard Avenue in North Philadelphia were renamed in his honor. In death. his imprint sparkles like a rare diamond. One example is Sonny Driver Community Day organized by his successor, SCOOP’s dedicated publisher Sherri Darden, who keeps the light of Sonny’s legacy and mission burning brightly. Sonny Driver Community Day will be an afternoon of family fun, food, and community resources in honor of a man who made a difference. Free, noon to 6 p.m. Richard “Sonny” Driver Drive/ 900 block of Watts St., scoopusamedia.com.
Wednesday, August 16, 2023. Story host Cara Bongiorno puts the pop in PHILLY HISTORY POP-UPS. Her next history storytelling adventure is Lafayette, a familiar name in history – the Marquis de Lafayette – a French aristocrat and military officer. But his impact on the development of the United States “holds layers of surprise and inspiration.” Here’s the back story: In defiance of the King's orders, Lafayette sailed for America to volunteer in the U.S. Continental Army, led by General George Washington, to fight against England in the American Revolution in 1777. PHILLY HISTORY POP UPS are entertaining presentations about little-known stories connected to people, places, or historic events in Philadelphia venues that are accessible and still standing today. Free, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. EST. Corinthian Gardens, 2198 Brown St., near Eastern State Penitentiary. https://linktr.ee/phillycara or e-mail: [email protected].
This workshop is comical…
August 18, 20 & 21, 2023. If you’re fond of graphic novels and comics, check out the virtual workshop Storytelling through Cartoons: Exploring the World of Animated Art with Art Sphere. Led by Riya Rao, the session helps bring your personal stories to life. Explore storytelling methods such as thumbnailing, closure, and word balloons. Learn to craft your six-panel comic creation “inspired by a personal experience.” Free, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EST. Register: artsphere.org.
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