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FunTimes Magazine

February Finale & A Peek Inside March

Feb 27, 2024 12:00PM ● By FunTimes Staff

Tissarose Floral’s, 2024 Flower Show display. Photo courtesy of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Spring is budding around the corner, teasing us with the promise and warmth of a new season. The opening of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Philadelphia Flower Show on March 2nd -- the sure first sign of the season -- and other local events are in blossom. Check out these engaging discussions on heart health and dance as well as music tributes, plays, and exhibits focusing on art and book printers. And don’t forget: When event-going, please take precautions, especially when in groups and indoors, with the current COVID variants and other infectious health threats on the rise. Check with the event organizers about their safety protocols, and also any changes due to inclement weather. 


Photo courtesy of Jefferson Health

Circulate in February

Wednesday, February 28, 2024. February is American Heart Month in the United States. The American Heart Association reports that more than half of all African Americans have high blood pressure. Learn how to manage it at the Hypertension – Treat it Like a Lady Panel Discussion. Free, 7 p.m. EST to 8:30 p.m. EST. Also, check out circulation screenings. Peripheral artery disease is a common circulation problem. Get into the flow and reduce your risk by getting a quick and easy circulation test. An ounce of prevention works wonders. 1 p.m. EST to 3 p.m. EST. Registration required. Temple Health/Frazier Family Coalition for Stroke Education and Prevention, 1300 W. Lehigh Ave. 215-707-3555 or


Get a read on the books

Through Thursday, February 29, 2024. Exhibition: Black Book Makers & Beyond celebrates the roots of African American literature and book-making through books, newspapers, and other printed materials in the collection of the Free Library of Philadelphia, the United States’ first library. Despite many obstacles to literacy, African Americans have been an integral part of the book industry since the founding of the Americas. They have been pivotal as writers, printers, typesetters, mechanics, bookbinders, booksellers, entrepreneurs, and collectors. Many of their contributions are untold and unheralded; this enlightening exhibit introduces “traces of their work.” Free, Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. EST to 9 p.m., EST; Friday, 9 a.m. EST to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. EST to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 1 p.m. EST to 5 p.m. EST. Parkway Central Library/ 2nd floor. 1901 Vine St. 215-686-5402 or


Dowell paints the picture of spiritualism & injustice 

Through Friday, March 1, 2024. The Free Library of Philadelphia will present The Art and Influence of John Dowell: An Exhibition -- a remarkable assembly of Philly artist John Dowell Jr.’s canvas, ceramic, and print works. The nationally-known painter’s artwork can be seen in more than 70 permanent public and museum collections worldwide including at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Smithsonian American Art Museum. As a printmaker, etcher, lithographer, and painter for more than 40 years, his prints, paintings, and photographs have been featured in 50 one-person exhibitions. Dowell is a Professor Emeritus of Printmaking at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. His art often is made up of abstract visual representations of poetry and music. Inspired by the struggles of his childhood while growing up in public housing, many of his pieces focus on spiritualism, racial tensions, and injustices. The exhibit is on two floors of the Parkway Central Library. The Dietrich Gallery on the third floor features prints and photographs from John Dowell’s life as an artist and teacher; it includes works by his Temple University art students. The Special Collections Gallery on the library’s second floor features artwork that Dowell donated to the Free Library. Free. Mondays to Thursday, 9 a.m. EST to 9 p.m. EST; Friday until 6 p.m. EST; Saturday to 5 p.m. EST and Sunday, 1 p.m. EST to 5 p.m. EST. Parkway Central, 1901 Vine St.1-833-825-5357 or


Art and music showcases help artists

Saturday, March 2, 2024. Enjoy a live performance of original songs by Philadelphia’s rising rapper, Will Ellsworth. Also, check out an interactive pop-up art gallery, a Polaroid photo booth, and free snacks and beverages. Hosted by the People’s Gallery Project is an Occupational Therapy, this concert and other performances, which are held monthly, highlight the work of marginalized artists, poets, and other creatives. All profits benefit the participating artists to help them achieve professional and financial independence. Entire event: 6 p.m. EST to 9 p.m. EST (performances: 7 p.m. EST to 8:30 p.m. EST.)  Bodhi, 410 South 2nd St. or


Petal Power

Sunday, March 3, 2024. Check out Fun for the Family at Kids Cocoon and Family Frolic at the Philadelphia Flower Show. Enjoy activities including face painting, giveaways, mascot visits; planting a seedling, reading a story, and buying a Flower Show-themed coloring book designed by local artists. Participate in Family Folic with the purchase of a Flower Show ticket. The Flower Show will be on Saturday, March 2 to Sunday, March 10, 2024. The Flower Show has been in bloom for 195 years, as the United States’ largest and longest-standing horticultural event. Go explore the colorful displays of flowers, greenery, gardens, plant competitions, home-crafts decor, and inspiring exhibits. The theme is "United by Flowers." Flower Show tickets start at $29.99. Family Frolic activities: 10 a.m. EST to 3 p.m. EST. Overall Flower Show times: 10 a.m. EST to 8 p.m. EST daily; 10 a.m. EST to 6 p.m. EST on final day, March 10. Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch St.  215-988-8800 or

Photo by Dario Calmese Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Honoring the vision of Alvin Ailey’s The River 


Thursday, March 7, 2024. The African American Museum in Philadelphia and Philadelphia Ballet will honor American dance icon Alvin Ailey with The River Revisited -- a day of dance, music, and discussion. The event is inspired by choreographer Ailey’s pioneering work, The River, which was established in 1970 featuring Duke Ellington’s original score. It blends classical ballet, modern dance, and jazz all in one cohesive performance. The River Revisited will spotlight a private dance master class by Alvin Ailey and Dance Theater of Harlem alumni, a musical performance by the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts, and a discussion by dance and music historians. The panelists will take a deep dive into The River examining its impact on contemporary ballet companies, and will celebrate the contributions of Alvin Ailey, a pioneer of programs promoting arts in education benefitting underserved communities. The panelists will include Philadelphia Ballet Artistic Director Angel Corella, former Alvin Ailey Dancer Antonio Douthit-Boyd, former Associate Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey Chaya Masazumi, and music historian Guthrie Ramsey, Jr. The panel will be moderated by Sylvia Waters, former Artistic Director of Ailey II. The event will be a warm-up for the March 14th start of Philadelphia Ballet’s signature performances, Dance Masterpieces, which will include Ailey’s The River, at the Academy of Music. Before the panel discussion, join a 5 p.m. EST reception and performance of Ellington’s music by the Clef Club Ambassador’s Ensemble. Register in advance, $20, 5 p.m. EST to 7 p.m. EST. African American Museum in Philadelphia. 215-574-0380 or or or The River Revisited.

Actors Sharae Moultrie & Matt Manuel. Photo by Evan Zimmerman for Murphy made

Girl From ‘The North Country’ comes east to Philly

Through Sunday, March 10, 2024. Bob Dylan’s 1965 “Like a Rolling Stone '' never sounded so fresh as it is in the new Girl From The North Country, the Tony Award-winning musical written and directed by playwright Conor McPherson. The song was the turning point for Dylan, who wanted to quit the music business before his famous song was released. Fast forward to nearly six decades later, and a play was born from the music of a once-uncertain Dylan. It will feature Simon Hale’s Tony Award-winning orchestrations that seamlessly convert 20 of Dylan’s songs to the theatrical stage. The setting is Dylan’s birthplace, Duluth, Minnesota, in 1934 when, as fate would have it, the lives of a group of travelers converge in an energetic music-filled guesthouse. Times vary, tickets start at $44.30. Recommended for ages 12 and older. Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut St. 215-893-1999 or