Documentary & Dialogue series of the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival
The fall portion of the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival ran Nov. 5-19, and it was a huge success. But the festival includes another component: the popular Documentary & Dialogue series, which is taking place for five consecutive Monday evenings from Jan. 9 to Feb. 6. This year the series, which screens independent documentaries from all over the world, will premiere at the Prince Music Theater. Speakers, including directors, authors, scholars and sometimes the subjects themselves, enhance the screenings with spirited and lively discussions. Visit the Gershman Y’s website for a full list of film showings.
Prince Music Theater at 1412 Chestnut St.
Mondays, Jan. 9 through Feb. 16, 7 p.m.
$10 general admission; $9 for students
Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
The National Museum of American Jewish History will be open and free with family-friendly activities for Dr. King’s birthday. Join in celebrating the legacy of this American icon on his special day. Activities include self-guided tours highlighting artifacts related to the struggle for civil rights and a special screening of episodes of “Eyes on the Prize,” a TV series documenting interviews and historical footage during the civil rights movement, in the Dell Theater. In partnership with the Fleisher Art Memorial, a freedom-themed watercolor project will take place for children ages 5 and up, and customized interactive exhibits will be open to engage participants in discussions about Dr. King.
The National Museum of American Jewish History at 101 S. Independence Mall East
Monday, Jan. 16, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
National Constitution Center Celebrates M.L.K. Day
In honor of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., the National Constitution Center will participate in the citywide celebration on Monday, Jan. 16. Visitors of all ages can enjoy musical and dramatic performances and special craft activities. The International Opera Theater will present a selection from their recently developed opera about diversity at 3 p.m. in the F.M. Kirby Auditorium. Volunteers can register in advance at www.mlkdayofservice.org to participate in service projects at the Center. For more information about the diversity opera, visit internationaloperatheater.org/iot. At 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the F.M. Kirby Auditorium, visitors can take part in a sing-along concert with “Two of a Kind,” an award-winning, nationally touring husband-wife duo who specialize in interactive musical programs for children. The performance will focus on themes related to Martin Luther King Jr. through songs, sign language, movement and stories, all with an emphasis on interaction and participation. In the spirit of Dr. King, visitors can also participate in a quilting and sewing service project for the Women Against Abuse shelter. Participants will learn how quilting has brought communities together throughout history. In addition, local actors and students from local colleges will read aloud Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech at noon. Children will also have the opportunity to make special crafts, including a “Hands across the World” chain and “I Have a Dream” mobiles.
National Constitution Center at 525 Arch St.
Monday, Jan. 16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Zoe Strauss: Ten Years
Zoe Strauss, a Philadelphia photographer with a growing international reputation, is the subject of a major exhibition that opens on Jan. 14 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Zoe Strauss: Ten Years is a mid-career retrospective of this acclaimed artist’s work, representing the first critical assessment of her decadelong project to exhibit annually in a public space beneath Interstate-95 in South Philadelphia. The exhibition will include 170 prints and a selection of artist-created slideshows, one of which will be projected on the Museum’s exterior façade during the exhibition’s opening week. Additional images by the artist will be displayed on over 50 billboards located throughout the city from Manayunk to West Philadelphia and from Northeast Philadelphia to I-95 South, extending the reach of the exhibition into many of the neighborhoods where Strauss has worked and from which she continues to draw inspiration.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art at 26th St. and Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Saturday, Jan. 14 through April 22
The Civilians: In the Footprint: The Battle Over Atlantic Yards
The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts’ long-lauded tradition of bringing world-renowned theater companies to Philadelphia audiences takes a new spin this winter with the Philadelphia premiere of the docu-musical “In the Footprint: The Battle Over Atlantic Yards” by The Civilians. This piece of investigative theater heralded by The New York Times as “fresh, inventive and entertaining” is sure to engage and impassion audience members with its relevant and current tale of a development mega-project with a chain-like and oft inadvertent effect on a neighborhood. Written and directed by Steven Cosson with music and lyrics by Michael Friedman, “In the Footprint” chronicles the largest development project in Brooklyn’s history, from the politically charged debates between developers and residents through to the present-day happenings. Featuring adapted, real-life accounts from major players in the battle, the docu-drama musical addresses issues of race, class, gender, urban planning, community and economics, all with a cutting-edge and tongue-in-cheek disposition. In a flourish of dialogue and music, “In the Footprint” is what New York Magazine calls “social theater at its best.”
Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at 3680 Walnut St.
Wednesday, Jan. 18 through Saturday, Jan. 28