What’s new in Philadelphia’s arts and culture scene? – 71Bait

Museums, murals, walks and gardens. Philadelphia has added more to its list of things to do in 2022

Museums, murals, walks and gardens. Philadelphia has added more to its list of things to do in 2022

There’s a Philadelphia for everyone. say the tour guides. More than 50,000 visitors from India travel to the American city every year. After the pandemic, Tourism Economics forecast 34,000 tourists in 2022. Last year, when the pandemic subsided, some special experiences were added to attract more tourists. Robin Bloom, Director of Content, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, says, “The city’s food and beverage scene is booming. Our tourism numbers are increasing and Philadelphia will host World Cup games in 2026.”

Here are four new attractions to check out on your next visit to Philadelphia:

The Neon Museum

The Neon Museum pays homage to the glittering, glowing signs that once adorned the city and is dedicated to a culture long gone. Opened in April 2021, the museum was founded by Len Davidson, who has been designing and manufacturing neon signs for 40 years. He started collecting them from dwindling businesses and even salvaged a few from dumps in various locations.

In the 1950s, animated neon signs announcing events and businesses spread across the United States, with Las Vegas and Philadelphia leading the way. As technology changed, these signs disappeared in the 1990s. But, says Mason Carter, the museum’s outreach coordinator, “Neon is still an integral part of our culture. People associate neon with Las Vegas, but we see a lot of it in Philadelphia, too.” He points out that the city’s culture of small corner shops and corner shops also encouraged neon signs. Mason also explains that trade schools used to teach the skill of bending glass, which is required to shape the signs, and that skilled artists were therefore available. Philadelphia once boasted 80 neon benders, he says, adding that “it’s an art that’s hard to find today.”

Artist Eve Hoyt, who volunteers at the museum each month teaching visitors about glass tube bending techniques, explains, “By educating the public about the history of neon signs, she sparks interest in how they are made. When you see all the signs up close, you appreciate the work that went into making them. Visitors are naturally curious about the process. I encourage them to ask questions about it.”

Adds Carter, “Neon has a strong connection to music, which is a big part of Philadelphia culture. Local clubs wore neon signs. Dobbs, for example, had a big neon D.” The museum is located at 1800 North American Street in Philadelphia and is open on weekends from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. On weekdays it is only open for private visits and tours. A recent special exhibit, All Rock and Revelry, focused on artifacts and the oral history of the alternative music club scene in Philadelphia from the late 1970s through the mid-1980s.

All special exhibits are included in the $10 admission fee.

The Faith and Liberty Discovery Center

The premise is to inspire visitors to explore the relationship between faith and liberty in American history. This technologically immersive, state-of-the-art museum, which opened in June 2021, invites visitors to take a look at six core values ​​- faith, liberty, justice, hope, unity and love – that are common to the Bible’s Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

The lamp experience

An “interactive lamp” guides visitors through exhibits depicting seminal moments in American history. Each visitor receives a small stick, a so-called lamp. The lamp triggers sensors that bring exhibits to life when people walk past them. When visitors find an exhibit that intrigues them, they can use the lamp to touch an illuminated ring-shaped light next to the display. Each lamp comes with a card containing a URL and code that can be used to access the information collected in the museum, even after leaving the museum.

Visitors have the opportunity here to express their opinion on the ideals expressed in the exhibits. They can enter a booth where their thoughts will be recorded via an interactive touchscreen for the museum archive. Video is used extensively and effectively, including a 360-degree theater where visitors learn about William Penn’s commitment to religious freedom in the city and also have face-to-face interactions with life-size videos of people sharing their personal stories of faith and hope. There are also spaces for personal and collective reflection.

The museum is located at 101 N Independence Mall E. and is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission: Adults $10, Youth $8

The Mural Art Tour

The Talented Mr. Trotter: You Can Be Anything © 2022 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Roberto Lugo, The Clay Studio, 1425 North American Street.  Photo by Steve Weinik.

The Talented Mr. Trotter: You Can Be Anything © 2022 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Roberto Lugo, The Clay Studio, 1425 North American Street. Photo by Steve Weinik. | Photo credit: Steve Weinik

Find out why Philadelphia is called the “Mural Capital of the World” with this tour. Featuring over 4,000 works of community-based public art, Mural Arts Philadelphia was established in 1984 as an anti-graffiti program. The latest addition to the collection is artist Roberto Lugo’s The Talented Mr. Trotter: You Can Be Anything, which was unveiled in June 2022. The mural at Clay Studio is inspired by Tariq ‘Black Thought’ Trotter, the rapper and roots frontman. Robert, who works with the Mural Arts’ Education Program, hopes this piece will show neighborhood students that like Trotter, they can do and be anything.

Established in 1984 by former Mayor Wilson Goode, the program aims to rid the city of graffiti in public spaces and encourage artists to produce engaging and communicative works. Wilson appointed Tim Spencer as executive director of the anti-graffiti network and later hired artist Jane Golden to work with the city’s youth. Jane directs the mural making process to create dialogue, build relationships, strengthen communities and inspire local economic revitalization.

The first mural was created in 1989 by the well-known portrait painter Kent Twitchell. The mural entitled Dr. J (Julius Erving), a football legend, at 1234 Ridge Avenue was painted on parachute cloth panels to allow for community participation. Residents were involved to develop murals, and beautiful walls were added to some of the more humble places. A tour of the Mural Arts’ outdoor gallery has become America’s largest public arts program, offering visitors the chance to see some of these murals on guided and self-guided tours by foot, tram, train, or Segway.

A new mobile app is also available from Mural Arts Philadelphia to access 40 murals across Center City. Text MURAL to 215-608-1866 to receive a link to the Mobile Smartphone Tour. This fall, the design of A Leon Higginbotham by artist Shawn Theodore will be unveiled. A tribute to the life and legacy of Philadelphia civil rights pioneer Judge A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. (1928-1998), it will serve as a visible reminder of Judge Higginbotham’s many achievements and also introduce his unique voice of moral leadership to a new generation of citizens .

Longwood Gardens: Bruce Munro’s light installations

Ramandu's Table Longwood Gardens

Ramandu’s Table Longwood Gardens

The famous botanical garden in Chester County, PA, about an hour outside of Philadelphia, features a dramatic light installation that runs throughout October. British artist Bruce Munro returns to Longwood Gardens after debuting 10 years ago with Infinite Imagination Awaits with Light.

A field of 18,000 lightbulbs lights up, stretching across the large and small lake landscape. “Coming back to Longwood felt like coming home,” says Bruce, adding, “Longwood offers a whole range of spaces (indoor and outdoor) for an artist to lose themselves in and let their imagination run wild can. It is a privilege to create in such wonderful places.”

On view Thursday through Sunday evenings through October 30, Light features eight installations spanning interiors and exterior views.

Multisensory exhibits

‘C-Scale’ at the Water Lily Garden is inspired by the iconic giant water lily and audiovisual glimpses are created through a series of colour-changing lights projected across a vast shimmering 14,800 CD lake. “My intention is to create an abstraction of a garden that casts its history in scales of light. As the title of this work, I used “C,” the universal symbol for the speed of light, as a pun for the sea itself,” says Bruce.

In Ramandu’s Table, which lights up a flock of flamingos, Bruce takes some inspiration from CS Lewis, The Voyage of The Dawn Treader. “It is the realization of an adult childhood dream, but also a tribute to the work of American graphic artist Don Featherstone. Don created the iconic plastic pink flamingo that has populated thousands of suburban gardens since the ’50s…” he says.

The concept of Ramandu’s Table is simply to illuminate a flock of white flamingos with an array of ever-changing morning colors, complete with an audio chorus of a flock of flamingos in full song.

The Du Pont estate

Originally established by Pierre du Pont in 1906, Longwood Gardens features more than 9,000 plant species and varieties spread over 1,000 acres of gardens and elaborate horticultural displays. Its outdoor and indoor gardens, fountain shows and picturesque meadows and forests attract visitors from all over the world.

The garden hosts hundreds of events each year, including garden demonstrations, educational programs, children’s activities, concerts, and musical theater.

Sign up for tickets at longwoodgardens.org

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