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Philadelphia Festivals: Children's Festival, PIFA, Science Festival

April 5, 2011, Volume 57, No. 28

Philadelphia will host three major festivals this month, beginning with the perennial Philadelphia International Children’s Festival, April 7-9 and two newcomers: The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, April 7-May 1 and The Philadelphia Science Festival, April 15-28.

Philadelphia International Children’s Festival


The 27th annual Philadelphia International Children’s Festival, April 7-9, will feature family-friendly music, theatre and dance performances, as well as a host of fun and interactive activities in the Fun Zone including crafts, face painting, jugglers and more. For tickets and performance information, visit: www.annenbergcenter.org/tickets/childfest.php

Performances Include:

ScrapArtsMusic; performance group that plays music with over 140 creatively recycled instruments.

Thirza Defoe; Native American storytelling, dancing and music.

Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble; Sixteen young dancers perform short ballet performances and excerpts.

Jack Golden: Water, Water Everywhere: A Splashy Look at Our Most Precious Resource; Golden’s comic character Brook Rivers teaches ways that children can prevent water pollution with mime, comedy, song and circus skills.

Jack Golden: Garbage is My Bag; “Garbology” professor Dr. T shares circus tricks while sharing his knowledge about recycling.

John Lithgow; the actor shares songs from his Grammy®-nominated album The Sunny Side of the Street; April 9, noon and 4 p.m.

Free to ticketholders, the FunZone on the outdoor plaza offers facepainting, crafts, an appearance by the Phillie Phanatic (April 9 at noon) and its own schedule of performances including the Give and Take Jugglers and Steve Pullara and His Cool Beans Band.

Recommended for children ages 8 and up, ScrapArtsMusic’s performers play instruments crafted from salvaged and recycled junk, such as the Annoy-O-Phone made from a dishwasher hose, bagpipe reeds and a balloon; April 7, 8 and 9 at the Annenberg Center’s Zellerbach Theatre. 


Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts

Inspired by the creative energy of Paris at the turn of the 20th century, the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts will take place from April 7-May 1 in locations all over the city. This month-long festival of artistic expression and creativity features over 135 events, 140 arts partners and 1,500 artists celebrating music, dance, fashion, fine arts, poetry, cuisine and more.

Penn sponsors include the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, ICA, International House, Kelly Writers House, Penn Humanities Forum, Slought Foundation, World Cafe Live and WXPN.  Penn events are listed below; for the full event calendar, visit: http://pifa.org/

Now J’entends Les Trains Depuis Toujours/I Keep Hearing the Trains For Ever; video art by Tania Mouraud; Slought Foundation. Through April 19.

7 This is to Say: A Stein Salon; salon event in the spirit of Gertrude Stein’s famed Paris salons will feature an appearance by “Gertrude Stein” and a “reading in the round” of Tender Buttons; 6 p.m.; Kelly Writers House. 

Basil Twist’s Petrushka; Russian pianists perform a piano version of Stravinsky’s masterpiece and nine hidden puppeteers combine Czech and Japanese puppetry traditions; 10 a.m., Annenberg Center; visit www.annenbergcenter.org. Through May 1.

13 Puppets: The Original Avatars; roundtable discussion with Robert Smythe, Mum Puppettheatre; Martin Robinson, Sesame Street and Eileen Blumenthal, author of Puppetry and Puppets: An Illustrated World Survey; 5 p.m.; Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall.

14 Wave Upon Wave; concert program with composer Gene Coleman and Ensemble N_JP that explores the waves of influence between Western and Japanese culture; 8 p.m.; Ibrahim Theatre, International House; $20, $15/seniors, $10/students.

15 Trade Winds From Japan; the connections between the music of Claude Debussy and the music of the next several generations of Japanese composers, in a collaborative “mini-festival” with Gene Coleman and Ensemble N_JP; 8 p.m. Ibrahim Theatre, International House; $20, $15/seniors, $10/students.

16 Independent Artist Movement in Cinematography; screening of 7 experimental shorts; 5 p.m.; Ibrahim Theatre, International House; $8, $6/students.

Limite; Mario Peixoto’s Brazilian classic film inspired by a photograph by Andre Kertesz; 7:30 p.m.; Ibrahim Theatre, International House; $8, $6/students.

23  Le Bateau Lavoir; daylong immersion in the arts, inspired by “The Laundry Boat,” the bohemian enclave of Paris; noon-8 p.m.; ICA.

Philadelphia Science Festival

The University of Pennsylvania will help spearhead the launch of an innovative 2-week initiative to showcase the region’s strengths in science, engineering, and technology. Known as the Philadelphia Science Festival and involving more than 20 other partner organizations, the city-wide event will include an extensive line up of programs and exhibitions with one goal: to make science programming exciting and accessible. The Festival is being led locally by the Franklin Institute and is funded by a 3-year grant from the National Science Foundation. Below is a list of Penn events; for a complete list of all Science Festival events, visit www.philasciencefestival.org

16 Science Carnival Booth; visitors can learn about the Penn Museum’s mummies, witness interactive displays and participate in a science project; 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Science Carnival, Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

17 Genetic Perspectives on the Tarim Basin Mummies; Spencer Wells, National Geographic; 2 p.m.; Penn Museum; $5, free/students.

18 Silk Road Spring Break Adventure Camp; interactive lectures, cooking, crafting, storytelling and more for ages 7-13; 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Penn Museum; $55/day. Through April 29.

20 Infusing Global Education into Math and Science Curriculum—A Philadelphia Science Festival Educators Workshop; 5 p.m.; Classroom 2, Penn Museum; RSVP: jreif@upenn.edu

It’s Personal: The Fight Against Cancer; Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of Emperor of all Maladies; 7 p.m.; Wistar Institute; RSVP: (215) 898-3930.

Phillies Science Day at the Ballpark; Penn Museum will host a mummy booth to see what happens when you mummify a hotdog; 1:05 p.m.; Citizens Bank Park.

21 Astronomy Night: Picturing the Universe; Penn astronomers guide a night of star-gazing; 8:30 p.m.; Observatory, David Rittenhouse Laboratory.

26 Custom-Made Medicine: Is There a Future for Personalized Therapies?; Garret FitzGerald, pharmacology; 5:30 p.m.; Translational Research Center; RSVP: (215) 349-5658.

27 Maitotoxin: An Inspiration for Synthesis; symposium honoring K. C. Nicolaou, Benjamin Franklin Medalist in Chemistry; 8 a.m.; Chemistry Building.

Mixing Phenomena in Particle Physics; Symposium in Memory of Nicola Cabibbo, Benjamin Franklin Medalist in Physics; 9 a.m.; David Rittenhouse Laboratory.

GET (Genomes Environment Traits) Conference 2011; Symposium honoring George M. Church, Bower Award Winner for Achievement in Science; 10 a.m.; Translational Research Center.

Molecular Perspectives on Biogeochemistry and Bioremediation; symposium honoring Jillian Banfield, Benjamin Franklin Medalist in Earth and Environmental Science; 1:30 p.m.; Towne Building.


Almanac - April 5, 2011, Volume 57, No. 28