Briefs: April 19, 2022


Activities at Academy of Natural Sciences

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, is hosting several current and upcoming exhibits.

Extreme Deep: Mission to the Abyss will run from through July 24.

Invisible World of Water runs through May 1.

Sea Change is running indefinitely.

The Earth Day Festival on April 22 will take place from 4–8 p.m. and admission will be pay-what-you-wish. Visitors can celebrate life on Earth and the systems that support it with a night of fun and interesting science programming, conservation conversations and craft beer.

Access to Science Earth Day Celebration is scheduled for Saturday, April 30, from 9 to 11 a.m. Visitors on the autism spectrum and their families are invited to experience the museum before the crowds. Guests can visit the dinosaurs, dioramas and all the other exhibits at their own pace. Enjoy some quiet time with Academy educators to learn more about water conservation and how you can make the world a cleaner, greener place. Free with registration; to register, call 215-299-1060 or email For more details, visit

Kids Club: Take Action is set for Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to noon. At 10:45 a.m. authors will read their new book, Coco’s Fire: Changing Climate Anxiety into Climate Action. The reading will be followed by a discussion. The event is designed for ages 6–10. Register at

A Junior Scientist Workshop: What’s So Mighty About a Diatom? will take place on Saturday, May 14, from 10 a.m. to noon. Discover how diatoms have inspired scientists to invent special tools and create art, then take home your own daring diatom design. Designed for grades 3–5. For more information, fee and to register, visit

The River Feeds Back, going from June 1 to Oct. 16, is an immersive sound installation created by artists Annea Lockwood and Liz Phillips. The exhibit brings visitors into the deep sonic environment of the Schuylkill River watershed through recordings and a layered sound map that captures glimpses of the river system including the life of aquatic insects, eels, fish and swirling currents.

Ocean Bound will run from Aug. 20 to Jan. 15, 2023.

‘A Sustainable Marketplace’ at Cherry Street Pier

A vendor market curated by Feminist Flea Market and Grant Blvd will highlight local artists while raising money for Urban Creators. 

The event, called “A Sustainable Marketplace,” will be held on April 23, from noon to 7 p.m. at the Cherry Street Pier on North Columbus Boulevard and will highlight more than 40 local vendors.

Admission is $5 and proceeds from the market will support The Urban Creators, a platform for radical and collaborative imagination that has used food, art, and education to nurture resilience and self-determination in North Central Philadelphia since 2010.

Vendors at this sustainability-focused market will feature plant-dyed natural fibers, handmade paper, repurposed thrift store finds and more. These makers are reimagining what sustainability means for their craft — from process to product. As with other Feminist Flea events, A Sustainable Marketplace is by and for artists and makers “marginalized” for their gender, especially trans, non-binary and gender non-confirming people. Vendors who are Black, indigenous and “people of color” are prioritized.

Learn more about the market and vendors at

Insomnia Cookies turns 1

Insomnia Cookies will celebrate its first birthday with a week-long bash with limited-edition treats and giveaways.

Located at 833 Wharton St., Insomnia’s CookieLab’s week of festivities will begin on April 25 through May 3 or until supplies last.

Guests can try limited-edition birthday specials including Birthday Cake Milkshakes, Dirt Pudding Cookies and Milkshakes, Confetti Cheesecake Cookies, Cake Batter Cookies and the CookieLab Birthday Pack.

Insomnia will also be running a giveaway for one person to win a 10-person birthday party catered at the CookieLab. For more info, visit

Volunteer to plant a tree

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society will host a tree-planting event through April 24 throughout the Greater Philadelphia area.

In celebration of Earth Day, PHS plans to plant 1,500 trees and interested volunteers can register to help out with the effort.

To sign up, or to find a list of participating locations, visit

Scanlon launches Congressional Art Competition

Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon is accepting submissions for the 40th Annual Congressional Art Competition, open to students, grades 9-12, who reside in Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District.

Participating students are offered an opportunity to highlight their talent and the winner will have their original artwork displayed in the United States Capitol for an entire year. 

Artwork can be submitted in person at Scanlon’s district office at 2501 Seaport Drive, BH230 in Chester during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or mailed. Submissions will be accepted through April 29. 

“Art is a powerful platform for free expression and can be a moving source of hope and inspiration,” said Scanlon. “Each year, I look forward to this opportunity to view our community through the eyes of our student constituents.”

Artwork must be two-dimensional. Each framed artwork can be no larger than 26 inches high, 26 inches wide and 4 inches deep. Winning artwork must be framed.

Artwork mediums include paintings, drawings, collages, prints, mixed media, photographs and computer-generated art. 

For more information, visit the Scholastic website at

The 5th Congressional District includes areas in South Philly that are south of West Passyunk Avenue on the west side of Broad Street, south of Tasker Street between Broad and 11th Street, and south of Mifflin Street east of 11th Street.

‘Today is My Birthday’ to show at Theatre Exile

Theatre Exile will open a new show on April 28 called “Today is My Birthday” by Susan Soon He Stanton.

Today is My Birthday is an eccentric comedy by award-winning screenwriter and playwright Susan Soon He Stanton that follows an out-of-work journalist named Emily, who returns home to Hawaii after her life in New York City falls apart. Feeling unfulfilled, Emily creates an alter-ego for a radio dating show in a desperate attempt to turn fantasy into reality. Told through a unique blend of live radio broadcasts, voicemails and phone calls, this topical and adventurous show highlights Emily attempting to break free from her self-imposed isolation. 

The show runs through May 22 at Theatre Exile at 1340 S. 13th St.

Apply for scholarship contest

Ardent Credit Union, which has a branch in the Navy Yard, is accepting applications for its annual scholarship contest. The member-owned financial cooperative is awarding $1,000 scholarships to 12 students pursuing undergraduate degrees beginning this fall. This is the first year that applicants will submit videos instead of essays.

To apply, candidates are asked to create a “viral-worthy” video demonstrating why they should be awarded an Ardent scholarship. This includes highlighting academic accomplishments, personal stories, community involvement and athletic and extracurricular activities. All videos must be submitted by May 6, and winners will be notified at the end of May.

Qualified applicants must be members of Ardent and either a current high school senior or a 2021 high school graduate who has been accepted to an accredited two- or four-year college, university, technical, trade or business school for the fall. Students who are not yet Ardent members, but are eligible for membership, can join before applying for the scholarship. Ardent is asking that each video be between 30 seconds and two minutes in length, while excluding any logos or copyrighted material to include music.

More information about the scholarships and the application process can be found at

Flower show tickets available

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society announced that tickets are on sale for the Philadelphia Flower Show.

The theme is In Full Bloom. The show will take place at Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park, 1500 Pattison Ave., from Saturday, June 11, through Sunday, June 19.

For tickets, go to

Paint & Sip for a good cause

Programs Employing People Services will host its first Paint & Sip Party Fundraiser on Sunday, May 22, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at PEP Services’ great room, 1200 S. Broad St. Buy tickets at the door for $35. Painting supplies will be provided. The event is BYOB. Proceeds benefit PEP’s services for the disabled. To reserve your seat, call 215-389-4006 or visit https://www.signupgenius.

Sign up for 68-plus softball

Philadelphia Senior Softball League needs players for its 68 and over league. The season starts Monday May 2. There will be 27 games, along with playoffs. Games are played Mondays and Fridays at 10 a.m. at Crispin Field, Holme and Convent avenues. For more information, call Marty King at 215-698-0009. 

Free trees to plant at home

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and Fairmount Park Conservancy will offer up to 850 Philadelphia residents the opportunity to receive a free tree to plant at home this fall through the TreePhilly program. Trees will be available for all city residents through two regional pick-up events and through a door-to-door delivery service for those unable to pick up a tree. 

Registration for trees opens on a rolling basis at Regional pick-up events will take place on April 23 at Awbury Arboretum in collaboration with Philly Forests and May 14 at Frankford Boat Launch in collaboration with Riverfront North. Trees are available while supplies last and pre-registration is highly encouraged. Trees must be planted in the ground on private property in the city of Philadelphia. Delivery is reserved for residents in high-risk populations and those unable to pick up a tree in their car. Tree species offered are selected to meet resident needs and desires and withstand the changing climate. The spring offerings include large shade trees alongside flowering magnolias and trees that provide fruit and medicinal products.

Evans secures $1 million in federal funding for Mann Center 

Congressman Dwight Evans (D-3rd dist.) highlighted $1 million in federal funding he secured for the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, joined by officials of the center.

“I was pleased to designate this $1 million in federal funding for the Mann Center, a major cultural and economic driver in Philadelphia, in the government funding bill that President Biden recently signed into law,” Evans said. “This will go toward the first phase of the Mann’s master plan for campus improvements, helping to support over 550 jobs during construction and creating 35 additional jobs long-term.”

Planned activities in the first phase are expected to include pavilion restoration, electrical grid expansion, rainwater management, installation of a second permanent Skyline Stage, and renovating the Plaza to increase revenue generation.

The Mann Center drives over $50.4 million in local economic impact and typically brings a total of 564 full-time and seasonal jobs and $2.3 million in tax revenue to the city. The center strives to embody Philadelphia’s diversity, with 58 percent artists of color and 45 percent minority-owned businesses and women-owned businesses in its procurement. It also serves nearly 30,000 Philadelphia students through free music education and arts programming, with a focus on serving the neighboring Parkside community.

“The Mann is a cultural treasure for the City of Philadelphia and a destination not only for world-class music and performing arts but also for enriching educational and community engagement, especially for those who live in our neighborhood. These federal funds are critical to helping us realize our vision of continuing to elevate audience, artist, and community experiences on our beautiful Fairmount Park campus while also creating meaningful job opportunities,” said Catherine M. Cahill, president and CEO of the Mann. “We are incredibly grateful to Congressman Evans for his foresight to include the Mann in this funding bill and for his acknowledgement of the central role we play for the city as one of its leading cultural institutions.”

1970 Goretti reunion rescheduled for Sunday

St. Maria Goretti Class of 1970’s 50 (+2) reunion will be held on April 24. Postponed because of COVID, it will be a celebration of those born in 1952 who will also turn Classy 70 this year. The event is from 1-5 p.m. with a 12:30 p.m. check-in at Penns Landing Caterers at 1301 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd. For more information, check the Facebook page: St Maria Goretti Class of 1970 Philadelphia PA. Send contact information to to ensure you receive an invitation.

Toomey wants Ireland part of work visa program

U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey and Dick Durbin introduced bipartisan legislation to add Ireland to the E-3 non-immigrant visa program. The bill would allow Irish nationals annual access to any unused E-3 visas from the previous fiscal year. In exchange, Ireland intends to provide Americans expanded access to work visas in Ireland.

“The United States has long benefited from people coming here to work hard and contribute to our economy,” Toomey said. “With this legislation, highly skilled Irish workers can apply for the E-3 nonimmigrant visa program to continue this tradition. I appreciate Sen. Durbin working with me on this bipartisan immigration bill, which will strengthen America’s relationship with Ireland.”

The E-3 treaty professional visa is a temporary work visa currently limited to citizens of Australia. Up to 10,500 E-3 visas may be granted each year and the visas are valid for up to two years on a renewable basis. Qualifying jobs in the U.S. for which an E-3 visa may be obtained require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a specialty occupation.

McSwain signs education pledge

Bill McSwain, Republican candidate for governor, announced that he has signed the Education Freedom Pledge. By signing the pledge, McSwain promises to support parental rights in education and educational freedom, including the right of parents to apply their child’s taxpayer-funded education dollars to the school of their choosing, whether it be private, public, charter or homeschool.

“Education is a gateway to a better life, and every family deserves the freedom to choose the education that is best for their children. As governor, I will empower parents to have the final authority over their children’s education, and fight back against teachers union bosses in defense of students and good teachers. I am proud to sign the Education Freedom Pledge, which reflects my commitment to ensuring that every child, regardless of ZIP code, has access to an excellent education.”

As part of McSwain’s Parents Bill of Rights and Pillars of Education, he favors school choice, wants to ban critical race theory, and pledges to never accept a cent from teachers unions.

South Phila. HS class of ‘68 reunion

The South Philadelphia High School Class of 1968 will hold its 55th reunion on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Waterfall Room, 2015 S. Water St. Tickets cost $60 and include buffet dinner and open bar. For tickets and more information, call Arleen Liberi [609-922-2419], Maria Leati [856-287-3734] or Stephen Michielli [267-252-2740]. 

Water exhibit opens

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, is presenting Invisible World of Water, on view through May 1 and free with general admission.

The exhibit coincides with “Water Year,” an initiative of the Academy of Natural Sciences and Drexel University aimed to increase public attention of the resource.

For more information, visit

Explore ocean depths

A new exhibition at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, reveals the mysteries of the ocean’s greatest depths.

Extreme Deep: Mission to the Abyss invites museum visitors to explore newly discovered life forms, thermal vents, deep-sea research submersibles and shipwrecks including the Titanic.

Museum visitors will observe firsthand the technology that only recently has allowed scientists to travel to the ocean floor and discover the creatures that thrive in total darkness. They can test their skill at manipulating a robotic arm of a replica of the submersible Alvin to pick up lava rocks and clams similar to what scientists do to gather samples of creatures from the ocean floor.

Visitors can also fly a remotely operated vehicle over a model of the Titanic’s deck and, in another display, see how currents created by superheated water erupting from thermal vents carry nutrients that support life forms few ever dreamed existed. 

Extreme Deep: Mission to the Abyss will be on view through July 24.

Celebrate water and the planet

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, will present Naturepalooza on Saturday, April 23, from 10 a.m to 2 p.m.

For more information, visit

Kimmel schedule

The Kimmel Cultural Campus has returned to live Broadway programming.

Here is the schedule through the summer: Hairspray (May 16-22, Merriam Theater); To Kill A Mockingbird (July 12-24, Academy of Music); and Dear Evan Hansen (Aug. 16-28, Forrest Theatre).

For more information, call 215-893-1955 or visit

Upcoming cruises

The Bristol Cultural and Historical Foundation is sponsoring a cruise to Charleston and Bermuda, June 2-12, on the Celebrity Summit, sailing from Cape Liberty, in North Jersey. Rates range from $1,577 to $2,387 per person, double occupancy.

Meanwhile, a fully escorted Holy Lands & Aegean Majesty cruise will sail Oct. 6-17, 2023, featuring 10 ports-of-call. Rates, including airfare, range from $4,198 to $7,998 per person, double occupancy.

Call 215-788-9408 for information and reservations.