Around Town

Kanopy streaming service returns to Free Library

The Free Library will once again provide access to the media streaming platform Kanopy. Free Library cardholders now have unlimited access to hundreds of titles available through the Kanopy PLUS subscription model.

“We are overjoyed to resume access to Kanopy through the Free Library. It was a popular service with many of our patrons, and adds another way that Philadelphians can access the Free Library from the comfort of their homes,” said Free Library President and Director Kelly Richards.

In the past, the Free Library offered access to Kanopy, however, the pay-per-use subscription model made the cost unsustainable and unpredictable. The new Kanopy PLUS subscription model allows the Library to pay a flat rate for access to packages of its titles. The flat rate also allows the Library to remove the streaming limits that were once placed on its cardholders using Kanopy.

Free Library patrons have unlimited access to films from all available Kanopy PLUS packs.In addition, all Free Library cardholders have access to titles in the Kanopy Starter Pack — which includes Academy Award winners, Cannes and Sundance favorites, and classic films — as well as more than 2,000 titles in Kanopy Kids.

Patrons with existing Kanopy accounts will still be able to access their accounts. Patrons without existing Kanopy accounts can sign up through the database page on the Free Library’s website.

Ahmad gains key endorsements

Nina Ahmad, a Democratic candidate for City Council at-large, has been endorsed by the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council business manager Ryan Boyer and AFSCME District Council 33.

Boyer said, “Nina is an inspiring leader and a true champion for the underdogs of our city. I know she’ll throw her heart – as she always does – into finding innovative solutions to Philadelphia’s biggest problems.”

DC 33 represents close to 10,000 blue-collar municipal workers.

“Nina knows how hard it is to get ahead even working 24/7 because of all the systemic barriers.  She’s an inspiration for our members, who wake up early each day to do the hard work that keeps our city functioning. We endorse Nina’s approach to addressing gun violence as the public health crisis and we trust her to go to bat for our families who are the backbone of Philadelphia,” said Ernest Garrett, president of DC 33.

Ahmad grew up in Bangladesh and came to the United States alone when she was 21. She later worked as a molecular biologist and entrepreneur.

Ahmad previously served as a deputy mayor, launching the Commission for Women, managing the Office of Black Male Engagement and the Youth Commission and working closely with the office of LGBTQ Affairs.

Ahmad serves as the state president of the National Organization for Women (NOW).

She said, “I’m running to make Philadelphia a healthier, stronger city. All of our challenges are, at their root, health challenges. From crime and gun violence to housing and the environment, if we make Philadelphia a healthier city, we can make it a stronger, safer city. As a biomedical scientist, I’ve spent my life taking on these kinds of challenges and I’ve used science and data to find new solutions to old problems. That’s my agenda for Philadelphia: A healthier city for a stronger future.”

Free tax preparation

The nonprofit Campaign for Working Families provides free tax preparation, including identifying tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit. On Friday, Jan. 27, at 11 a.m. at CWF’s Center City tax site, 1415 N. Broad St., CWF will celebrate National EITC Day. There are more than 50,000 eligible Philadelphians who do not claim this credit each year, resulting in some $100 million left on the table. For more information about volunteering or CWF’s services, call 215-454-6483 or visit ••

Visit model railroad club

Chelten Hills Model Railroad Club, 8010 Old York Road in Elkins Park, will be hosting open houses from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 4-5. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. Visit or Facebook. ••

Celebrating 100 years of SMT

St. Martin of Tours Parish invites all school alumni, current and past parishioners and friends to a 100th anniversary Mass in the upper church, 5450 Roosevelt Blvd., on Sunday, April 30, at noon. The Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Edward Adams. Afterward, there will be a “Past & Present — Building Our Future” celebration at Cannstatter’s, 9130 Academy Road, from 2-6 p.m. Tickets cost $35 and include food, soft drinks, music and door prizes. The event is for ages 21-plus. Tickets must be purchased in advance in the rectory, after all Masses, through Venmo (@smotphilly) or with check to St. Martin of Tours Church, 5450 Roosevelt Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19124, Attn: Centennial Celebration. Proceeds will benefit church improvements. ••

Bingo Night for Stray Cat Relief

Stray Cat Relief will be holding a Bingo Night on Feb. 11 at the EOM at 144 Moore St. from 7-11 p.m.

Ten games of bingo. Tickets are $40 ($50 at the door) and a table of eight is $280. Light food, soda, water and snacks will be served. Raffle prizes, door prizes and BYO bottles and snacks. Email or Venmo @straycatrelief to purchase tickets.

Exhibitions at Academy of Natural Sciences

An exhibition at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 19th and the Parkway, presents a new perspective on insects and reveals their beauty.

Microsculpture: The Insect Portraits of Levon Biss is a series of portraits that capture the microscopic form of insects in high-resolution detail. It will be on view until April 23.

Each photograph makes visible the many intricate adaptations to the form of insects.

Award-winning British photographer Levon Biss created the exhibition, which showcases the insect collection of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History in Oxford, England. Pinned specimens from the Academy’s own entomology collection are added to provide visitors an up-close look at the actual size of insects compared to similar-looking insects in the photographs.

Meanwhile, a new exhibition opening Saturday, Feb. 18, celebrates the diversity of birds, their role in ecosystems and people’s relationships with them. Conversations With Birds spotlights familiar local birds, such as house sparrows and cardinals, and goes beyond to introduce the variety of migrators that pass through on journeys across the globe.

The exhibition features avian photography and video by local birders and wildlife photographers. There will be hands-on activities that explain the body architecture that enables birds to do what they do.

Conversations With Birds is free with general museum admission and on view through Sunday, May 21.


South Phila. HS class of ‘68 reunion

The South Philadelphia High School Class of 1968 will hold its 55th reunion on Saturday, Oct. 21, 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]. ••

Feb. book club meeting

The Book Club of Congregations of Shaare Shamayim will be holding its February Zoom session on Monday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. The book is The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi. For further information, or to register for the book club program, call Lynn Ratmansky at 215-677-1600. ••

Upcoming cruise

The Bristol Cultural and Historical Foundation is sponsoring a fully escorted Holy Lands & Aegean Majesty cruise that will sail Oct. 6-17, 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. ••

Cruise the Mediterranean

Norwegian Cruise Line will host a Mediterranean cruise from Rome to Venice on Oct. 10-19. The trip is all inclusive with round-trip airfare, a beverage package, all meals, three specialty dinners, taxes, transfers and all gratuities. The cost for a balcony sea view cabin is $3,511 per person. For more information, contact Fillmore Travel’s Kevin Fries at 215-498-8294 or