The City Walk You’ve Been Waiting For: The Rail Park Tour

Rendering courtesy of Studio Bryan Hanes

Rendering courtesy of Studio Bryan Hanes

DesignPhiladelphia, the city’s best known architecture and design festival extending for up to nine days, kicks off in about two weeks, but we’ll get to that in a minute. Instead, let’s bring your attention to one of the events included in the DesignPhilly itinerary: the Rail Park Tour.

According to DesignPhilly, these walking tours – scheduled for October  10, 11 and 14 – will be held at street level by Rail Park board members and will be designed to “deliver an understanding of possibilities of the entire proposed 3-mile linear park and recreation path.” What’s more, a Rail Park spokesperson tells us the tour will include access to the entrance of Phase One at 13th an Noble Streets. Ticketing and event info here.

Relatedly, the spokesperson said construction of Phase One, anticipated to take 12-18 months, is expected to begin in 2016. The Center City District will manage the Phase One project.

Spruce Foundation Gala To Honor The Attic Youth Center and Others


Members of The Attic Youth Center, one of the Spruce Foundation's award recipients.

Members of The Attic Youth Center, one of the Spruce Foundation’s award recipients.

A gala at Union Transfer on Saturday, June 7 will celebrate the achievements of a host of local associations that have contributed to Philadelphia youth, and there’s a strong (although not exclusive) focus on the LGBTQ population.

The host of the evening, The Spruce Foundation, is a nonprofit organization founded in 2007 that supports at-risk youth in Philadelphia through grant making and volunteer services. The gala is the group’s largest fundraiser of the year, and serves as a celebration for the excellent work of various service organizations throughout the city.

Jake Tulsky, Spruce Foundation’s Chair of Communications, says the group’s “dual mission is to redefine philanthropy and cultivate the next generation of philanthropists through community giving and grant-making in support of Philadelphia’s youth.”

This year marks the 7th anniversary of the gala, and the recipients include iPRAXIS, Asian Arts Initiative, Girls on the Run, and, of note to the LGBTQ community, The Attic Youth Center, Philadelphia’s only gay youth center. As a matter of fact, 25% of The Spruce Foundation’s grant money is going to The Attic, a huge amount, according to Co-President Rudy Flesher.

“Spruce’s dedication to LGBTQ youth is basically unparalleled in the philanthropic community,” said Flesher. “It’s an inspiring reason for our community to make the Spruce Gala part of their weekend.”

Tickets and more information about the event are available by clicking here.

8 Things to Do in Philly This Week: Arcade Fire After Party, War on Drugs, Shut Up and Dance, and More

Looking for more Philly events? We’re keeping track of the best local to-dos now through May in our Philadelphia Event listings.

Asian Arts Gives Elevator Music a Lift With “Really Good Elevator Music” Project

Of all the tortures, to put it lightly, of elevator-sharing (awkward eye contact, microscopic talk, the dreaded cougher), the music may be enemy number one. Asian Arts Initiative (AAI) understands the pain, and is flipping it on its head with a new exhibit, “Really Good Elevator Music.”

The project, headed by AAI artist-in-residence Yowei Shaw, turns an elevator into a pop-up installation, where office-goers and art lovers can change how they view passive time — the habitual commute becoming an experience.  Collaborators on the project include Steven Dufala (formerly of Man Man) and a slew of other Philly artists. Their two-minute tracks are an experiment in found sound, field recordings and music, with the hope of promoting active listeners and an active community. Expect to hear heart-warming, thought-provoking and light-hearted pieces piped in through the PA, with tracks ranging from a recorded discussion with men to take shelter at the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission to a soundbite of eighth graders rehearsing their Miley Cyrus-themed graduation video.

The project is running now through March 31st in the Wolf Building elevators, at 340 North 12th Street. Shaw will host a listening party on March 14th that features the music and video reactions from participants. That takes place at the Asian Arts Initiative, at 1219 Vine Street. For more information and to listen to some of the tracks, go here.

First Friday Picks: Superior Machines, Global Patterns and Cupcakes

Before another stupid storm comes and makes us all squirrel away at home for far too long, get out and see some art.

Shaker Dragster (1984) by TK Superior.

Shaker Dragster (1984) by Roy Superior.

Tonight the Center for Art in Wood opens “Roy Superior: Patent Models for a Good Life,” which is being billed as “a remembrance of his furniture, sculpture and drawings.” Superior, who passed away last August at age 78, was clearly influenced by the machine drawings of Da Vinci, but they clearly have their own contemporary aesthetics and practical uses. Superior was a guy who dug comfort, food, and the joys of human life. Or at least that’s what we can glean from his contraptions. This collection of Superior’s work should be able to give us insight into a man whose art was a reflection of the things he loved. Feb. 7–April 19, 5 p.m.-8 p.m., free, The Center for Art in Wood, 141 N. Third St., 215-923-8000,

More First Friday Picks after the jump

Weekend Pick: Pearl Street Arts Festival Celebrates Chinatown North’s Revitalization

pearl street by walter hood

Pearl Street rendering by Walter Hood.

Tomorrow, Saturday, September 28, the Asian Arts Initiative is throwing a party — well, an arts festival whose participants perfectly embody the growing artistic importance of this neighborhood. The visual art installations include work by Marginal Utility, Practice, Vox Populi and Fleisher Art Memorial, while live performance will include Art in Motion, EgoPo Classic Theatre, Hip Hop Fundamentals and Philadelphia Taiko Center, among many others.

In the offbeat category, there’ll be a mobile tea cart with free drinks, a community feast and and interactive furniture build with landscape architect Walter Hood.

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