PHOTOS: The Mudball Costume Party at Clay Studio

The Clay Studio hosted The Mudball, a dance-a-thon and masquerade ball, on Saturday at World Café Live. The Clay Studio, located in Old City, is a nonprofit educational institution, gallery, and studio focused on the ceramic arts. 

The Mudball raised over $20,000 dollars to benefit the Studio’s educational art programs, designed to provide access to the ceramic arts to people of diverse backgrounds. Plus, it served as one of the first costume parties this Halloween season. See what guests were sporting in my slideshow below.



PHOTOS: Harry Potter Festival 2014

This past weekend Chestnut Hill turned into Hogsmeade as the fourth annual Harry Potter Festival transformed Germantown Avenue into the magical world of witches, goblins, and wizards.



Kicking off the weekend on Friday night there was a pub crawl and costume contest. Saturday morning saw the “Hogswarts Express” filled with Harry Potter characters. The trolley arrived at Chestnut Hill West for a 10 a.m. opening ceremony conducted by Professor Albus Dumbledore (Walt Maguire) and Students from Chestnut Hill Colleges’ Mask & Foil Thespian Club dressed as J.K. Rowling’s famed characters. Chestnut Hill college student Dan Lemoine played Harry Potter to a tee for the third year in a row.

After the ceremony the characters and fans, many of who came dressed as Harry Potter characters or at least sported a witches hat or scarf, enjoyed one of the last days of Indian Summer, taking in the sights as well as all the Harry Potter activities that lined the street, like wand-making, dragon fire-breating and face-painting. Chestnut Hill restaurants offered Harry Potter-inspired edibles, like Golden Snitches and butter beer.

PHOTOS: Community Gathers at City Hall Rainbow Flag-Lowering in Honor of Gloria Casarez



This afternoon Mayor Michael Nutter hosted an emotional flag-lowering ceremony at City Hall to honor his administration’s Director of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs, Gloria Casarez. Casarez passed away on Sunday after a long battle with cancer.

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PHOTOS: OutFest 2014 Packed the Gayborhood Again



G Philly teammates were out taking in OutFest during three parts of the day. Contributor Bryan Buttler went early, as local organizations were setting up their tents and photographers were wiping off their lenses for a full day of picture-snapping. It was a gorgeous day for a Gayborhood block party.

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PHOTOS: Questlove at Uniqlo Philly Love Fest

To celebrate the grand opening of its flagship store in downtown Philadelphia, at 1608 Chestnut Street, UNIQLO hosted a community-themed event at Smith Memorial Park Playground and Playhouse in Fairmount Park.

A fusion of Tokyo and Philadelphia culture, the ‘UNIQLO Philly Love Fest’ was an afternoon of activities for guests—everything from Japanese lantern-making and face-painting in the traditional Japanese styles of anime, manga and kabuki in Philadelphia team colors to Philadelphia bucket drummers and a DJ set by The Roots drummer—and Philly native—Questlove, which was punctuated with a performance by local break dancers.

There were also lots of carnival games where guests played to win UNIQLO gift cards, food truck vouchers and other UNIQLO prizes. There were food trucks serving up delicacies influenced by both Tokyo and Philly, including SPOT Gourmet Burgers, Steaks, & Pork and Street Food Philly.

See some of my photos from the afternoon below:



PHOTOS: Barbara Proud’s First Comes Love Book Launch at UArts

A book launch and reception was held Friday night at University of the Arts for photographer and Associate Professor Barbara Proud’s new page-turner First Comes Love: Portraits of Enduring LGBTQ Relationships (Soleil Press).



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PHOTOS: 300 Show Up to Attend Brian Sims’ Rally for Gay-Bashing Victims

LOVE Park was a veritable sea of supporters this afternoon, when more than 300 (!) local lawmakers, LGBT leaders and community members showed up in the rain to attend a rally for the two gay men attacked on September 11th in Center City.

The event was hosted by State Representative Brian Sims, who used the opportunity to draw attention HB 177 and SB 42, two pieces of legislation that would add sexual orientation to Pennsylvania’s current hate crime laws.

Photographer HughE Dillon was there to capture some snapshots, which you can seen below. Check some of the captions for remarks made by those who took part.



 

PHOTOS: Chubby Checker, Jerry Blavat and Others Polish Their Plaques on Philly “Walk of Fame”

Tuesday volunteers from Philadelphia Music Alliance, Avenue of the Arts Inc., and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 8 polished all 121 bronze plaques along the Avenue of the Arts’ “Walk of Fame. Volunteers started at 8 a.m. and finished around noon. 

The plaques recognize the musical talent of those who were born in Philadelphia—from singers Patti LaBelle and Bessie Smith to legendary DJ Georgie Woods and songwriter Linda Creed. The volunteers got down on their hands and knees using steel wool, tooth brushes, cloths and polish to bring the plaques back to their original shine. (Most were laid over 20 years ago).

On hand to see their stars shine once again were radio personality Jerry Blavat, Chubby Checker, Earl Jones, Kenny Gamble, and Joseph Tarsia. Also spotted: Teddy Pendergrass II, who was on hand to polish his father’s plaque, and Philly-born musicians Jade Starling and Whey Cooler from Pretty Poison.

Check out the newly shining stars located between Walnut and Spruce Streets. You might want to bring sunglasses, they’re bright.



PHOTOS: Entrepreneur Peter Thiel at Franklin Institute

On Monday, the Arts & Business Council of Philadelphia hosted Zero to One with Peter Thiel at the Franklin Institute. Thiel is best known as the co-founder of PayPal and the first outside investor in Facebook. During the breakfast discussion, he chatted about why startups must pioneer unknown territories and throw away the notion of competing with anyone else but themselves. First Zack Seward,  editor-in-chief at Technical.ly, moderated a local panel of experts on startups and their place in Philadelphia, before doing a Q&A with Thiel. After the public session there was a private VIP meet-and-greet, where guests got their books signed and, if they were lucky, used their 30-second elevator pitch to grab the billionaire investor’s attention.

I snapped some photos of the event, which you can find below:



PHOTOS: 9th Annual GreenFest Philly in Headhouse Square



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