Mayor Launches Free-Book Program for Low-Income Kids

This afternoon, Mayor Nutter announced the launch of Playstreet Book Club, a pilot program that aims to keep children from low-income families reading while they’re out of school for summer.

“We know that children, particularly low-income children, can lose up to two months of reading skills during the summer, putting them behind before the new school year begins,” Mayor Nutter says in a press release. “By providing children with free books to read during the summer, we hope to instill a lifelong love of reading, help them to build their own libraries at home and give them the skills they to be successful in the classroom. … We know that children need access to nutritious meals, enriching activities and supportive adults all year long in order to reach their full potential. The Playstreet Book Club connects children to all three of these elements at one location during the summer months.”

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Shakespeare in Clark Park Starts Tomorrow With Five Free Shows Through Sunday

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Courtesy of Kyle Cassidy

To sit or to stand? That will be the question at the 10th anniversary of Shakespeare in Clark Park. Grab your checkered blankets and bottled (or boxed!) wine to attend a free showing of Shakespeare’s tragicomedy The Winter’s Tale. The story concerns Leontes and Polixenes, rulers of Sicilia and Bohemia, who are best friends until a love affair threatens their relationship and shatters the long-held bond between their families.

“It’s a play that lends itself to a feeling of fairytale and fables, which is particularly well-suited for the outdoor setting,” explains Director Kittson O’Neill. The malleable sets and talented actors will transport audiences through two different kingdoms and act out a tale of friendship ripped apart by jealousy. “Part of the fun of this show is having such a large space to play with,” O’Neill says. “We’ll have some performers walk around the entire Park and come back around to enter different scenes.”

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Local Filmmaker Debuts Documentary on the Lives of Songwriters

Scot Sax

Grammy-winning songwriter and musician Scot Sax aims to show audiences the not-so-glamorous side of being a successful songwriter in his debut documentary, Platinum Rush, premiering tonight at the sixth annual New Hope Film Festival.

Sax has spent years as a renown songwriter for Warner Chappell, co-writing the Grammy-winning song “Like We Never Loved At All” by Faith Hill and Tim McGraw and writing catchy tunes for countless TV shows. Sax is also the frontman of power-pop band Wanderlust.

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3 Pro-Weed Events in Philly This Week

Mayor Nutter may have signed a marijuana decriminalization bill in October, but Philly still has a long way to go to legalization. Part of that journey involves educating folks about the benefits of marijuana, and that’s being done in a series of events that just so happen to be lumped together here at the end of July—from educational forums to a big ol’ bash on Friday. We’ve rounded them up so you don’t miss a toke … I mean a beat.

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PHOTOS: Cosmicide and Interpol Play for the Neon-Hazed Masses at Penn’s Landing

After using Ortlieb’s as the launchpad to debut his new project earlier this year, Brandon Curtis (Secret Machines, Captain Audio) directed the course of his intergalactic electronica outfit Cosmicide back to Philly, touching down on Penn’s Landing during Saturday’s sunset. Coming off the release of their first video for the simultaneously sprawling and driving “A New Disaster” earlier in July, the band proved eager and prepared to showcase their new-wave flavored, melancholy synth-pop.



Curtis’ new band, comprising members of Brooklyn synth-psych group Lip Talk, manage to echo back to the textured dream pop of the Secret Machines as much as it marks a new step into more electronic, loop and sample-oriented waters.

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7 Shows to See in Philly This Week



Kentucky Distillery Aging Its Brandy With a Little Springsteen

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Distilleries across the country are getting awfully creative these days with the way they age their beer and spirits. A while back we told you that Dock Street was aging a beer while playing Wu Tang non-stop, and today I learned that Jersey’s own Bruce Springsteen is being blasted near aging barrels of brandy at Copper & Kings distillery in Louisville, Kentucky.

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PHOTOS: Check Out the Phillies Mural Being Dedicated This Weekend

mural_600x860After years of planning and painting, Mural Arts’ Phillies mural is finally set to be dedicated in a ceremony this Saturday — and we’re all invited!

According to Mural Arts, the free event will be attended by a handful of alumni featured in the mural, current Phillies players, the Phanatic and the Phillies Ballgirls. There will be entertainment from the Whiz Kids, light bites, and a speaking program that will conclude with a festive mural dedication—with confetti and all.

The mural, designed by David McShane, is a whopping eight-stories high and 3,750 square feet. It faces the Schuylkill River and I-76 Schuylkill Expressway at 24th and Walnut streets, and features “30 prominent players and icons depicting historical moments from the team’s history – including the 1980 and 2008 World Series championships.” Among the familiar faces you’ll see in the painting—and attending the dedication ceremony on Saturday will be Brad Lidge, Charlie Manuel, Mitch Williams, Jim Bunning, Steve Carlton, Curt Simmons, Greg Luzinski, and more.

The festivities take place Saturday, August 1st. The party begins at 11 am, with the ceremony happening at 11:30 am at 24th and Walnut streets.

Check out some more photos of the mural below:



North Philly Bill Cosby Mural Defaced, Finally Painted Over for Good

The 2008 Father’s Day mural in North Philly featuring Bill Cosby situated prominently among world leaders like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. was recently defaced by spray-painters, who tagged words like “rapist” and “dude with ludes” overtop the smiling, sweater-wearing comedian. A shot from local Instagrammer @thesockpolice shows the damage:

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After the damage was done, Mural Arts, who commissioned the mural and recently said it was scheduled for decommission anyway, decided to speed up the cover-up process and they applied a fresh coat of white paint over the mural last week.

Mural Arts released a statement explaining that the Father’s Day mural had been on a list to decommission for a while, namely because of its location under a bridge on Broad Street near Indiana Avenue, which isn’t conducive to proper mural upkeep. Despite their plans to do away with the mural, the arts organization states that, “Due to recent headlines about Bill Cosby, the Mural Arts Program decided to move the decommissioning of this mural to the top of the list. After going through the process of informing those who participated in the creation of the mural, the mural was painted over.” Here’s a then-and-now photo to show you the painted-over progress.

According to philly.com,  Mural Arts is expected to relocate the mural to a different location—without Cosby’s likeness.

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