6 Can’t-Miss Cultural Events Coming to Philadelphia

24 Feb 2023


Terence Nance, still from Swimming in Your Skin Again, 2014. Courtesy of Terence Nance.

A half dozen Center-supported projects open this month, including a blockbuster multi-museum exhibition, an excavation of the most famous architect you’ve never heard of, and a performance by emerging Black Americana artists.

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Terence Nance: Swarm
Institute of Contemporary Art
March 10–July 9, 2023

BlackStar Projects presents the first solo exhibition of filmmaker, writer, actor, and musician Terence Nance. The exhibition illuminates Nance’s interdisciplinary film and media work, including his semi-animated feature debut, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, and Peabody Award-winning HBO series Random Acts of Flyness.


Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America
African American Museum in Philadelphia & Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
March 23–October 8, 2023

A collaborative exhibition across two museums presents new works by 20 artists responding to a central question: “Is the sun rising or setting on the experiment of American democracy?” Installed across multiple galleries at both institutions, works by artists such as Hank Willis Thomas, Petah Coyne, John Akomfrah, and Pew Fellows Mark Thomas Gibson and Wilmer Wilson IV reflect considerations of free speech, human rights, equality, and other democratic principles while prompting an expanded understanding of democracy.



Black Opry Residency artists. From left to right: Samantha Rise; The Kentucky Gentlemen, photo by Laura Moll; Denitia, photo by Noelle Fries; Tylar Bryant; Grace Givertz, photo by Omari Spears.


Black Opry Residency
World Cafe Live
March 24

Artists in WXPN’s Black Opry Residency come together for a final performance at World Café Live. Of roughly 100 applicants, five artists have been chosen for the residency that supports up-and-coming Black musicians rooted in Americana genres like country, folk, and gospel: Denitia, Tylar Bryant, Grace Givertz, Samantha Rise, and the Kentucky Gentlemen (twin brothers Brandon and Derek Campbell).


The Mashrabiya Project
Museum for Art in Wood
March 3–July 23, 2023

An exhibition and series of public programs examine the practical and societal implications of the mashrabiya, a traditional Islamic architectural element featuring elaborate wooden latticework. The multidisciplinary exhibition includes newly commissioned artworks from six women-identifying artists from the Muslim world, including Anila Quayyum Agha, Nadia Kaabi-Linke, and Hoda Tawakol, with programming centered on the creation of a wood-turned mashrabiya at the museum.



Frank Wallace Munn residence, 1890–91, designed by Minerva Parker Nichols, Philadelphia, PA. Photo by Elizabeth Felicella.


Minerva Parker Nichols: The Search for a Forgotten Architect
Weitzman School of Design Kroiz Gallery of Architectural Archives
March 21–June 17, 2023

An exhibition on the first woman to practice architecture independently in the United States reflects ten years of research by historian Molly Lester and features the first comprehensive archive of Nichols’ work in photos by Elizabeth Felicella. Along with the exhibition, public programs explore questions about collecting, preserving, and writing history in the context of contemporary cultural changes.


Rosine 2.0
Swarthmore College
March 1–April 16, 2023

An interdisciplinary collective of artists, archivists, harm reductionists, and community members examine the history of harm reduction and mutual aid in Philadelphia. Collectively known as Rosine Association 2.0, the collaborators present new artworks along with archival materials, processes, and contextual materials.