Spring Forward with 11 Arts and Culture Events in Philadelphia

10 Mar 2022


Performance photo: Choreographer Bill T. Jones stands in the middle of rows of dancers, each in their own spotlight. His mouth is open, arms raised above his head, and his left foot hovers above the ground, mid-motion.

Bill T. Jones, creator, director, and choreographer of Deep Blue Sea, accompanied by a group of community dancers during a performance in New York. Photo by Maria Baranova. 

Philadelphia is blooming with cultural events this spring, both in-person and virtual. Offerings from Center grantees include a deep dive into the history of segregated swimming pools in America, fresh looks at classic pieces by Beethoven and Chekhov, and new works from distinguished artists like choreographer Bill T. Jones, composer and artist Ari Benjamin Meyers, and visual artists Kukuli Velarde,  Carmen Winant, and Polly Apfelbaum.

Visit our events calendar for more, and sign up for our newsletter to stay informed about Center-supported events.

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An outdoor scene featuring Shofuso Japanese House with a view of a pond and grassy hill in the foreground. A dozen visitors are visible in and in front of the house.

Visitors enjoy Shofuso Japanese House and Garden. Photo courtesy of the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia. 


Cultivating & Celebrating Community


Kanaval Ball
March 20, 2022

The music and pageantry of Haitian Carnival and New Orleans Mardi Gras come to Philadelphia with Kanaval Ball, a free event with performances by Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Ram, Boukman Eksperyans, and Haitian folkloric dance company Nadia Dieudonné & Feet of Rhythm. The event is the culmination of WXPN’s Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms and the Music of New Orleans, which includes a two-hour radio documentary series.


Rehearsing Philadelphia
Curtis Institute of Music & Drexel University Westphal College 
March 25–April 10, 2022

Rehearsing Philadelphia offers a variety of ways for audiences to encounter musical performances throughout the city—from intimate solos and interactive duets to small ensemble and orchestra performances. Created by composer and artist Ari Benjamin Meyers, the large-scale public art project includes commissioned works by Pew Fellows CAConrad, Germaine Ingram, and Ursula Rucker, Sun Ra Arkestra led by Fellow Marshall Allen, Zoë Keating, Tyshawn Sorey, and many others.


Sakura Concert Series & Shofuso Cherry Blossom Festival
Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia
April 8–10, 2022

With support from a Center recovery grant, Japan America Society has reimagined its annual Cherry Blossom Festival, in partnership with nearby Parkside neighborhood communities. Free and open to the public, a new three-day concert series complements the festival and highlights the intersection of Japanese and African American culture with performances by hip-hop, jazz, and percussion artists. 


Deep Blue Sea
Mann Center for the Performing Arts
April 29–30, 2022

Internationally renowned choreographer and director Bill T. Jones directs an immersive, evening-length work in an intimate in-the-round setting as part of the Mann Center series Downstage at the Mann. Exploring the relationship between the individual and community, Deep Blue Sea begins with a solo by Jones, expands to include the 10-member Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, and culminates in a collaboration with Philadelphia-based participants.



The Wilma Theater, The Cherry Orchard workshop, 2021. Pictured: Campbell O’Hare and Justin Jain. Photo by Johanna Austin.


Revisiting & Reinterpreting Historical Works


Beyond Borders: Festival of Arts, Shiraz-Persepolis (1967-77)
March 6–20, 2022

A series of virtual programs hosted by Bowerbird offers a scholarly look at the Shiraz Arts Festival, a multicultural celebration of music, theater, dance, and film hosted in Shiraz, Iran, from 1967 to 1977. This mini-symposium brings together artists, curators, and scholars to share rare archival materials and examine the festival’s history and artistic legacies.


Beethoven: Missa solemnis 2.0
The Philadelphia Orchestra
April 7–10, 2022

Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall is transformed into a multidenominational cathedral through projections created by award-winning media artist Refik Anadol as conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads the Philadelphia Orchestra, a chorus, and soloists in a rendition of Beethoven’s rarely performed mass Missa solemnis.


The Cherry Orchard
The Wilma Theater
April 12–May 1, 2022
Virtual production: May 2–15, 2022

A new adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, devised in collaboration among experimental Russian director Dmitry Krymov and the Wilma's HotHouse company members, pares down the original text to concentrate on a more physical approach to the canonical work that follows the decline of an affluent Russian family.



Polly Apfelbaum, Barn Dark Blue Deep Green, 2021. Terracotta and glaze, 15 x 19 5/8 x ¾ inches. Courtesy of the artist, Frith Street Gallery, London, and Galerie näscht St. Stephan, Vienna.


Addressing Place & Personhood


Polly Apfelbaum: For the Love of Una Hale
Arcadia Exhibitions
On view through April 17

Created over the course of an extended residency at Arcadia University, Polly Apfelbaum’s new ceramic works examine the influence of Pennsylvania German craft traditions on her color-rich, multidisciplinary practice. The works are offered in conversation with paintings by Pennsylvania folk artist David Ellinger in the concurrent exhibition Out of the Heart: The Life and Art of David Ellinger.


Pool: A Social History of Segregation
Fairmount Water Works
March 22–September 1, 2022

After its original opening was delayed by historic flooding caused by Hurricane Ida, the restored exhibition opens to the public on World Water Day 2022. Site-specific multimedia installations illuminate the history and modern-day implications of segregated swimming pools in America and feature voices such as Simone Manuel, the first Black swimmer in Olympic history to win an individual gold medal in swimming. The exhibition includes an animated film about the history of swimming by Pew Fellow James Ijames and a multimedia storytelling artwork by Fellow Homer Jackson.


A Brand New End: Survival and Its Pictures
The Print Center
April 15–July 16, 2022

Visual artist Carmen Winant developed this photo-based exhibition out of her two-year exploration into the archives of Women in Transition, a Philadelphia-based organization supporting survivors of domestic violence and substance abuse. Winant’s singular practice collages images to highlight how women are viewed and how they navigate achieving personal agency.


Making Place Matter
The Clay Studio
April 23–Aug 28, 2022

The inaugural exhibition of The Clay Studio’s new home in Philadelphia’s South Kensington neighborhood brings together original artworks by ceramists Molly Hatch, Ibrahim Said, and Pew Fellow Kukuli Velarde, contemplating the complex meanings of “place” through pieces that consider personal history and cultural memory. 


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A wall installation of 70 ceramic plates arranged in a rectangle and painted in a gradient with a dark blue pattern on the left moving to gold on the right.

Molly Hatch, Staccato, 2017, 70 hand painted plates with glaze, underglaze, and copy luster; 70”x120”x1.5”. Image courtesy of The Clay Studio.