What To Do: The 43rd Yellow Springs Art Show

Also: West Chester Film Festival runs this weekend

By Denny Dyroff, Staff Writer, The Times

yellow-springs-poster

The popular yellow Spring Art Show features more than 185 artists this year.

The Yellow Springs Art Show got its start back in 1973 as a free event featuring a variety of artists displaying their work on clotheslines. It has changed immeasurably since then and has become one of the largest and most prestigious annual art shows in the Delaware Valley. The art show, which is still free and open to the public, is celebrating its 43rd anniversary this year.

The popular annual event now features more than 185 participating artists — including 23 artists who are new to the show this year. The show will run from April 23 through May 8 in Historic Yellow Springs Lincoln Building (Art School Road, Chester Springs, 610-827-7414 or www.yellowsprings.org). Show hours are from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.

The 2016 Yellow Springs Art Show will have on display over 3,000 pieces of fine art in a wide range of media and styles – oils, watercolors, bronze sculptures, pastels, landscapes, still life, three-dimensional works, seascapes and abstracts. In addition to fine art, the Art Show also offers a treasure hunt with prizes for the kids.

The show features an “Opening Gala” from 6-9 p.m. on April 22 with tickets priced at $75 for non-members and $45 for Historic Yellow Springs members. The Opening Gala also features a silent auction of this year’s Poster Competition winner, “Autumn Glory” by Jim McFarlane.

There will also be a special “Wine-and-Cheese Happy Hours” on April 29 and May 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. The Happy Hours are free to members and $5 for non-members.

All proceeds benefit arts education, environmental protection and historic preservation of the 300-year-old village of Historic Yellow Springs.

Anyone who is into comic books, action figures, anime, trading cards, Cosplay or pop culture in general should make plans to attend this weekend’s Great Philadelphia Comic Con, which is being held now through April 24 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (Station Avenue, Oaks, www.philadelphiacomiccon.com).

The second annual GPCC is the largest independent comic and pop culture convention in eastern Pennsylvania, and is being hosted by the same organization which has run The Great Allentown Comic Con for the past six years.

comic con denise crosbyThe show’s roster of special guests includes Deep Roy (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”), Denise Crosby (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”), Amy Jo Johnston (“The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers”), Garrett Wang (“Star Trek: Voyager”), James Frain (“True Blood,” “The Tudors”), Austin St. John (“Mighty Morphin Power Rangers”),

Caroll Spinney (Big Bird on “Sesame Street”), and Kel Mitchell (“Kenan and Kel”).

Also featured will be Ray Park (“Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace”), Glenn Morshower (“X-Men: First Class, “Transformer”), Zoie Palmer (“The Reagans,” “Instant Star”), Julian Glover (“Game of Thrones,” “Star Wars”),Robert Bruce (consulting producer on “Comic Book Men”) and Erin Cahill (“Red Widow,” “Sleepy Hollow”).

The list of guests also features Robin Lord Taylor (“Gotham” TV series), Roger Cross (“Dark Matter,” “Continuum”), Tim Rose (“Star Wars,” puppeteer), Jason Faunt (“Power Rangers: Time Force”), John Paragon (“Seinfeld,” “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse”), Robert Duncan McNeill (“Star Trek: Voyager”), and Robin Atkins Downes (“Criminal Minds,” “Mission Impossible 4”).

A wide array of authors and artists will be participating in the three-day event including Dan Nokes, Ethan van Sciver, Hon Bun Leong, Laura Inglis, Neal Adams, Pamela Ptak, Scott Derby and Tommy Castillo.

The show will also feature a number of Cosplay idols including  The Smoke, The Rebel Legion, Ani-Mia, Here Thar Be Pirates, Riki Riddle Lecotey, Heroes Alliance, The Philadelphia Power Rangers, The Mandalurian Mercs, Intraventus and Ivy Doomkitty. The Philadelphia Cosplay Contest is scheduled for April 24 at 1 p.m.

Show hours are from 3-8 p.m. on April 22, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on April 23 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on April 24. Tickets are $25 on Friday, $45 on Saturday and $30 on Sunday. Three-day passes are $59.95.

wc filmIf you’re a movie fan, you probably enjoy the weekly offerings at the local cinema. But, there are probably times when you’re in the mood to seek out something different.

Anyone with a yearning for something different will be able to find just that at this weekend’s 12th Annual West Chester Film Festival (484-639-9237, www.westchesterfilmfestival.com).

The highly-respected film festival will run from April 22-24 at a variety of locations around downtown West Chester. Tickets are $8 per two-hour block of films –$6 with Senior Citizen or valid Student I.D. There is also a “Festival Pass” for $50 which lets you into as many film blocks as you can handle.

The mission of the West Chester Film Festival is “to entertain, enlighten and educate the public through the presentation of global independent and innovative short film and interactive workshops by hosting an annual International Short Film Festival.” The organizers’ short term goal is to present a self-sustaining annual film festival.

The festival will feature works in a variety of film genres, including comedy, documentary, experimental/art, animation and drama. Entries have been submitted from all over the world, including works by filmmakers from Europe, Australia, Canada and the United States.

The 2016 edition of the festival will present approximately 100 independent short films — all of which are 30 minutes or less in length. The three-day event will include film screenings, interactive workshops and social events.

Activity gets underway at 5 p.m. on April 22 when Iron Hill Brewery hosts the “Opening Night Party.”

The event will be screening short films and hosting festival events at seven venues in downtown West Chester — Chester County Historical Society, 225 North High Street; Pietro’s Prime, 125 West Market Street; Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant, 3 West Gay Street; Fenn’s Coffee, 111 North Church Street; Chester County Historic Courthouse, 2 North High Street; Split Rail Tavern, 15 North Walnut Street; and Boxcar Brewpub, 142 East Market Street.

In addition to just viewing films, those attending the festival will be able to get the inside story behind the films by talking with the filmmakers. The festival will present lectures and workshops by industry professionals along with the annual “Filmmakers Meet and Greet” on April 23 at 5:30 p.m. at Pietro’s Prime.

Some of this year’s featured films are “Scheherazade,” “Today is the Day,” “breakage,” The Story of Ginger and Snapper,” “The Block,”“Un Signe, Un Geste,” “The Holy Cave,” “Soup of the Day,” “Touched,” “The End of Blessings,” “Holodomor: Voices of Survivors,” “Margret and Helmut,” and “Dear Santa.”

There is a special event scheduled for April 22 that is sure to be a “hoot.”

The Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County is staging a “Full Moon Owl Prowl” at the Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp Road, Avondale, http://tlcforscc.org/preserves/bucktoe-creek-preserve)

Participants in the event, which is scheduled to run from 7:30-9:30 p.m., will have the opportunity to listen for creatures of the night in the Bucktoe Creek Preserve’s woodland habitat — especially the Great Horned Owls, Eastern Screech Owls and Barred Owls which are known to inhabit the preserve.

Tickets for the “Full Moon Owl Prowl” are $5 for members of The Land Conservancy and $10 for non-members.

Earth-Day-LOGOEarth Day, which appears to become more necessary every year, has been featuring celebrations all around the world for more than 40 years.


There are a number of special Earth Day festivities in the area this weekend, including the “Dogs of Kennett Square Earth Day Concert” (http://historickennettsquare.com), the  “27th Annual Berks County Earth Day Celebration” at Riverfront Park (Riverfront Drive, Reading, www.earthdayberks.org) and the “Earth Day — Party for the Planet” at the Brandywine Zoo (1001 North Park Drive, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-571-7747, www.brandywinezoo.org).

Earth Day, which began in 1970, was founded by Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin. Today, Earth Day is a global celebration — an annual event that brings together people and communities for the common appreciation and understanding of the natural environment.

Thekennett earth day dogs 2016 Earth Day Music Event in Kennett Square has two reasons for people to attend — it’s an “Earth Day Weekend” activity and it is a benefit to help establish a dog park in a local park.

The event will feature local bands, local food, drinks, music, and raffle items. The event will benefit the Garage Community and Youth Center and also the Anson B. Nixon Park Dog Park fund.

Admission is $10 per person for the festival Cost is $10 per person with donations of $10 or more for participants age 21 and older. The event is being sponsored by Victory Brewing Company, Nourish Juice Bar, and Nomadic Pies.

berks earth day

The Berks County Earth Day Celebration will be held at Reading’s Riverfront Park on April 25.

The Berks County Earth Day Celebration will be held at Reading’s Riverfront Park on April 25 from 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. The free Earth Day event will include children activities, workshops, demonstrations, exhibits and interactive displays for all ages.

Live entertainment will be presented by Grexin, Earth Diver and John Kelly. There will also be a “Drum Circle” hosted by Mark Seaman of Livin’ in the Rhythm.

Exhibits will include information on energy and water conservation, alternative energy and alternative vehicles, land use, gardening, clean air and water, non-toxic chemicals for home and gardens, composting, recycling, sewage sludge, and environmentally aware businesses.

The Brandywine Zoo’s Earth Day activity is “Party for the Planet” featuring live entertainment, animal-related games, stories, crafts and live animal presentations. It is scheduled to run from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on April 23.

The 12-acre zoo features Siberian tigers, river otters, and other animals native to the Americas and the temperate areas of Asia. In addition to the tigers and river otters, the zoo also is home to a snowy owl, Andean condors, Florida bobcats, binturongs, sandhill cranes, burrowing owls, pygmy goats, llama, rhea and the capybara (which is the world’s largest rodent).

Earth Day activities are included free with zoo admission. Tickets for the Brandywine Zoo are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for children (ages 3-17).

longwood-spring

Spring is in full bloom at Longwood Gardens.

Now, it appears that spring has actually arrived and is ready to stick around for awhile. A great place to enjoy spring is Longwood Gardens (Route 1, Kennett Square, 610-388-1000, www.longwoodgardens.org) which has “Spring Blooms” running through June 3.

Visitors can enjoy hundreds of lush acres featuring burgeoning gardens of daffodils, tulips, magnolias, azaleas, flowering cherries and more than 240,000 flowering bulbs.

In the indoor part of “Spring Blooms”, lilies, delphiniums, hydrangeas and other spring blossoms fill the conservatory with color. Also featured are Longwood’s grand treehouses, whimsical Topiary Garden, and colorful Idea Garden.

Daily visitor programs, including gardening demonstrations, behind-the-scenes tours, and talks add to Longwood’s charms. Children will enjoy the many activities in the outdoor Children’s Area, and the imaginative fun of the Indoor Children’s Garden.

Admission to Longwood Gardens is $20 for adults, $17 for seniors and $10 for students.

hms pinafore

Gilbert & Sullivan’s “H.M.S. Pinafore” opens Friday at Gild Hall in Alden.

Gilbert & Sullivan and the Ardensingers go together like bacon and eggs or peanut butter and jelly — and they have the history to prove it.

The Ardensingers have been presenting the works of Gilbert & Sullivan continuously since 1948 at their historic Gild Hall (2126 The Highway, Arden, Delaware, 484-319-2350, www.ardensingers.com).

From April 22-30, the Ardensingers are performing Gilbert & Sullivan’s “H.M.S. Pinafore” — one of the team’s legendary musical comedies.

Also known as “The Lass That Loved a Sailor,” the piece is a comic opera in two acts. It opened at the Opera Comique in May 1878 and ran for 571 performances, which was the second-longest run of any musical theatre piece up to that time. “H.M.S. Pinafore” was the fourth opera Gilbert and Sullivan wrote.

The story takes place aboard the ship HMS Pinafore. The captain’s daughter, Josephine, is in love with a lower-class sailor — Ralph Rackstraw — but her father wants her to marry Sir Joseph Porter, the First Lord of the Admiralty.

Ralph and Josephine declare their love for each other and eventually plan to elope. The captain discovers this plan, but, as in many of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, a surprise disclosure changes things dramatically near the end of the story.

The stage direction for the Ardensingers’ production is being handled by Sam Griffin with Music Director Helene Furlong conducting the accomplished orchestra.

Performances are scheduled for April 22, 23, 29 and 30 at 8 p.m. and April 24  and 30 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for seniors and $7 for children.

thumbnail_HowtoSucceedSalesianum School Theater is presenting “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” now through May 1. Friday evening performances will feature a post-show “Q-and-A” sessions with members of the cast and production team. 

The play is produced with potential theater majors from Salesianum School along with performers from Salesianum’s sister schools — Padua Academy and Ursuline Academy. All three schools draw students from all around southern Chester County.

“How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” is one of Broadway’s all-time classic musicals. The play is based on Shepherd Mead’s satirical book of the same name which was a bestseller when it came out in 1952.

The hit musical, which reached the Broadway stage a decade later, won seven Tony Awards, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, and the 1962 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. A satire of big business and all it holds sacred, it follows the rise of J. Pierrepont Finch up the corporate ladder from lowly window washer to high-powered executive.

Performances, which are held at Salesianum High School (1801 North Broom Street, Wilmington, Delaware, www.salesianum.org), are slated for April 22, 23, 29 and 20 at 8 p.m. and April 24 and May 1 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens.

hindu

The “Holi Festival of Colors — Rangaa Rang International” takes place this weekend at the Hindu Temple of Delaware.

On April 23, the Hindu Temple of Delaware (760 Yorklyn Road, Hockessin, Delaware, 302-235-7020, http://www.hindutemplede.com) will host a celebration of the “Holi Festival of Colors — Rangaa Rang International” beginning at 1 p.m.

Holi is a Hindu spring festival in India and Nepal that is also known as the “Festival of Colors” or the “Festival of Sharing Love.” In India, it is traditionally a two-day festival which starts on the Purnima (Full Moon day).

When the time for Holi arrives, celebrations start on the night before Holi with a Holika bonfire. People gather, do religious rituals in front of the bonfire, and pray that their internal evil should be destroyed as the bonfire starts.

The next morning is celebrated as Rangwali Holi — a wild carnival of colors, where participants play, chase and color each other with dry powder and colored water. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, and the end of winter.

vikingday

April 23 is Viking Day at the Swedish American Museum in Philadelphia.

There used to be an event this time of year in Philadelphia presented by the American Swedish Historical Museum (1900 Pattison Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-389-1776, www.americanswedish.org) that had an almost-impossible-to-pronounce name –Valborgsmässoafton.

The event was held to celebrate the arrival of spring. Traditionally, it is celebrated on the night of April 30 in every town and village throughout Sweden. The event is known as Valborgsmässoafton (Eve of Walpurgis Mass), since May 1 is the day of Valborg (Walpurgis).

This year, the American Swedish Historical Museum has opted to host a different end-of-April event. Called “Viking Day,” the event will be celebrated on April 23. Activities will get underway at noon and continue until 4 p.m.

Visitors to the museum will get to know the sailing warriors from northern Europe when the museum takes participants back in time to explore Norse culture. Visitors can view a 40-foot, half-size working model of the Gokstad ship, learn the runic alphabet and compete in a Hnefeltafle (Viking Chess competition).

At 12:30 p.m., there will be the “Flowers & Monsters Tour,” which is a guided tour through the museum’s newest exhibition, featuring wooden carvings inspired by Norse culture.

From 1-1:30 p.m. in the New Sweden Gallery, there will be a talk by Annie Humphrey titled “Norse Women and the Family” followed by a talk by David Krueger titled “Historical Influences and Legacy of the Kensington Rune Stone” from 2-2:30 and storytelling by Steven Clark from 3-3:30 p.m. in the Textile Gallery.

At 3:30 p.m., it will be time for the “Hnefletafle Tournament.” Additionally, food, games, crafts and Viking dress-up will be ongoing throughout the day.

Admission to “Viking Day” is $7 for adults $7, $5 for children (ages 5-18) years and free for children under five.

chinese lantern festival

Historic Philadelphia is illuminating the park with its inaugural Chinese Lantern Festival through June 12.

In conjunction with the celebration of Historic Philadelphia’s 10th anniversary at Franklin Square (200 Sixth Street, Philadelphia, www.historicphiladelphia.org ), Historic Philadelphia is illuminating the park with its inaugural Chinese Lantern Festival.

From April 22 through June 12, Franklin Square will come alive every night with 25 illuminated lanterns, handcrafted giant flowers, a three-story pagoda and a 200-foot-long Chinese dragon. All creations were constructed by lantern artisans from China.

Chinese-inspired performances will take place in Franklin Square twice nightly. Performances will celebrate Chinese performance art and entertainment including traditional dance and song and the intriguing face-changing, a centuries-old performance art that features colorful masks and Sichuan opera.

The performances are included in the price of festival admission. Performances are 30-minutes long and are scheduled for 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 7 and 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Festival hours are 6-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Admission is $17 for adults, $12 for youth, and $15 for seniors and military.

The Kimmel Center (Broad and Spruce streets, Philadelphia, 215-731-3333, www.kimmelcenter.org) has been presenting a huge cultural event called the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) since April 8.

The event features more than 60 performances at a variety of venues in downtown Philadelphia. Now, the expansive festival is heading into the home stretch and will conclude on April 23.

On April 22, “Holding it Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project” is a multimedia piece that will take place in the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater starting at 8 p.m.

It is the latest astonishing multi-disciplinary project to emerge from the longtime collaboration of Grammy-nominated pianist-composer Vijay Iyer and poet-performer-librettist-emcee Mike Ladd. Three years in the making, the new work focuses on veterans of color from the last decade’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Holding It Down” is a thought-provoking combination of music, poetry, song, video monologues, and visuals, created from the actual dreams of young veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. 

On April 23, one of the most popular PIFA events — the “Street Fair” — will be held along the street in front of the Kimmel Center for a few blocks in either direction

From 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Broad Street from Chestnut Street to South Street will be closed to vehicular traffic and converted into a lively street festival with attractions such as a Ferris wheel, a zip line, food and drink vendors, areas for lounging, a 25-foot waterfall across from the Academy of Music and more.

Other closing weekend PIFA presentations are “Paper Planet: Polyglot Theatre” (April 22 and 23, Hamilton Garden), “Kinetic Tree” (April 22 and 23, Commonwealth Plaza), “Mi Voca Su Voca” (April 22, SEI Innovation Studio), “Stand” (April 22 and 23, Commonwealth Plaza).

A few blocks south and a day later, East Passyunk’s Flavors of the Avenue (Passyunk Avenue between Tasker and Morris streets, http://www.visiteastpassyunk.com/events/flavors-of-the-avenue.php) will take place from noon-4 p.m. with the neighborhood’s top restaurants offering a huge outdoor dining celebration.

Staged under a very large tent, Flavors of the Avenue provides visitors with the opportunity to sample dishes from more than 20 of East Passyunk’s award-winning chefs and restaurants.

The food and beverages will be inside the tent. Outside of the tent, there will be a free street festival with live music by The Primaries, MJ Nestor and Brian LaPann Trio, a fashion show near Moore Street presented by East Passyunk merchants and the “April Showers Craft Show” hosted by Crafty Balboa in the vicinity of the Singing Fountain.

2016 Flavors of the Avenue participating restaurants are Bing Bing Dim Sum, Birra, Brigantessa, Cantina Los Caballitos, El Sarape, Fond, Garage, Ippolito’s, Izumi, Laurel,  Le Virtu, Lucky 13, Mamma Maria Ristorante, Noord, Palladino’s, Paradiso, Perla, Plenty, P’unk Burger, Saté Kampar, Stogie Joe’s, Townsend, Tre Scalini, Vanilya Bakery and Will BYOB.

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