October 08, 2019
The B.PHL Innovation Festival formally kicks off on Tuesday. But the party begins before that – literally.
Four neighborhood events slated for this weekend aim to highlight innovations happening throughout Philadelphia. Plus, neighborhood residents are able to attend – even if they don't have a badge for the formal festival taking place at various Center City locations from Oct. 15-17.
"We know that we're a city of neighborhoods," said Michelle Histand, executive director of B.PHL and director of innovation at Independence Blue Cross. "We really thought it was important to include the neighborhoods. ... There are events in each district. Each one has its own twist."
The first event – the Mosaic Community Church Neighborhood Bazaar – kicks off at noon on Saturday in West Philly. The bazaar, held at 123 S. 51st St., will highlight the neighborhood's innovative small business owners while also including food and musical performances.
Later that afternoon, SEAMAAC, a South Philly nonprofit that supports immigrants, refugees and marginalized communities, will host a party at a South Philly library. Organizations and community partners dedicated to improving innovation and increasing neighborhood resources will be on hand. The party begins at 2 p.m. at a location to be determined.
On Saturday evening, Javier Ávila will put on his one-man show, "The Trouble With My Name," at Esperanza Art Center, 4261 N. 5th St., in Hunting Park. The show examines the issues of language, race and social justice through the telling of Ávila's life story, highlighting the cultural barriers he has encountered.
"We were really excited about the tie to innovation for that one," Histand said. "Part of the performance was how to change our language and think differently about who we are as individuals."
Tickets to Ávila's show can be purchased here. Hunting Park residents can use the offer code Tw19140mN to gain free admission when selecting a ticket online. They must show ID to pick up the ticket prior to the show. The show begins at 7:30 p.m.
The final neighborhood event takes place Sunday at Maken Studios North, at 3525 I St. in Kensington. Beginning at noon, Philadelphia Open Studio Tours and Maken Studios North will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the daily life of a visual artist. Additionally, a local teacher and neighborhood children will paint a mural.
But the fun doesn't stop there.
Throughout the week, several organizations are hosting social events designed to give festival attendees an opportunity to mingle.
Among them: A public art installation at the Independence Seaport Museum. Participants can see FLOW, an exhibition of 20 floating sculptural installations in the boat basin next to the museum, before walking along the Delaware River with a glow stick to see a 90-foot Ghost Ship illuminated beneath the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. The event begins Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Participants more inclined to play board games can head to the new Innovation Center at Independence Blue Cross, where gametenders from Thirsty Dice will leading board games like Monopoly and Checkers. Triple Bottom Brewing is providing free food and beer. The event runs Tuesday from 5-7 p.m.
B.PHL's closing ceremony, hosted by Know Hope Records!, will take place Thursday at Love City Brewing. Doors open at 4 p.m., with musical performances from local groups beginning at 7:30 p.m. B.PHL badge members can enjoy drink specials all night.
For a detailed listing of various social events, click here. Additional information regarding the neighborhood events can be found here. To purchase a badge to attend the B.PHL Innovation Fest, click here.