Night Tours: Summer Twilight
Building on the success of its inaugural Night Tours last fall, Eastern State Penitentiary will expand its evening programming with Night Tours: Summer Twilight. Visitors will be invited to explore the historic cellblocks as the sun goes down. Admission will include all of Eastern State’s daytime programming—self-guided audio tour narrated by actor Steve Buscemi, award-winning exhibits, and popular points of interest such as Al Capone’s Cell and Death Row—in addition to some new, exclusive offerings.
Visitors to Night Tours: Summer Twilight can experience the all-new Fair Chance Beer Garden presented by Eastern State Penitentiary and Triple Bottom Brewing Company, two organizations committed to fair chance hiring and social justice storytelling. Located outdoors on the penitentiary’s baseball field, The Fair Chance Beer Garden will offer a selection of Triple Bottom beer for purchase, including Purpose Pale Ale, brewed in collaboration between Eastern State and Triple Bottom.
The Fair Chance Beer Garden will create meaningful, living-wage jobs for people who may otherwise be excluded from the mainstream economy, including people who have experienced homelessness or incarceration, and will only be available during Night Tours: Summer Twilight. Visitors can purchase beverages to enjoy on the baseball field, or to take with them as they continue to explore the rest of the site.
Visitors to The Fair Chance Beer Garden can also participate in hands-on activities as they reflect on Eastern State’s history and legacy of criminal justice reform. Activities will focus on art, writing, and music, and will prompt conversation on issues of justice today. Eastern State staff will be on hand to engage with visitors and offer special presentations each evening, subject to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.
A new public artist installation will serve as the last stop for visitors as they exit the penitentiary. Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site and Mural Arts Philadelphia have co-commissioned artist Andrea Walls to create a new, digital artist installation to be projected onto the exterior of Eastern State. Working in collaboration with Mural Arts’ Guild Members of the Restorative Justice program and considering empathy as a framework for social change, Walls’ culminating video will be projected onto the dramatic façade of Eastern State Penitentiary during Night Tours: Summer Twilight.
Coinciding with the Night Tours schedule, this projection will debut on Friday, May 7 and will be shown on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., through September 4. Viewers will be able to play the soundtrack from their smartphones and watch from the sidewalk throughout the evening. This installation will be free and open to the public.
New Artist Installations:
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site will host three new and 12 returning artist installations in 2021. Adding to a growing legacy of site-specific art at Eastern State, these projects were chosen for their ability to address the penitentiary’s complex history and introduce perspectives on the contemporary American criminal justice system.
Linda Bond’s Deadly Weapons will be comprised of a wall hanging and bed covering woven with strips of Mylar and colorful shoelaces to reference the experiences of immigrants detained at the U.S. – Mexico border. Artist Patrick Cabry will draw charcoal and mixed media portraits of approximately 500 visitors over the course of 40 hours. Cabry’s installation, 500 Faces of Continuity, was inspired by his own incarceration and brings attention to the challenges people face both while incarcerated and once released. With Transient Room, Ann Reichlin will explore the contradictions of Eastern State’s architecture and historic practices by installing a tipped reflective plane in one of the penitentiary’s cells.
These artist installations will be included with daytime admission to the historic site, and will also be included with admission to Night Tours: Summer Twilight.
Night Tours: Summer Twilight will run Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings from May 7 through September 4, 2021. Tickets are on sale now. Ticket prices start at $19. Free for Eastern State members. Timed tickets must be purchased online in advance at www.EasternState.org