Exactly one century to the day of the debut of Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the culture-packed, museum-lined, park-pocketed boulevard fetes its centennial in grand, to-be-announced style (which will certainly include cake). Leading up to that finale, major public art projects and exhibits spanning City Hall, the Parkway Central Library, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the Rodin Museum and the Barnes Foundation explore and honor the corridor’s history and future.
The Parkway’s birthday fete features:
- The sounds of jazz, pop, and blues from Drew Nugent and the Midnight Society with dance entertainment from the Old City Sweethearts, plus croquet, chess, checkers, and more to celebrate the era the Parkway got its start with the Vintage BYO Picnic at Sister Cities Park;
- The PNC Bank Mobile Learning Adventure featuring the “When I Grow Up Station,” science-themed crafts, and complimentary educational materials;
- In honor of Mural Arts Month, Mural Arts Philadelphia and curator Ryan Strand Greenberg present artist Alicia Eggert’s You Are Magic, a large-scale, interactive, inflatable sculpture designed to inspire wonder and evoke the power or collaboration. You Are Magic is an original artwork created for Arlington County, Virginia as part of the Arlington Art Truck program.
- Art in the Allée participatory art project with Mural Arts Philadelphia outside The Barnes Foundation.
- A Puzzle Park complete with over-sized puzzles from the commemorative Parkway 100 dot-to-dot coloring book;
- Painting with Mural Arts Philadelphia;
- Kids’ music jam sessions with Settlement Music School;
- A focus on fun facts and French influences on the Parkway, plus French lessons for all ages, and a photo booth with Alliance Francaise;
- Self-guided public art tours of The Logan Philadelphia collection of 1,800 works with subtle, playful nods to James Logan, the hotel’s Parkway location, and Philadelphia surroundings.
- Selfies with zombies, presented by “Terror Behind the Walls” at Eastern State Penitentiary;
- A Halloween party (admission) at the Mütter Museum at The College of Physicians
- A video display of entries from the “My Parkway” Photo Contest.