Originated in 1962, The Philadelphia Antiques Show has grown into one of the most prominent shows in the United States — famed for its wide array of decorative pieces and furnishings. Mayor Michael A. Nutter joined show officials yesterday to announce that the 2012 Show will move to a new home in Center City, Philadelphia — the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
“This is going to be an exciting event in this city,” said Nutter. “Where else to celebrate Americana than in the birthplace of America? Not only in Philadelphia, but downtown in the newly expanded, updated and spectacular Convention Center. Philadelphia is known for our eds, meds and beds.” The Philadelphia Antiques Show combines all of them. Last year, about 10,000 people visited the show and stayed at our great hotels. The proceeds from the Antiques Show benefit University of Pennsylvania Medicine. This year, the Philadelphia Antiques Show will be even bigger as it moves to its new home, the Pennsylvania Convention Center.”
One of the longest running shows in the country, the show debuted on April 24, 1962 as the University Hospital Antiques Show at the 33rd Street Armory in West Philadelphia. Since its founding, the show has moved to several locations, and was hosted most recently at The Navy Yard, Philadelphia Cruise Terminal at Pier One. The change in venue will feature a larger floor plan, and a new logo to bring antiques into the 21st century.
“Moving the show to the Pennsylvania Convention Center allows patrons the chance to purchase the finest, most exquisite treasures from over 50 antiques dealers featured in our largest floor plan ever,” says show chairwoman Gretchen Riley. “With the new layout of the show, we also decided to elevate the look of our brand with a fresh logo that we hope inspires a new generation of collectors to attend the show and begin collections of their own.”
In addition to the new location and show dates, proceeds from the 51st Philadelphia Antiques Show will continue to raise funds for its beneficiary, the University of Pennsylvania Health System, and will help establish the Penn Lung Transplant Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion Center.
Occupy Philadelphia protesters have been given 48 hours to move from their City Hall encampment.
Mayor Michael Nutter said on Friday the demonstrators have until 5 p.m. Sunday to leave their current spot to make way for a $50 million Dilworth Plaza renovation project.
“Last week, the city posted an Official Notice that construction was imminent,” Nutter said. “Today, I am happy to report that the city has approved a building permit for Center City District and its general contractor, clearing the way for the start of this 27-month construction process and the many jobs associated with it. And so now, I am announcing that as of 5 p.m. today everyone now encamped on Dilworth Plaza has 48-hours to remove their possessions and themselves from the project site, which will be fenced for the construction project and public’s safety starting some time next week.”
The protesters have lived next to City Hall since early October as a statement about what they call economic injustice and in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement, which began on Sept. 17.
The mayor has cited what he called "serious health and safety issues" at the current Occupy Philadelphia encampment, saying conditions there are "intolerable," and officials said they do not want to see a repeat of the 24-hour occupation at the new site.
Nutter also announced that a permit to protest at Thomas Paine Plaza was granted to Occupy Philadelphia Reasonable Solutions, an Occupy splinter group that met with city officials earlier and presented a petition with more than 500 signatures supporting a move.
“The people associated with Occupy Philadelphia Reasonable Solutions have been at Dilworth Plaza from Day One,” Nutter said. “They have slept on the site and they have participated in events for the last seven weeks. They are not and never were trying to stop the Dilworth Plaza construction project, a beautiful remake of the plaza built by the 99 percent for the 99 percent. In its appeal of the City’s rejection of its permit application, the group said it wanted to continue its citizen action and lobbying activity. Occupy Philadelphia Reasonable Solutions wants economic and social justice for the less fortunate in this great nation of ours. That is something that I and my administration work for every day.”
In recent weeks, the level of conflict within Occupy Philadelphia has been highlighted by public discontent and finger-pointing. The formerly leaderless movement now has at least three entities, and several spokespersons.
“Nutter has patently not communicated with us,” said Occupy Philly member Jennifer Starwood, 28. “He has communicated with Reasonable Solutions under the guise of communicating with Occupy Philly, which is poor politicking. The Occupy Movement is about corporate accountability, bank accountability and government responsibility to us...I don't care about where our political voice comes from in terms of space, it's important that our political voice be heard everywhere we are. Reasonable Solutions wants to turn it into a site, or a battle, about space, and that just seems petty to me.”
According to Nutter, a one-month permit was granted to Occupy Philadelphia Reasonable Solutions that allows for people to protest at Thomas Paine Plaza, which is located across the street from City Hall, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
No tents or overnight camping will be allowed. One canopy will be allowed for an information booth and shelter for computer equipment.
—The Associated Press contributed to this report
As director of education for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) — and the only woman within Martin Luther King Jr.’s inner circle — Dorothy Cotton’s primary responsibility was overseeing the Citizen Education Program (CEP), a grassroots leadership program that proved to be one of the Civil Rights Movement’s most important contributions. As one of of SCLC’s secret weapons, the program encouraged community “elders” and leaders and their youth proteges to stand steadfastly against the intimidation of the Ku Klux Klan and the brutality of law enforcement while adopting the disciplines of non-violent and model citizenship — a philosophy that was designed to prevail over the rage and bitterness that dominated Black communities during the struggle.
Cotton’s memoir, “If Your Back’s Not Bent: The Role of the Citizenship Education Program in the Civil Rights Movement” (Atria Books, $25.00), takes its title from the famous quote by King that describes how a man cannot climb on your back and let you carry him unless your back is bent. It tells the behind-the-scene story of the critical preparation of legions of disenfranchised people across the South to work with existing systems of local government to gain access to services and resources to which they were entitled as citizens. They learned to demonstrate peacefully against injustice, even when they were met with violence and hatred. The CEP was born out of the work of the Tennessee Highlander Folk School and was fully developed and expanded by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference led by King until that fateful day in Memphis in April 1968. Cotton was checked into the Lorraine Motel at that time as well, but she’d left to do the work of the CEP before the assassin’s bullet was fired.
“Though unheralded, Dorothy Cotton was as crucial to the Movement as was King, (Rev. Ralph David) Abernathy and (Fred) Shuttlesworth in her dogged preparation of the ‘troops,’” explained the Rev. Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker, Pastor Emeritus of Harlem’s Canaan Baptist Church of Christ. “Dorothy Cotton was the engine that made it move to become a crucial part of the movement. It produced Fannie Lou Hamer and dozens like her and empowered them all across the deep South to produce an authentic grass roots revolution. This book tells the story that most chroniclers have missed because of their penchant for sensationalism and not actual historical facts that can be supported by intentional research.”
“If Your Back’s Not Bent” recounts the accomplishments and the drama of this training that was largely ignored by the media, which had focused its attention on marches and demonstrations. This book describes who participated and how they were transformed — men and women alike — from victims to active citizens, and how they transformed their communities and ultimately the country into a place of greater freedom and justice for all. Cotton shows how the CEP was key to the movement’s success, and how the lessons of the program can serve our democracy now. People, and therefore systems, can indeed change “if your back’s not bent.”
The automobile age promised freedom and self-fulfillment, but it has actually imprisoned us (the average American now spends 16 weeks of his life stuck in traffic), impoverished us (we spend more on cars than food and health care combined), eroded our communities (40 years ago, half of all American children walked or biked to school; now five out of six are driven). The demand for oil is fast outpacing the worlds’ supply, and it is time to start imagining a world after the automobile age.
In “Straphanger: Saving Our Cities and Ourselves from the Automobile” (Times Books, $25), award-winning author Taras Grescoe sets out on a quest to discover how people around the world are building neighborhoods, lifestyles and entire cities without the personal automobile.
“I am proud to call myself a straphanger,” writes Grescoe as he details the long-running war between the private automobile and public transit that has shaped our cities. On a journey that takes him around the world — from New York to Moscow, Paris, Copenhagen, Tokyo, Bogotá, Phoenix, Portland, Vancouver and Philadelphia — Grescoe profiles public transportation here and abroad.
In Paris, he plunges beneath the paving stones to explore the world’s most glamorous metro system; in Copenhagen, he hops on a bike to learn why so many Danes have chosen to cycle to work under the northern lights; in Tokyo, he discovers a megalopolis built by private rail companies, where car ownership is actually in decline. Grescoe explores the ascendance of the straphangers — the growing number of people who rely on public transportation to go about the business of their daily lives.
The perception of public transportation in America is often unflattering — a squalid last resort for those with one too many drunk-driving charges, too poor to afford insurance or too decrepit to get behind the wheel of a car. Indeed, a century of auto-centric culture and city planning has left most of the country with public transportation that is underfunded, ill maintained, and ill conceived. But as the demand for petroleum is fast outpacing the world's supply, a revolution in transportation is under way.
“Straphanger” is a an urban transit treatise highlighting the people and ideas that may help undo the damage that car-centric planning has done to cities and create convenient, affordable, and sustainable urban transportation — and better city living — for all.
In celebration of First Person Arts’ 10th Anniversary, the First Person Festival of Memoir and Documentary Art is taking over Old City for an unprecedented 11 days with theater, storytelling, documentary film, workshops, author readings and more — all inspired by real life experience. First Person Arts was founded in 2000 as Blue Sky by Vicki Solot, in response to the burgeoning interest in memoir and documentary art forms. Solot appreciated the resonance of real stories and recognized their value as a means of bridging cultural and ethnic divides. This year, one of the featured presentations is April Yvette Thompson’s powerful one-woman show, “Liberty City.” The story takes place at the end of the 1970’s Black Power Movement in Miami. Thompson weaves a rich story of family, race and the value of understanding one’s history while forging one’s own path.
“I originally started this as a research project on slave narratives, and I wanted to do a one-person show where I dramatized real slaves’ narratives," recalled Thompson. “I did a ton of research because I was interested in the first person art form, and I’m always interested in how history impacts people’s lives, politicizes them and forces them to take a stand in real life—and of course, being enslaved is one of the institutions that forced us to make some stands.”
Thompson credits span film, television and theater. She has appeared Off Broadway in the New York premiere of “The Exonerated,” which ran for a year and half and was named the No. 1 play of 2002 by The New York Times. She also starred in the television version for “Court TV.” Her film credits include “Phoebe in Wonderland,” “Accidental Husband” and “Bernard & Doris.” As a playwright, Thompson is currently working on part 2 of her Miami Trilogy of plays, that began with “Liberty City” and continues with “Good Bread Alley.” With chameleon-like skill, Thompson deftly brings to life the many people that shaped her experience, including her progressive, Cuban-Bahamian father and African-American mother. “I grew up in a household where my father was black-listed because he demanded that the fight continues and you have to bring Black businesses into the community” explained Thompson. “We need to tell this story. How did the ’70s became the ’80s? What happened to our leadership? What is it that they were asking for in the ’70s that was different and America was not willing to give — and what is the toll that it took on those families?”
The show climaxes with the infamous Liberty City riots and the journey a young girl must take to protect her family. “‘Liberty City’ is a history play and a memory play happening in real time but on the non-linear template,” notes Thompson. “It looks at real events through the eyes of interrelated characters whose responses have been shifted and sent through the sieve of memory and under the critical eye of the child of flawed and compassionate radicals of the ’70s whose sacrifices allowed her access to a world of unencumbered intellectual exploration of the very rights and ideas they fought to access. It is a meditation on how the voices of the past have guided me: their limitations, their scope and how they’ve led me to a clearer understanding of the politics of power, race, gender and culture.”
The 10th Anniversary First Person Festival of Memoir and Documentary Art runs from Nov. 10–20 and will feature April Yvette Thompson’s One-Woman Show Liberty City on Nov. 11–12 and Nov. 18–19 at Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American Street.
Did the Maya believe the world would end in December 2012? In recent years, the media have been filled with claims that the ancient Maya predicted a cataclysmic event at the end of their calendar. Some believe that a celestial alignment will bring a series of devastating natural disasters. Others argue that this event will bring enlightenment and a new age of peace. As December 2012 draws closer, new predictions continue to emerge.
So, what did the Maya really believe? With “MAYA 2012: Lords of Time,” the Penn Museum confronts the current fascination with the year 2012, comparing predictions of a world-transforming apocalypse with their supposed origins in the ancient Maya civilization. The exhibition features more than 150 remarkable objects and is presented in partnership with the Instituto Hondureño de Antropologia e Historia of the Republic of Honduras. In addition to impressive, Classic Maya art and artifacts excavated at Copan, and towering replicas of exceptional ancient Maya monuments, the exhibition features interactive experiences that invite visitors to explore ancient and contemporary Maya.
“’MAYA 2012’ offers visitors a rare opportunity to view spectacular examples of Classic Maya art — some of which have never before been seen outside Honduras — and delve into the Maya people’s extraordinary, layered, and shifting concepts about time,” noted exhibition Curator Dr. Loa Traxler, an archaeologist who excavated at the site of Copan from 1989 through 2003.
The ancient Maya civilization has long fascinated scholars and the public alike. For 2,000 years, the Maya flourished in southern Mexico and parts of Central America, their grand cities featuring temple pyramids, palaces, ball courts and intricately carved stone monuments bearing royal portraits and a complex hieroglyphic script. They excelled in art, architecture, astronomy and mathematics — developing a calendar system that amazes and intrigues to this day. The Maya’s complex, interlocking calendar systems, which were based on an advanced understanding of astronomy and the night sky, are simply fascinating. Their most elaborate system, the Long Count, encompasses trillions of years and one of its important cycles comes to a close on December 23, 2012 (some scholars say December 21, 2012). This is the origin of the Maya 2012 “end of the world” phenomenon.
“Regardless of what some may say about the December 2012 Phenomenon, the people of Honduras are certain that this year provides us a unique opportunity to share a part of our history and culture with the world,” said Dr. Norma Cerrato, minister counselor of legal affairs, Embassy of Honduras. “Even though they abandoned this city many centuries ago, the legacy of the Maya lives on in Copa Ruinas today. It lives in the smiles of the people who live and work in this small town surrounded by ancient stories and tropical rainforests. It lives in the knowledge and fascination that hundreds of thousands of tourists experience every year. The Government of Honduras and the University of Pennsylvania have been working together to explore the wonders of Copna for almost three decades. MAYA 2012: Lords of Time is a celebration of this collaboration.”
“MAYA 2012: Lords of Time” is on exhibit at the University of Pennsylvania Museum from May 5th through January 13, 2013. Porfirio Lobo Sosa, president of the Republic of Honduras, joins Penn Museum Director Richard Hodges to cut the ribbon and open the exhibition to the public at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 5. An Opening Weekend Celebration, co-sponsored by the Mexican Cultural Center, features Mayan and Central American music, dance, weaving and craft demonstrations, and family craft activities in the Museum Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Timed tickets to the exhibition (includes admission to the Museum) are on sale by phone (888) 695-0888) or through the Museum’s website (www.penn.museum/2012).
Taboo is a founding member of the Grammy Award–winning group The Black Eyed Peas. In “Fallin’ Up: My Story” (Touchstone Paperback/ Simon & Schuster, $14), he teams up with Steve Dennis to share the inspiring story of his rise from the mean streets of East L.A. to the heights of international fame.
A Mexican-American with Shoshone blood on his mother’s side, the now internationally acclaimed artist defied expectations early on — first by rejecting the limitations placed on him by society, then by staying true to his dream of becoming a star.
Born in East L.A. in an area notorious for street gangs and poverty, Taboo was haunted by that environment, which seemed certain to shape his destiny. Yet, steered by his dreams to be a performer and assisted by fate, the young Taboo was thrown a rope when he discovered the world of hip-hop, where talent and love of the music itself transcended all. Supported by his one true champion, his grandmother, Aurora, Taboo chased his dreams with a relentless tenacity. He refused to surrender, regardless of what life threw at him — including becoming a father at 18.
“If you met me in the street and you knew nothing about the Black Eyed Peas and asked my name and where I was born, the reply could mislead you,” writes Taboo. “I’d give you my birth name: Jaime Luis Gomez. I’d tell you where I first grew up: a Mexican-American community in East L.A. That would probably surprise you, because you might, as many do, mistake me for an Asian. If I told you the projects I grew up in and you knew the Eastside, I’d catch that look in your eye and I’d say, yeah, that’s right — the neighborhood nicknamed after a street gang called Dog Town. These are the stamps of my identity, about as informative as markings in a passport. They tell you nothing about who I am or what my story is, and what it further explains to me, looking back, is why I never felt I belonged from day one. Don’t get me wrong: no one is prouder than I am of my Mexican-American roots, but these are merely my roots and national identity. This information doesn’t completely define me.”
But even after the Black Eyed Peas beat seemingly insurmountable odds and achieved stardom, it wasn’t all Grammys and platinum albums. Taboo delivers a searingly honest account of his collision with fame’s demons, including his almost career-ending struggle with drug addiction and alcoholism. He takes us deep into a world few of us can even imagine: a show-business heaven that became a self-made hell. But inspired by the love of his family and tapping anew into the wellspring of self-belief that had sustained him in the past, Taboo learns to keep his demons at bay, his addictions in check.
Full of intimate glances into the highest reaches of the music industry — including a visit to Sting’s castle, hanging out with Bono and U2, and, at 41,000 feet, the high-flyingest karaoke ever — “Fallin’ Up” takes readers on a revealing, personal journey through stardom — and one man’s triumph over adversity times two.
Shortly after noon on July 16, 2009, Henry Louis Gates Jr., MacArthur Fellow and Harvard professor, was mistakenly arrested by Cambridge police sergeant James Crowley for attempting to break into his own home. The ensuing media firestorm ignited debate across the country. The Crowley-Gates incident was a clash of absolutes, underscoring the tension between Black and white, police and civilians, and the privileged and less privileged in modern America. In “The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Race, Class and Crime in America” (Palgrave Macmillan, $25), Charles Ogletree, one of the country’s foremost experts on civil rights, uses this incident as a lens through which to explore issues of race, class and crime, with the goal of creating a more just legal system for all.
In the immediate aftermath of the Crowley-Gates incident Ogletree acted not only as counsel to Gates but continues to be special counsel to President Obama and adviser on police behavior to both Harvard University and the City of Cambridge.
“One of the most remarkable ironies to contend with is the fact that as we think about Professor Gates’ arrest, President Obama’s intervention, the public reaction and the broader issues of race, class and crime, we find ourselves at a critical juncture in history,” writes Ogletree. “We must rejoice in the fact that Americans were able to put aside race and elect the person they thought was the most qualified individual to serve as president. This celebration echoed from California to Massachusetts, from Florida to Virginia, from North Carolina to Ohio. While this is an important sign of racial progress, it belies the fact that we are still a long way away from achieving Dr. King’s dream of a society in which all people are judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin.
Ogletree is the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the founding and executive director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at the law school. He is the author of four books on race and the law, including the critically acclaimed “All Deliberate Speed,” and has received numerous awards and honors, including being named one of the 100+ Most Influential Black Americans by Ebony Magazine. Working from years of research and based on his own classes and experiences with law enforcement, the author illuminates the steps needed to embark on the long journey toward racial and legal equality for all Americans.
“If America can elect an African-American president, the thinking goes, how can we be accused of having a racially discriminatory society,” says Ogletree. “The mistaken assumption is that since we have achieved so much racial progress, we should discontinue all the efforts to address racial discrimination in the 21st century. Those who believe that we are in a post-racial environment are naive at best or racially insensitive at worst.”
“The Warmest December(Akashic Books, $15.95)” tells the powerful, deeply moving story of one Brooklyn family and the alcoholism and abuse that marked the years of their lives. Bernice McFadden’s vivid novel opens with: “Now and then I forget things. ... One day last week I forgot that I hated my father .... ” Narrated by Kenzie Lowe, a young woman reminiscent of Jamaica Kincaid’s Annie John, the story moves fluidly between the past and the present as she visits her dying father and finds that choices she once thought beyond her control are very much hers to make.
“In reading Bernice’s work, particularly ‘The Warmest December,’ I wondered how much of it came from her actual life,” reflected her friend and fellow author James Frey. “On her own website, there is a banner across the top that says, ‘I write to breathe life back into memory.’ The book tells the story of a woman named Kenzie sitting at her father’s bedside as he slowly dies. She relieves, through memory, the horrific childhood she experienced at his hands, a childhood marred by alcoholism and extreme physical abuse. The narrative moves back and forth between Kenzie’s memories and her present life, one in which she has survived, but is struggling with her addiction to alcohol. It is a beautiful book, and my words about it don’t do it justice.”
McFadden is the author of seven critically acclaimed novels including the classic “Sugar” and “Glorious,” which was featured in “O, The Oprah Magazine,” selected as the debut title for the One Book, One Harlem program, and was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award. She is a two-time Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finalist, as well as the recipient of two fiction honor awards from the BCALA.
Set in Brooklyn, New York, McFadden’s birthplace and current residence, the author explains that she wrote “The Warmest December” “because children of addictive and/or abusive parents walk the thinnest line between love and hate, sanity and madness, life and death.”
Now over 184 years old,The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) continues in its mission to “motivate people to improve the quality of life and create a sense of community through horticulture.” The first Flower Show was in 1829 at the Masonic Hall on Chestnut Street, where the well-known Christmas favorite, the poinsettia, was introduced. Over the decades, the event has grown dramatically to become the nation’s grandest Flower Show, attracting 250,000 visitors annually over an eight-day period. In 2012, the PHS will takes visitors on a whole new trip with Philadelphia International Flower Show themed: “Hawaii: Islands of Aloha.”
This year’s show will introduce a tropical experience that blends next stage digital technology with the natural beauty and rich culture of the islands and more. The islands will be celebrated in showcase gardens that highlight flowers, landscape, performances and art.
“This is a Show that will appeal to anyone who enjoys excitement, fantastic design and a full-tilt experience,” said PHS President Drew Belcher. “Whether you’re a Show veteran or a first-timer, you’ve never seen a Flower Show like this.”
New motion graphics will transform waterfalls into lava flows and sculptural forms into breaking waves. As visitors enter the hall, they will be transported to a new world, one with a multidimensional sensory experience amid a canopy of tropical flowers that rival the Pacific paradise. “We look forward to sharing the natural beauty of of our islands, as well as our Hawaiian culture and the aloha spirit of our people, on the East Coast,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. “The week of events will expose attendees to the richness and diversity of Hawaii, and we hope they are encouraged to visit us after experiencing and learning about our special place.”
Other major exhibits will include floral volcanoes, cut-bamboo designs, surf shacks, Hawaiian vistas and a tribute to the memorial garden at Pearl Garden. Towering palms, green walls and a tropical plant canopy will immerse guests in the Hawaiian rainforests. A 25-foot-high waterfall will splash down into Pele’s Garden, an island of exotic flowers and plants where performers will conjure volcanic flames and the Fire Goddess.
The 2012 Philadelphia International Flower Show “Hawaii: Islands of Aloha” runs from Sunday, March 4 to Sunday, March 11, 2012, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 12th & Arch streets. For information and tickets, visit theflowershow.com. For behind-the-scene stories and previews of the Show, visit the Flower Show Blog, Facebook and Twitter pages.