SHOP PENN Playlist for February

It’s cold out there but we have some ideas for ways to play while you stay warm this winter.  If you are looking for something to do while you wait out the chilly temps, #ShopPenn is here to help with all the best things to do and see throughout University City. Find out everything happening around the district with the latest edition of the “Shop Penn Playlist,” a snapshot of the top events being offered by institutions, organizations, and venues on and around campus all month.

Mind & Mood Recharge – Penn Museum
February 7

Get your monthly dose of wellness Wednesday in Penn Museum’s galleries with an uplifting array of health-centric happenings including a botanical bar, wellness marketplace, and a monthly rotation of all-levels wellness activities from local practitioners of yoga, meditation, expressive arts, and more. This month enjoy yoga, meditation and a Color Cell Creations Workshop. 

Ballets Jazz Montreal: Essence – Penn Live Arts
February 9-10

One of the world’s greatest dance companies, Ballets Jazz Montréal celebrates its 50th anniversary with a landmark program including two Philadelphia premieres: Crystal Pite’s critically acclaimed Ten Duets on a Theme of Rescue explores classic storylines that invite the audience to determine who exactly rescues whom, and We Can’t Forget About What’s His Name by company member Ausia Jones ruminates on feelings of uncertainty and how it influences moments of connection. Completing the repertoire, Aszure Barton’s Les Chambres des Jacques creates “a world of wonder” (The Boston Globe) that’s “full of surprise and humor, emotion and pain.” (The New York Times)

Pre-Valentine’s Day Flea Market – The Rotunda
February 10

Have a heart for animals this February and indulge in free vegan snacks, a visit from Scary Cupid, and all to support a good cause! Examples of new or gently used items available: vintage items, jewelry, games, collectibles, and many other items that will steal your heart. All funds raised will be donated to an animal sanctuary that is chosen by volunteers the day of the event.

Dominique White and Alberta Whittle: Sargasso Sea – Institute of Contemporary Art
Opens February 10

Dominique White and Alberta Whittle: Sargasso Sea is an exhibition that takes its name from the only body of water that is defined solely by oceanic currents rather than shorelines. The Sargasso Sea lies just north of the Caribbean, stretching up towards the American coast and out towards the mid-Atlantic, encompassing an ecological system supported by the seaweed, Sargassum, as well as Marine routes that have reorganized the world through colonial expansion, trade, trafficking, environmental devastation, enslavement and migration. In this exhibition, guest-curated by Daniella Rose King, White’s and Whittle’s work invoke futures that upend this world with counter images of shipwreck, salvage, reciprocity and Black feminist led-revolution.

Tomashi Jackson: Across the Universe – Institute of Contemporary Art
Opens February 10

The solo exhibition Tomashi Jackson: Across the Universe is the first to bring together paintings, video, prints, and sculpture from different bodies of work Jackson has created over the past eight years, providing an overview of the threads in her practice and her use of materials. Approaching her video works as “moving paintings,” the exhibition presents examples of videos in dialogue with paintings and sculpture and articulates how Jackson’s approach to color and conceptual layering translates across these mediums. Over the course of her career Jackson has closely investigated specific histories related to cities, lands, and individuals in the United States.

Philly Gumbo Mardi Gras Party – World Café Livegroup standings in a line
February 10

Philly Gumboʼs distinctive blend of New Orleans R & B, funk, reggae, blues and soul has made it a unique and popular presence on the Philadelphia music scene for more thirty years. Over the years, the band has been a “Best Of” selection by Philadelphia Magazine in their annual “Best Of Philadelphia” issues as well as having played most of the top venues in the area such as The Kimmel Center, City Winery, The Sellersville Theater and World Cafe Live and such major events as the Atlantic City Summer Jazz Festival, Musikfest, Jambalaya Jam, Jam On The River, WRTI-FMʼs Groovinʼ In The Park, the Media Blues Stroll, The West Oak Lane Jazz & Arts Festival and many more.

Negro Ensemble Company: Zooman and the Sign – Penn Live Arts
February 15-18

Set in Philadelphia in 1979, Charles Fuller’s Zooman and the Sign explores the effects of gun violence on a family and their struggle to convince apathetic neighbors to take a stand together to achieve justice. Fuller was born and raised in our city, and best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning work, A Soldier’s Play, originally produced off-Broadway by NEC. Now, Penn Live Arts bring this Obie Award-winning play home to celebrate this remarkable playwright and shed light on how his work still resonates today.

Penn Basketball – The Palestra
February 16-17

The 2023-24 college basketball regular season quickly draws to a close as the Quakers shoot around their Ivy League opponents in the remaining weeks. Penn will play two games at the historic Palestra in February, hosting Yale on February 16 and Brown on February 17.

Chocolate Chip & Sip Podcast – World Café Live
February 17

Join Stormy Pea as she navigates through the dating scene with a modern day female perspective. From kinks to cons, vineyards to voyeurs, dating apps to parent teacher meetings; buckle up as this Philadelphia native takes you on a weekly ride of ridiculousness.

Barbara Earl Thomas: The Illuminated Body – Arthur Ross Gallery
Opens February 17

Barbara Earl Thomas’ most recent series of portraits weave an exquisite tapestry of light and color to depict individuals illuminated in moments of creativity. Invoking the history of portraiture, Thomas’ nine large-scale cut paper pieces celebrate great Black cultural icons such as August Wilson, Seth Parker Woods, and Charles Johnson, alongside Thomas’ friends, family, and acquaintances. Set in contexts ranging from public performance to the quiet of daydreaming, they honor the creative spark in all its manifestations. Thomas describes her subjects with nuance and care, encouraging extended viewing of these vibrant and layered portraits.

Escape the Museum – Penn Museum
February 21

You are about to embark on a thrilling quest through the Penn Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology. You and your team of college students have been chosen to unravel the mystery of long-lost artifacts. Your objective is to find the artifacts, return them to their correct gallery, and escape the room within 60 minutes. Remember, teamwork and quick thinking are essential! Are you ready to begin?

Jess Wiliamson – World Café Live
February 22

Endless prairies and ocean waves; long drives and highway expanse; dancing, smoke, sex, and physical desire – the core images of Jess Williamson’s new album Time Ain’t Accidental revel in the earthly and the carnal. After a protracted breakup with a romantic partner and longtime musical collaborator who left Williamson and their home in Los Angeles at the start of the pandemic, the album’s reckoning with loss, isolation, romance, and personal reclamation signals a tectonic shift for Williamson as a person and as an artist: from someone who once accommodated and made herself small to a woman emboldened by her power as an individual.

Digs & Dice: Let’s Play Mahjong – Penn Museum
February 22

Penn Museum kicks off its new Digs & Dice series with a look at mahjong. First developed in China during the 19th century, mahjong quickly became a popular game in China and beyond, with numerous variations popular among people around the world. Join Penn Museum educators, experts, and experienced players from the Philadelphia Riichi Mahjong Club as we play and learn about the game’s cultural impact.

Legacy On Broad – Penn Live Arts
February 24

Legacy on Broad is a non-profit collegiate South Asian Fusion Dance competition that brings together South Asian dance teams from across the nation to put on a production that incorporates creativity and showcases teamwork. As a mixture of many South Asian and Western styles, fusion dance incorporates culture from all around the world to depict classic stories, as well as to make proactive statements on current social issues. South Asian Fusion Dance highlights cultural diversity, brings people closer together through a shared love for culture and community, making the audience and competing teams feel like they are part of a larger community and making Legacy on Broad 2024 a night the audience will remember forever.

Madi Diaz: The Weird Faith Tour – World Café Livewoman standing in front of a sheet on clothes line
February 28

Madi Diaz has been making records and writing songs professionally since the late 2000s, but it wasn’t until she released 2021’s History Of A Feeling that she felt the glare of wider notoriety. It wasn’t her debut album, but it certainly felt like it. She made her daytime and nighttime television debuts, and embarked on her first solo tour since 2014. Harry Styles handpicked Diaz to open for him in arenas and stadiums in North America, and was so taken by her captivating live show, he asked her to be a member of his touring band, to sing alongside him all over Europe and the UK, as well as continuing to open the show in various cities. After three months on the road touring internationally, Diaz is back in Nashville and gearing up to release her new album, Weird Faith, perched on the precipice of her moment.