From January 2 through March 27, Wednesday Nights at the Philadelphia Museum of Art presents music, dance, and film from around the world, along with stimulating gallery talks and chef’s specials inspired by the season’s performances. Each Wednesday night, from 5:00 until 8:45 p.m., the Museum’s Great Stair Hall becomes a lively center stage and a starting off point for discovery in the galleries.
The new season of Wednesday Nights showcases a wide range of prominent musicians. To name a few:
- Canadian-based Silk Road perform and interpret the traditional sounds of their homeland China using pipa (lute), erhu (two-stringed fiddle), and ruan (guitar) (January 16).
- The sensuous Cape Verdean singer Fantcha—much praised by vocalist Cesaria Evora—celebrates Valentine’s Day with songs ranging from blues ballads to upbeat dance numbers that reflect influences from Africa, Cuba, and Brazil (February 13).
- The Philadelphia premiere of guitarist Emanuele Segre, who was commended by the magazine Classical Guitar: “Everything he plays, believe it or not, becomes a masterpiece” (February 27).
- Lúnasa, hailed as one of the hottest Celtic acoustic groups and including such talents as bassist Trevor Hutchinson (formerly of The Waterboys), enlivens traditional folk tunes with bass-driven grooves (March 13).
- Chilean-Canadian guitarist Oscar Lopez performs his Latin-influenced fusion of jazz and classical, rock and rhumba, flamenco and blues (March 20).
On selected Wednesday Nights, the Museum presents films in the Van Pelt Auditorium. Highlights include the exhilarating recent martial arts masterpiece and Academy Award-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Mandarin with English subtitles) set against breathtaking landscapes of ancient China (January 16) and the daring film Faat-Kine (French and Wolof with English subtitles) that chronicles the challenges of a feisty single mother in sub-Saharan Africa.
Dance lovers won’t want to miss an evening of traditional Bulgarian and Turkish choreography, Ukrainian folk footwork, and the added kick of an Appalachian clogging demonstration (January 23). Also this season is the classical Chinese dance of Yu Wei (January 16), the hip-hop of Rennie Harris Puremovement (February 6), and the Irish steps of John Jennings (March 13).
Every Wednesday Night at the Museum features gallery talks at 6 and 7 p.m. that focus on aspects of the Museum’s exhibitions and vast holdings, offering opportunities to enjoy the collections with art specialists. Ballad Along the Delaware: Pennsylvania Impressionism, presented by Sarah Powers, Curatorial Assistant for Modern and Contemporary Art, explores the current exhibition in the American Wing (January 9); To Love and Be Loved: Tales of Hanuman the Monkey God, presented by Sharon Littlefield, Assistant Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art, introduces an exhibition of Indian paintings, puppets, and textiles on view in the William P. Wood Gallery (February 13). General tours of the Museum are also offered by skilled guides throughout the evening.
In addition to dinner served in the Museum Restaurant (last reservation at 7:30 p.m.), the Museum offers creative cuisine in the Great Stair Hall to complement each evening’s theme with such sumptuous entrées as chicken kebabs in spicy marinade and potatoes with chili and garlic (February 6) and roast salmon and seven-vegetable couscous (March 27). Visitors with Valentine’s Day in mind can warm up to a dessert of chocolate dipped strawberries and chocolate bread pudding with raspberry coulis (February 13).
To receive more information about Wednesday Nights at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, call (215) 763-8100 or visit the Museum’s Web site, at www.philamuseum.org; to receive a free brochure, call (215) 684-7506. Performances are held in the Great Stair Hall; Gallery Talks are given at 6:00 and 7:00 p.m.; and films are at 7:10 p.m. in the Van Pelt Auditorium, unless otherwise noted. All activities are free after Museum admission. Please note that programs are subject to change.
Wednesday Nights at the Philadelphia Museum of Art are made possible in part through support and contributions of many sponsors and vendors. The Museum thanks the African American Museum in Philadelphia; McCarter & English, LLP; Southern Wine & Spirits of Pa.; and Guinness Bass Import Co.