Arts On a Budget in Philadelphia

Arts On a Budget in Philadelphia

Philly is a big arts town. One of the 30+ reasons why I love Philly is because you’re surrounded by stunning art everywhere you walk in this city. On cold, rainy days I opt to hide away indoors finding solitude among paintings and figures I may not quite understand. 

Here’s how I spent my first spring weekend in Philadelphia where First Fridays and First Sundays ruled:

Open art galleries during First Fridays

This past Friday, I toured Old City modern art galleries where friends, drinks, and   stopped by Indy Hall Arts to check out their latest exhibit ‘Spirits and Beasties’, an imaginative take on monster-like creatures that roam inside local artists’ minds – and inside the entrance to one of Philly’s most popular coworking spaces. From there it was off to Arts in the Age, a Warby Parker annex slash retail outlet fit for an outdoorsman. I often visit this shop to collect unique objects that either end up on my keychain or plastered on my walls. This time I walked out with a one-of-a-kind Philadelphia print.

FIRST FRIDAY'S TIP

Soak in the Philadelphia’s arts scene with more than 40 open house art gallery shows around Philadelphia’s coolest creative ‘hoods like Old City, Callowhill, Fishtown, and Kensington. Every first Friday of the month, starting at 5 p.m., art galleries open their doors free to the public with crowds flowing and local artists showing off their latest pieces, such as interactive digital and visual arts, drawings, sketches, and performance art. 

Pay what you wish during First Sundays at Philly museums

Every first Sunday of the month is the best excuse to get off your couch and get cultured. A must-see collection that forced my lazy Sunday habits to take a hike was the Philadelphia Museum of Art paintings of Christianity inside the European Art section, which feels like having entered an ancient monastery. 

I always find this collection moving and surreal. 

I always find this collection moving and surreal. 

Hang out after hours at the Barnes Foundation

Over the winter I found myself spending a Friday night with friends at a VIP-esque Barnes Foundation event. Picture a classy, dressed up party inside one of the country’s finest private art collections, with young single people eyeing each other in between sips of expensive drinks – plus Picasso and Matisse sketches line mansion walls and a live cover band plays on stage. This is a real thing that happens frequently. Get tickets for the next event.

See a live show at the Kimmel Center

Though I lived in New York for over five years, I never saw a live Broadway show (I know!). Leave it to me to wait until I move to Philadelphia to gain a soft spot for the ballet, opera, and jazz. On the docket this year is seeing the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra, singers from the MET Opera, and even comedian Brian Regan do stand-up!

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