What’s that you’re drinking?

The human body is mostly water. All life depends on it. We know all this, and yet somehow we seem to keep allowing all sorts of crap into our water supply.

As plans move forward for “Fracking” upstream of us, with the potential to release all sorts of nasty chemicals into the Delaware River, our neighbors are organizing to protect our river and drinking water.

If one thing’s for certain, it’s that West Philly knows how to have fun while addressing serious issues, so you can join Jacob Mitas, Beth Nixon, Joshua Marcus and others for Frack is Whack, a celebration and fundraiser on Thursday Feb 24. If you haven’t heard Josh’s amazing environmental justice folk CD, it’s worth a listen (free online, but you should buy the disk..) On a more institutional level, you might also be interested in the upcoming ‘In the Terrain of Water’ symposium happening at PennDesign. More info below…

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Dance in public places

This image of Bethany Formica is from a while back, but I recently got a chance to see her rehearsal process in a strangely wonderful and voyeuristic fishbowl-like experience in an empty storefront in a mall.

Dance In Public Places is happening at The Gallery at Market East throughout the month of February – a wide range of dance companies are participating, sharing their rehearsal process with the public through this new initiative. Check out the schedule, or just poke your nose in anytime you’re walking by 9th and Market!

The  space is directly across from the Mural Arts Program’s How Philly Moves studio so make sure you stop by and check out the mural team at work while you’re there. They’re moving right along, and the final community paint day there is Saturday March 12! [ details ]

A cheeky request…

This strange little self-portrait from 2006 is a little reminder of how fragile our bodies are… and also it was the closest thing to a relevant picture that I could find to ask for your help on behalf of a fellow artist.

Specifically, I’m asking for a few of your cheek cells, for you to join the marrow registry. It’s absurdly easy- they send you a kit in the mail, you swab your cheek, pop it back in the mail, and poof! you’re in the database. I know that it works, because I submitted a sample back in college, and just this summer they tracked me down when I came up as a potential match for someone.

Jil Stifel, a fabulous dancer who now resides in Pittsburgh, but has collaborated with many of my friends here, is suffering from Leukemia, and is still looking for a marrow donor. By signing up, and encouraging others to do the same,  you could save her life, or that of another. Joining the registry doesn’t oblige you to donate, it’s just the first step. And it’s easy. See answers to frequently asked questions about the process.

Order your registration kit now!

Big days for little radio…

There are huge things going on in the community radio realm.

The year started off with an amazing victory for my friends at the Prometheus Radio Project as President Obama signed the Local Community Radio Act. I love it when the people that I photograph win. Which seems to happen a lot… maybe I’m good at picking winners, and maybe the photos help? It’s probably both, and it’s certainly a well earned celebration.

Want to get more diverse sounds on your airwaves instead of the same-old same-old? Now’s your chance. Volunteer, donate, start a station in your town… Now’s the time, thanks to the amazing folks at Prometheus!

Even with these big wins on the national level, our own little community station in West Philly ( WPEB, 88.1FM ) is continuing to struggle, as reported in recent news. The station is a unique little gem that still needs a lot of community support to get to a place where they’re operating smoothly. It’s a unique privilege to have our own station in West Philly, and they need both cash and dedicated skilled volunteers to take the station to the next level, Give them a hand if you can, and if you’re in range of the signal, check them out on 88.1FM!

As the Eyes of the Seahorse

Nichole Canuso‘s work has consistently been some of my favorite dance to photograph. This Friday and Saturday, she’ll be sharing a special performance in collaboration with The Mural and The Mint, including a pile of fantastic dancers and musicians. I’d say this will be worth catching, if you can. Get details or tickets.

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