What’s virtually happening in Philly: May 2020 Part II

Mark Henninger / Imagic Digital

In these trying times, finding mental reprieve or a source for fun and exciting resources is a premium.  Several institutions, galleries, and entertainment hubs in the city will be offering tremendous virtual tours and sessions for weeks to come. Here’s a rundown of some of the amazing options you have right at your fingertips.

Academy of Natural Sciences: The Academy of Natural Sciences will be hosting an Academy conversation on Wednesday, May 27, from 3–4 p.m. The talk will be on “What role does science play in public policy and social action during Covid-19?”

(Academy of Natural Sciences)

The pandemic has highlighted questions in how science is used to guide public policy and social action similar to those raised around climate change. Both COVID-19 and climate change require credible scientific understanding and interpretation; both rely on models to predict the future; both force public decision-making in the face of uncertainty; and both have become politically polarizing. Join us for a free, virtual discussion on Zoom with experts about managing the challenges of science-driven public policy.

For Speakers and Registration updates as they are posted, visit the Academy Conversations here.

•The Bourse & Philly Collective: The Bourse Food Hall and the creators and curators behind Philly Collective are partnering to host a virtual photo gallery on Friday, June 5 in celebration of Old City District’s First Fridays.

Since the onset of COVID-19, Old City’s First Friday events look much different than the usual large gatherings and gallery openings. So, for next month’s event, The Bourse and Philly Collective are enlisting the help of local photographers to curate an homage to Old City culminating in a virtual photo gallery on The Bourse’s Instagram, @theboursephilly, on Friday, June 5.

(Josh Pellegrini // Philly Collective)

Here’s how it works:

  • Participants post original photos of Old City to their Instagram feed with #BoursePhillyCollective between now and June 3
  • All submissions will be in the running to win a $25 gift card from The Bourse Food Hall
  • Philly Collective chooses three winning photos to be posted on @theboursephilly Instagram feed
  • The remainder of the #BoursePhillyCollective photos will be displayed in The Bourse’s Instagram stories as a virtual gallery and love letter to Old City on Friday, June 5

Opera Philadelphia Digital Festival

Through the month of May, Opera Philadelphia has been giving a special treat to the city of Philadelphia. Don’t miss your chance to enjoy opera on the couch with the first-ever Digital Festival O, featuring streams of Denis & KatyaWe Shall Not Be MovedThe Barber of SevilleSky on Swings, and Breaking the Waves.

(Opera Philadelphia)

The award-winning Breaking the Waves, which premiered in September 2016, premieres on Friday, May 29, at 8:00 p.m. and streams on-demand through Aug. 31, 2020.

Digital Festival O is generously funded, in part, by the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation.

• PAFA: From May 27-28, The Brodsky Center at PAFA will host a special online Spring Print Sale, offering works of art by acclaimed contemporary artists at major discounts. It’s a chance for members of the public to browse and purchase contemporary art while supporting a great cause: 20% of the proceeds from all sales will go toward student scholarships at PAFA. Further details are available,  here


The sale will be hosted online, here and will be live from May 27 at 12 p.m. to May 28 at 7 p.m. Artworks for purchase include works by Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Barkley Hendricks, Elizabeth Catlett, Fred Wilson, Faith Ringgold, Harmony Hammond, and many others.

PAFA’s also has plenty of other tremendous upcoming online events through its PAFA at Home series.

• PFS Virtual Theater

(Vertical Entertainment)

Stuck at home? Watch the newest independent releases! The PFS Virtual Theater allows the Philadelphia Film Society to bring curated films you love directly into your home. Partnering with arthouse distributors, PFS offers films that would otherwise be seen on the big screen, with the added bonus that all virtual screening tickets purchased directly via the PFS website support their mission to bring you the best in entertainment and education.

You can follow Candis McLean on Twitter (@CandisRMcLean) and e-mail her at

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