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    DNC in Philadelphia 2016
    • benjamin franklin parkway
      Photo by M. Edlow for VISIT PHILADELPHIA™

    Philadelphia, where the United States first became a country, will once again be in the spotlight when it hosts the Democratic National Convention (DNC) from July 25th to 28th, 2016. Delegates from the Democratic Party will meet at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia to nominate their party’s picks for 45th president and vice president of the United States.


    But along with politics, the DNC also means that many Philly organizations will be hosting fun, themed events to commemorate the historic occasion. Below are our top picks for events you don't want to miss during the DNC, as well as great discount deals, additional politically themed events, top attractions and events in Philadelphia, and guides to fun things to do in the city. If you have different choices in mind, then exercise your right to free speech and let us know on Twitter @Phillyfunguide

    PoliticalFest at locations throughout Philadelphia

     

    In celebration of the Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia 2016, the convention’s host committee, is presenting PoliticalFest, a one-of-a-kind festival celebrating political history, government and the road to the White House. This non-partisan exhibit combines multimedia and interactive displays, historical objects, and special guest appearances designed to entertain and engage residents and convention attendees alike. The experience will consist of exhibits at seven participating locations (Pennsylvania Convention Center, National Constitution Center, the Library Company of Philadelphia, Philadelphia History Museum, the Heritage Center of the Union League of Philadelphia, National Libarty Museum, & Historical Society of Pennsylvania), each centered around a specific theme related to American politics, government, and history. The locations will feature different displays and attractions, including the campaign trail, Pennsylvania & the Presidency, a media zone, political entertainment, and more. There will also be a staging area for live performances, political game competitions, and panel discussions. This event will be ticketed, open to the public and appropriate for all ages.  Each ticket is good for all six days of PoliticalFest and grants access to all participating locations. 

    Donkeys Around Town at locations throughout Philadelphia

     

    The Donkeys Around Town program is a civic initiative of the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention. In celebration of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, fifty-seven fiberglass donkeys will be painted by local artists to represent the fifty states, Washington, D.C. and the six U.S. territories. The donkeys, the symbol of the Democratic Party, will be displayed from July 1 – 31, 2016 at popular sites and attractions throughout Philadelphia. The Donkeys Around Town program will include a social media campaign as well as a scavenger hunt - facilitated through an app that will be created specifically for this program - in order to engage residents, delegates and visitors in the excitement around the Convention and make everyone feel like they are part of the action in Philadelphia during Convention week. 

    Philly Feast, United We Eat

     

    Philly Feast will be a Night Market-style food truck festival that will take place during the day and will kick off Convention Week. The festival will include a diverse lineup of locally-based food trucks, live music, and retail vendors. The event will bring together Democratic National Convention guests, volunteers and Philadelphia residents on the first day of the Convention, Monday, July 25th, 11am-3pm, at 3rd and Arch Streets, in Old City. 

    Broad Street Stages

     

    The Cultural Alliance has partnered with the DNC’s local Host Committee and Avenue of the Arts Inc. to organize a series of outdoor performances along Broad Street between the Convention Center and Pine Street.

     

    Look for performances at Lenfest Plaza, Dilworth Park, The Union League, The Academy of Music and University of the Arts from Monday, July 25th to Thursday, July 28th from Noon to 5:30pm each day. Click here for a full schedule of events. 

    The Big Tent: Political Campaigns Through Film at Fleisher Art Memorial

     

    Fascinated by the drama of U.S. electoral politics? This summer discover four films that capture the intensity, intrigue, and complexities of the electoral process. With this first foray into film studies at this art school, you will learn basic strategies for critical viewing and in depth analysis of moving images. You will also have a chance to examine the films’ production histories, directors, and cast. Through instructor led discussions, you will explore the films’ narrative structures, and come away with a deeper understanding of the synergistic threads that interplay in both politics and film. Both open dialogue and patient listening will be encouraged. The films include D.A. Pennebaker’s telling documentary of the 1992 Clinton presidential campaign The War Room, director Michael Ritchie’s rumination on the birth of TV image-making The Candidate, with Robert Redford, and the documentary Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed

    Jazz on the Avenue of the Arts

     

    The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts in conjunction with the Brandywine Workshop and Archives will be presenting a series of free evening outdoor and indoor concerts during the Democratic National Convention, July 25–27, 2016.

    Titled “Jazz on the Avenue, The Lawn Party,” these concerts will spotlight both the talented veterans as well as the up-and-coming artists who comprise the Philadelphia Jazz Community.

    Freedom Train 1947-1949: Exhibiting America's Past to Shape America's Future at the Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia

     

    From 1947 to 1949, one of the most ambitious traveling exhibitions ever mounted toured the United States. Aimed at promoting “a greater appreciation of the blessings of American heritage,” the Freedom Train brought 126 of the nation’s most iconic documents — from Columbus to the Bill of Rights to the World War II surrender — to 3.5 million people across America. The goal was to promote pride in America and her political and economic systems, and to encourage civic participation. 

    The Rosenbach’s exhibition will reunite selected documents from the original Freedom Train, including the Bay Psalm Book, Common Sense, and Lincoln's Baltimore Address. The exhibit will also explore the questions the original exhibit raised about interpreting history and promoting freedom, featuring critical responses such as Langston Hughes' ironic poem "Freedom Train."

    During the Democratic National Convention, the Rosenbach offers FREE admission to DNC delegates and volunteers with credentials.

    Presidential Archives: Letters, Hair, and Fossils at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

     

    This intimate exhibition features unexpected personal items, including albums containing locks of hair from early commanders in chief, Thomas Jefferson’s mastodon fossils, revealing correspondence, and other fascinating items that span science and politics. Free with general admission, which also includes the academy's butterfly room, new Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit in Dinosaur Hall, and voting with the ballot box turtle

    Happiness, Liberty, Life?: American Art and Politics at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

     

    From the signing of the Declaration of Independence in the summer of 1776 to the arrival of the Democratic National Convention in July 2016, the City of Brotherly Love has been at the epicenter of American politics. Happiness, Liberty, Life?: American Art and Politics explores themes of humor, protest, and portraiture in American art and politics from the 18th century to today. The issues raised during this contentious election year connect to a long heritage of political discord and imagery. This exhibition draws attention to the icons and issues of importance to artists throughout the great American experiment, opening a dialogue about identity, freedom, and the power of symbols at America's first school of fine arts and museum

    Headed to the White House at National Constitution Center

     

    Step inside the presidential election in Headed to the White House, the critically acclaimed multi-media exhibit. Visitors will be immersed in the excitement and intrigue of presidential elections in this engaging and provocative celebration of U.S. presidential elections and our constitutional legacy. Open now through Election Day. Take the time while you are at the museum to also see one of 12 surviving copies of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights, vote in a “fantasy election”, or come face-to-face with a life-size statue of your favorite Founding Father.

    *For additional discounts, check our list of the latest Funsavers ½-price events

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    For summer event guides and deals, check out our Spring into Summer promotion presented by PNC Arts Alive.

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