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The Barnes Foundation Announces Barnes on the Block with Mural Arts Philadelphia & Wawa Welcome America’s Our America Now

Friday, July 2, 2021, 6–10 pm

Food Trucks & Beer Garden
BlackStar Film Festival Screening and More
Free Admission to the Barnes Collection

Philadelphia, PA, June 21, 2021—The Barnes Foundation announces the fourth Barnes on the Block with Mural Arts Philadelphia, taking place together with Wawa Welcome America—Philadelphia’s annual July 4th festival—and its inaugural Our America Now event, on Friday, July 2, 6–10 pm.

Barnes on the Block with Mural Arts Philadelphia is presented through PNC Arts Alive.

Taking place on the Barnes Foundation’s grounds, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and on 21st Street near the Barnes, Barnes on the Block with Mural Arts Philadelphia and Our America Now is a free block party that will encourage neighbors to connect with art and one another. There will be something for guests of all ages, from a variety of food trucks and a beer garden by Constellation Culinary Group, to art-making demos, a film screening by BlackStar Film Festival, and live performances by several notable poets—including Philadelphia poet laureate Trapeta B. Mayson and, in partnership with the Philadelphia Education Fund, two rising stars who will share original poems highlighting the unique sparks that led them to pursue college. Curated by We The People Stage with the Barnes and Mural Arts Philadelphia, this event is designed to inspire guests to share their own stories from this unique moment in our shared American history and explore how we experience life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness today.

During the event, guests may enjoy free admission to the Barnes collection and the critically acclaimed Soutine / de Kooning: Conversations in Paint exhibition. Registration is required for collection and exhibition access, and capacity is limited. Free tickets will be available online beginning at 9 am on Friday, July 2. Register for a chance to win a Barnes on the Block prize package, including a one-year Contributor membership to the Barnes; four general admission tickets to the Barnes; and a complimentary virtual tour of the Barnes collection for up to four guests. Three winners will be selected by a random drawing. Additional information will be available on the website.

The health and safety of staff and visitors is our priority. For full details on our safety guidelines, visit our Plan Your Visit page.

The full lineup of activities is listed below:

  • Food trucks, including El Guaco Loco, The Crepe Truck, Everything We Eat, Philadelphia Tropical Treats, Loco Lucho, and Lil Pop Shop, will be located on the Parkway (in front of the Barnes), 20th Street (near our box office), and 21st Street (between the Parkway and Pennsylvania Avenue)

  • Beer Garden by Constellation Culinary Group will be serving up seasonal brews on 20th and 21st Streets (between the Parkway and Pennsylvania Avenue)

  • From 6 to 9 pm, art-making demos on Barnes grounds near the Parkway, including:
    Ceramic pottery by Jihan Thomas
    Metal forging and art installation by sculptor Darla Jackson
    Woodworking by Keunho Peter Park
    Glassblowing by BLBD
    Sculpture by Claes Gabriel, presented by Mural Arts Philadelphia
  • From 9 to 10 pm, a film screening by BlackStar Film Festival will be projected onto the Barnes Foundation facade at 20th Street and the Parkway

For more information, visit the Barnes and Wawa Welcome America websites.

“We’re thrilled to be collaborating again with our longtime partners at Mural Arts Philadelphia and, this year, Wawa Welcome America—one of the city’s great festivals—to present Barnes on the Block and Our America Now,” says Thom Collins, Neubauer Family Executive Director and President. “It promises to be an inspiring and fun evening, filled with opportunities to safely bring the community together to engage with art and experience powerful, diverse stories.”

Barnes on the Block with Mural Arts Philadelphia is presented through PNC Arts Alive
Wawa Welcome America’s Our America Now is presented by Einstein Healthcare Network and supported by Comcast NBCUniversal.

The Barnes Foundation is a nonprofit cultural and educational institution that shares its unparalleled art collection with the public, organizes special exhibitions, and presents programming that fosters new ways of thinking about human creativity. The Barnes collection is displayed in ensembles that integrate art and objects from across cultures and time periods, overturning traditional hierarchies and revealing universal elements of human expression. Home to one of the world’s finest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and modern paintings—including the largest groups of paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Paul Cézanne in existence—the Barnes brings together renowned canvases by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, and Vincent van Gogh, alongside African, Asian, ancient, and medieval art as well as metalwork, furniture, and decorative art.

The Barnes Foundation was established by Dr. Albert C. Barnes in 1922 to “promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture.” A visionary collector and pioneering educator, Dr. Barnes was also a fierce advocate for the civil rights of African Americans, women, and the economically marginalized. Committed to racial equality and social justice, he established a scholarship program to support young Black artists, writers, and musicians who wanted to further their education. Dr. Barnes was deeply interested in African American culture and became actively involved in the Harlem Renaissance, during which he collaborated with philosopher Alain Locke and Charles S. Johnson, the scholar and activist, to promote awareness of the artistic value of African art.

Since moving to Philadelphia in 2012, the Barnes Foundation has expanded its commitment to diversity, inclusion, and social justice, teaching visual literacy in groundbreaking ways; investing in original scholarship relating to its collection; and enhancing accessibility throughout every facet of its program. Hours and ticket prices are listed on our website.


Deirdre Maher, Director of Communications
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