Programs: Calendar

Party on the Parkway: Flex-N-Barnes

Characterized by snapping, gliding, and pausing, "flexn" is a high-energy form of street dance born from the Jamaican dance style "bruk-up" and raised in the dance halls and reggae clubs of Brooklyn, NY.

This summer, the Barnes foundation brings flex dance to Philadelphia for a special free event on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Described by the New York Times as "electrifying," flexn is more than just dance: it is a form of personal narrative and political protest.

The evening closes with Reggie (Regg Roc) Gray co-director and choreographer of the Park Avenue Armory production FLEXN in conversation with Loraine Ballard Morrill, Director of News & Community Affairs for iHeartMedia, on the topic of Art as Activism.

Party on the Parkway was generously made possible by Todd Williams and Billie Tsien.

Program

Outdoors        
Free, no tickets required
6:15-7:15pm Outdoor Dance Performance by FLEXN
Location: 20th and the Parkway
Note: Bad weather will pull all activities indoors.

Indoors          
Free, tickets required.  Tickets released, on site, at 4pm on the day of progam.
6-9pm Nari Ward: Sun Splashed Access
8-8:45pm Discussion: Art as Activism

Saturday, July 30
6–9 pm 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19130 Free

Outdoors: Free, no tickets required
Indoors: Free, tickets required.  Tickets released, on site, at 4pm on the day of progam.

Gospel Lunch

The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas brings its choir to the Barnes Foundation to perform gospel songs and spirituals, reviving a tradition started by Dr. Barnes in the 1920s. Before feeding your soul, feed your body in the Garden Restaurant. Lunch attendees receive front-row seats for the choir and a discount on collection admission—the Nari Ward: Sun Splashed exhibition is included.

Program
12:30–2 pm lunch
2–3:30 pm church choir 

Sunday, July 31
12:30–3:30pm 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19130 Concert: free. Lunch: $30; members $28. With collection access: $50; members $28

Reserve online or call 215.278.7200.

First Friday! Light up the Night

Brazilian group Minas plays bossa nova, a fusion of samba and jazz, and Cleonice Fonseca and Dendê Macêdo present Afro-Brazilian dance and drumming. Project Capoeira shares the traditional music and art form: a brilliant fusion of martial arts, dance, and acrobatics. Plus, a short talk on Nari Ward: Sun Splashed by Barnes Senior Instructor for Art and Aesthetics William Perthes.
In partnership with Brazilian Day Philadelphia and Project Capoeira.

Program
6–7 pm Minas performance
7–7:20 pm short talk
7:30–8:30 pm Afro-Brazilian dance/drumming and capoeira

Become a member for free First Friday! tickets.

 

Friday, August 5
6–9 pm 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19130 $25; members free

Reserve general admission or member tickets online or call 215.278.7200.

Free First Sunday: Animals

Spiral Q Puppet Theater is bringing an Animal Parade Posse to family activities! The Mexican Cultural Center hosts an alebrije (brightly colored Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures) competition and short talk. Plus a performative talk with artist Nari Ward and exhibition curator Diana Nawi.

Sunday, August 7
1-4:30pm 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Gospel Lunch

The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas brings its choir to the Barnes Foundation to perform gospel songs and spirituals, reviving a tradition started by Dr. Barnes in the 1920s. Before feeding your soul, feed your body in the Garden Restaurant. Lunch attendees receive front-row seats for the choir and a discount on collection admission—the Nari Ward: Sun Splashed exhibition is included.

Program
12:30–2 pm lunch
2–3:30 pm church choir

Sunday, August 24
12:30–3:30pm 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19130 Concert: free. Lunch: $30; members $28. With collection access: $50; members $28

Reserve online or call 215.278.7200.

First Friday! The Power of Three

One of the most esteemed electric guitarists of his generation, Mike Stern of Blood, Sweat & Tears has distinguished himself over a four-decade career, including receiving six Grammy nominations. Stern brings saxophonist Steve Wilson and bassist Harvie S for an evening of jazz standards. Hosted by NBC 10.

Program
6–7 pm live music
Intermission
7:30–8:30 pm live music

Become a member for free First Friday! tickets.

Friday, September 2
6–9 pm 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19130 $25; members free

Reserve general admission or member tickets online or call 215.278.7200.

Free First Sunday: Stories Abound

Regional artists (fiber artist, pop-up book engineer, and graphic designer) display their work and share personal stories about the pieces. Plus hands-on activities, access to the collection, and a DJ-ed party in partnership with Onehunted.

Sunday, September 4
1-4pm 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Jace Clayton and ensemble in front of Barnes Foundation collection gallery doors

Room 21

Kicking off the Philadelphia Fringe Festival is the debut of a piece composed and choreographed by Jace Clayton, whom New York Magazine calls “a one-man musical Venn diagram, linking up genres, people, styles, and beats.”

Titled Room 21, the piece is a response to the Barnes collection and Albert C. Barnes’s record collection. It’s performed by an ensemble of more than a dozen musicians, including the Prometheus Chamber Orchestra, banjoist Ben Lee, masenqo player Gezachew Habtemariam, and pianist Emily Manzo, all wearing costumes handcrafted by fashion designer Rocio Salceda of Prellezo.

Room 21 has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Program
7–8 pm gallery access
8–9:30 pm performance

Friday, September 9
7-10 pm $10; members $8. Includes collection access. Cocktails and light fare available for purchase.

Register general admission or member tickets or call 215.278.7200.

Twilight at the Arboretum

Twilight in the Arboretum

Enjoy an evening of musical entertainment on the great lawn. Bring a picnic, stroll the grounds after-hours, and enjoy the sights, scents, and sounds of twilight at the Barnes Arboretum.

Wednesday, September 14
5:30–7:30 pm 300 N. Latch's Lane, Merion, PA $10; members and kids under 12 free

Book online or call 215.278.7200.