By Dan Majka
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) --- Coined as Philadelphia's next great public space, The Porch at 30th Street Station offers an assortment of events that are free for everyone and accessible to anyone.
"We view The Porch at 30th Street Station as one of the most creative and animated public spaces in the city of Philadelphia," says Lori Brennan, Marketing and Communications Director for the University City District.
"It's a really wonderful, kind of urban oasis right outside of 30th Street Station, offering lovely plantings, movable tables, chairs and umbrellas for shade so that people can hang out outside while they wait for their train or as they're commuting from University City to Center City and vice versa, and then enjoy the programming that we supplement on top of that in this lovely outdoor space."
Brennan says the month of April brings a full calendar of outdoor fun.
"We begin with a Sunday performance on April 6th at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. by the Naked Stark," They're presenting a program called Taking Up Space, which is five women who are dressed in red that command the space through dance and eye-catching movement."
If you'd like a unique portrait of yourself, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center offers a digital photo booth at The Porch for two weeks, beginning Monday, April 7th.
"This is going to be a hand painted photo booth where people can enter and digitally take their picture. You can select different types of backgrounds. The picture is actually printed for you and it's also transmitted wifi to the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center where it will be on display in their gallery."
And this year, they've partnered for the first time with the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University to bring their Academy On-The-Go program to The Porch.
"This is really interactive and fun program for people of all ages, children and adults, that allows you to take a look into the natural world, to touch specimens and fossils, and to hear about how animals live in the wild," Brennan says. "We'll be doing that Wednesday, April 9th from 12-2 p.m. for the lunch crowd, and then again on Saturday (April 19th) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. perhaps for the local families who are looking for some kind of free entertainment to do outdoors."
Following on that type of family fun, The Porch is excited to work with the Please Touch Museum, which brings its Roadside Attractions exhibit on Saturday April 12th and again on Saturday April 26th.
"This will revolve around trains and automobiles," Brennan says, "told through stories and dramatic games that will encourage all ages to really be inspired by transit options."
And, in a first of its kind at The Porch, The Clay Studio Wheels of Battle will take place on Saturday April 26th from 2-6 p.m.
"It's a pop-up ceramic studio where two artists at a time will compete head-to-head on potter's wheel in a series of battles that include the "tallest vessel," blind-fold throw," and "mug race," says Brennan. "Interested passer-by and attendees can watch this kind of exciting pop-up clay competition unfold."
Brennan says the Porch winds down April with a performance by MM2, Modern Dance Company.
"On Sunday (April 27th) at 1 p.m., they will be performing their dance called Breath. We're really excited. They performed at The Porch once in 2013, so we're happy to welcome them back."
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April At The Porch
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