Our Top Picks For Celebrating First Friday In Philadelphia With Dr. Barnes’ Birthday, A South African Dance Party And More On Friday, January 3

A variety of events are on tap for this First Friday, whether you're looking for an dance party at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a gallery reception or birthday bash. (Photo courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art)

On the first Friday of every month, art-loving Philadelphians pour into galleries, museums and neighborhood streets for festive art crawls, receptions and artsy nightlife events all across town.

As we welcome the inaugural First Friday of 2014, museums and galleries celebrate with resolution-worthy fetes. On the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, The Barnes Foundation celebrates the birthday of its founder, Dr. Albert Barnes, with a music-filled birthday bash and the Philadelphia Museum of Art welcomes a renowned musician to play the night away.

We’ve complied our top picks for this month’s events, but there’s tons more action to be taken in on arts corridors in Fishtown, Old City and Manayunk in particular.

Our picks for January’s First Friday, below.

First Friday! Music and Dr. Barnes, a Birthday Celebration: To kick off the inaugural First Friday party of 2014, The Barnes Foundation invites revelers and art aficionados alike out for a night celebrating Dr. Barnes’ birthday, his love of music and the incredible collections of fine art housed at the Barnes. From 6 to 9 p.m., crowds are invited in to the museum after regular museum hours to see the collection, sip cocktails, take in inspirational music and a rare reading from the archives, and hear a short talk about music’s role in the Barnes’ mission. Tickets to First Friday! Music and Dr. Barnes, A Birthday Celebration include the live musical performances, un-timed collection access and drink specials — all for $25 — and are available online.

When: Friday, January 3, 6-10 p.m.
Where: The Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost: $25

Art After 5 South African Dance Party: Every Friday night, art lovers can take in the superb collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in a festive after-dark affair with live music, a cash bar and late hours. But for the first First Friday extravaganza, the museum welcomes musician Bakithi Kumalo to create a sweet rhythm for a South African-style dance party. In addition to touring with Paul Simon, Kumalo has recorded or toured with such musicians as Hugh Masekela, Jonathan Butler, Gloria Estefan, Chaka Khan and Gerald Albright. The performances are scheduled for 5:45 to :45 p.m. and 7:15 to 8:15 p.m. Guided gallery tours are offered throughout the evening, too, and there is no additional charge for performances or guided tours after museum admission.

When: Friday, January 3, 5-8:45 p.m.
Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Great Stair Hall, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost: Free with museum admission

On the Ground: Four Corners Reception and Salsa Caliente! Three Kings Edition: The Painted Bride Art Center welcomes a duo of festivities for the inaugural First Friday event of the year. From 5 to 7 p.m., celebrate the opening of On the Ground: Four Corners, an exhibition which transforms the Bride into a popup celebration of local creativity showcasing more than 20 artists from Germantown, Mantua, Frankford and beyond. At 8 p.m., guests should put on their dancing shoes for salsa lessons from Flaco’s Dance Factory followed by a booty-shaking dance party set to live salsa music. Tickets for Salsa Caliente! are available online.

When: Friday, January 3, reception, 5-7 p.m.; lessons, 8 p.m., party, 9:15 p.m. **Postponed to Friday, January 10 due to weather
Where: Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street
Cost: reception, free; salsa, $20 in advance, $25 at the door

• Focus 2013: Annual Abstract Photography Exhibition: In Old City, a number of galleries throw open their doors and welcome curious visitors to sociable receptions. At LG Tripp, a gallery devoted to contemporary abstraction, stop in to take in the fascinating current exhibition, which showcases the imaginative work of seven photographers.

When: Friday, January 3, 6-8:30 p.m.
Where: LG Tripp Gallery, 47 N. 2nd Street
Cost: Free

Meet Your Maker: An Inside Look at Fishtown’s Creative Economy: At Fishtown gallery and workshop The Art Dept., co-founder photographer Emily Carris exhibits an insider’s view of the incredible maker community that has sprouted up in the neighborhood. From designers to artists, Carris spotlights community members on the rise.

When: Friday, January 3,
Where: The Art Dept., 1638 E. Berks Avenue
Cost: Free

• Pizza Brain: At Pizza Brain, the amazing ‘za shop and museum, check out a special General Tso’s pizza, as well as a pizza art-themed show, Pizza Wonderland. Works of art were submitted as part of a competition for 4th and 5th grade students from Hackett Elementary school. Students were asked to create original and wild pizza artwork, and the Pizza Brain staff has now chosen 10 winners, whose artwork will be displayed at the shop and sold to raise money for the Hackett Elementary art program.

When: Friday, January 3, 5-10 p.m.
Where: Pizza Brain, 2313 Frankford Avenue
Cost: Free

Winter White Sale at Bus Stop Boutique: On Fabric Row, welcome winter with a new pair of cozy shoes or boots from Bus Stop Boutique. Find tons of marked-down styles of men’s and women’s shoes (up to 35% off) from such brands as J. Shoes, Antelope, Blackstone at OTBT at British-born proprietress Elena Brennan’s charming Queen Village shop.

When: Friday, January 3, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; sale runs through January 10
Where: Bus Stop Boutique,
Cost: Up to 35-percent discounts; Pay as you go


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