Our Top Picks For First Friday In Philadelphia With Live Music At The Barnes, Birthday Parties In Old City And Fishtown, An April Fools Exhibit And More On Friday, April 4

The neighborhoods of Philadelphia welcome culture hounds to galleries, restaurants and shops to celebrate the first Friday of the month. (Photo by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

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.

Spring finally feels like it has sprung in the City of Brotherly Love, and — even if a few April showers fall — museums, galleries and shops celebrate the season with a burst of fresh-feeling exhibitions and events.

This month, make a first stop at The Barnes Foundation for its fete featuring world-renowned musician R. Carlos Nakai, then head northeast to Fishtown’s Frankford Avenue arts corridor for two pop-up exhibitions, a birthday party and more.

Remember, beyond our picks there’s tons more action on arts corridors in Fishtown, Old City and Manayunk in particular.

Our picks for April’s First Friday, below.

First Friday! The Wide World of Art at the Barnes Foundation: The great bastion of Impressionist art on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, The Barnes Foundation, invites art aficionados out for a night celebrating its global collections for its Wide World of Art event this month. Arrive at 6 p.m. for an amazing concert by Intercultural Journeys, a world music group featuring flautist R. Carlos Nakai. Later, hear a talk on European and American modernism and what’s sure to be a stellar performance by students from the Academy of Vocal Arts. Tickets, $25, are available online and include full access to the permanent collections, too.

When: Friday, April 4, 6-9 p.m.
Where: The Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost: $25; free for members

• Art After 5 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art: 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. This Friday, DJ Cosmo Baker brings the tunes, with an infectious mix of rock, reggae, electronic music and more (read: bring your dancing shoes). Plus, Granite Hill, the Starr Restaurants’ eatery at the museum, hosts a Korean cuisine pop-up in conjunction with the special exhibition of Korean art and artifacts, Treasures from Korea: Arts and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty, 1392-1910. 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, April 4, 5-8:45 p.m.
Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Great Stair Hall, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost: Free with museum admission

Marks of Vanity Opens at Metropolitan Gallery 250: At the Rittenhouse neighborhood’s jewel-box space Metropolitan Gallery 250, a new exhibit by artist Sarah Coote, a recent graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, highlights the cross-section of event photography, party photobooths and smartphone selfies — all through a series of event-inspired collages. Join in the free opening reception this Friday with complimentary refreshments courtesy of Metropolitan Bakery.

When: Friday, April 4, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Metropolitan Gallery 250, 250 S. 18th Street
Cost: Free

• Philadelphia Invitational Furniture Show Preview Party: The longest running invitational furniture show in the country, the Philadelphia Invitational Furniture Show festivities kick off with a preview party on Friday, April 4 at the Philadelphia Art Alliance. Look forward to food, drinks, live music, woodworking demonstrations, an auction featuring items made by exhibitors and a first look at some of the pieces in the show. Tickets to the preview party, $40, are available online and include admission to the Furniture Show at the 23rd Street Armory all weekend long.

When: Friday, April 4, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Philadelphia Art Alliance, 251 S. 18th Street
Cost: $40

• Smak Parlour Turns Nine: This Friday, Smak Parlour co-owners Abby Kessler and Katie Lubieski celebrate nine years of bringing girly clothing and accessories to shoppers in Old City and beyond. The pair launched a new mobile boutique, the Smak Parlour Fashion Truck, last summer and have continued to take their flirty brand of fashion on the road with the truck throughout the year. In honor of the birthday, check out the Old City boutique and fashion truck this Friday and shop with a festive drink in hand. Plus, all purchases over $45 will receive $9 off for the occasion.

When: Friday, April 4, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Smak Parlour, 219 Market St
Cost: Free

The Philadelphia Public History Truck at Little Berlin: The Philadelphia Public History Truck — a a mobile history museum of pop-up neighborhood exhibits — launches its first stationary community exhibition this Friday at Little Berlin gallery in Fishtown. Manufacturing Fire is all about the East Kensington neighborhood, and includes community-submitted objects, oral histories and work by the truck team of local artist, including Maria Möller, Lewis Colburn, Sister Helen Brancato, Peter Woodall, a collaboration between John Abner and Erin Bernard.

When: Friday, April 4, 5-10 p.m.
Where: Little Berlin, 2430 Coral Street
Cost: Free

• The Art Dept 1st Birthday Party: Fishtown arts space The Art Dept celebrates its first birthday this Friday with a b-day soiree and the exhibition Sometimes Words Fail by Katherine Pulido. Guests will be treated to snacks from Food and Ferments, brews from Narragansett, and photobooth fun.

When: Friday, April 4, 6-9 p.m.
Where: The Art Dept, 1638 E. Berks Street
Cost: Free

• This Great Stage Of Fools: An Pop-Up Exhibition of Historical April Fools at Little Baby’s Ice Cream: In honor of April Fool’s Day this week, Little Baby’s Ice Cream hosts a pop-up art installation of the history of the prank-filled holiday.

When: Friday, April 4, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Little Baby’s Ice Cream World Headquarters, 2311 Frankford Avenue
Cost: Free

MakeFest at the Asian Arts Initiative: To celebrate the organization’s 20th anniversary, the Asian Arts Initiative presents Participate, a three-part multimedia group show exhibiting two-dimensional works, performance art, video, community-based participatory art and installation. On view through May 23, there are a slew of public programs planned to engage with the community, including this week’s MakeFest. Head to the Callowhill neighborhood space to, ahem, participate in such happenings as a pop-up shop and sewing station.

When: Friday, April 4, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 Vine Street
Cost: Free

Bodytraffic at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts: Los Angeles-based contemporary dance troupe Bodytraffic takes the stage in University City at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts this weekend, performing works by three outstanding choreographers: Barak Marshall, Richard Siegal and Kyle Abraham, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow. Plus, on Friday night, audience members are invited to stay after the performance for a talk back with the company. Tickets, starting at just $20, are available online for shows through Saturday, April 5.

When: Friday, April 4, 8 p.m.
Where: Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut Street
Cost: $20-$55


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