Two Brainy Festivals Engage Philadelphia Minds This Week: The 215 Festival And ThinkFest

Philadelphia magazine’s ThinkFest 2015 gathers bright minds from near and far to discuss a wide range of subjects at LeBow College of Business of Drexel University. (Image courtesy Philadelphia magazine)

Hungry for brain food, Philadelphia? Two Philly-focused festivals this week can supply enough brilliance to satisfy any intellectual appetite.

Now in its fourth year, Philadelphia magazine’s ThinkFest puts thinkers from the Philadelphia region on stage at Drexel University during a day-long speaking event this Friday intended to engage, entertain and inspire.

In Northern Liberties, the annual 215 Festival of literary arts in Philadelphia returns November 5-8 to host writerly events and celebrate letters in a range of mediums — books, poetry, music, film and more.

We think this week presents a great chance to seize an opportunity to engage with some of Philadelphia’s brightest minds.

ThinkFest 2015

This year’s ThinkFest presents more than a dozen Philadelphia-focused talks from a dynamic lineup of smart speakers in a single day at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business this Friday. The daylong schedule features talks from the likes of Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Wolf, Mayor of Philadelphia Michael Nutter, Broad City writer and actress Abbi Jacobson, novelist Jennifer Weiner, Warby Parker co-founder and co-CEO Neil Blumenthal and many, many more. Plus, a portion of proceeds from the day will benefit Philadelphia’s progressive performing arts organization FringeArts, producers of the annual Philadelphia Fringe Festival.

When: Friday, November 6, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: LeBow College of Business of Drexel University, 3220 Market Street
Cost: $75, general admission

• 215 Festival 2015

Founded in Philadelphia in 2001, the 215 Festival highlights both the local Philly literary scene and the universal importance of the written, spoken and visualized word — all while spotlighting great Philadelphia neighborhoods, like Northern Liberties. Past festivals have welcomed such authors as John Hodgman and Buzz Bissinger, as well as performers like John Wesley Harding, Doogie Horner and This American Life’s Starlee Kine. This year, hear from such Philly authors Sarah Blake, Annie Liontas, Ken Kalfus, Asali Solomon and more. Though the vast majority of events are free, an RSVP via Facebook is recommended for most events.

When: November 5-8
Where: Various locations in Northern Liberties, including Ortlieb’s, 847 N. 3rd Street
Cost: Mostly free, RSVP requested


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