Precious Places Premiere

Precious Places Premiere

Thursday, January 21, 2021, 7:00 PM
Free Admission

Now in its 17th year, join us for the premiere of eight new films made collaboratively by community groups across Philadelphia. Each story captures the oral histories of a special place in our city, exploring sites of memory and spirit.

This year’s films document: The Germantown Potter’s Field by Afrocentricity International, The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts located in South Central Philadelphia, Pier 53 on the Delaware River by Friends of Washington Avenue Green in South Philadelphia, James Shuler Boxing Gym in West Philadelphia, Northlight Community Center in Roxborough-Manayunk, Dahlak Paradise by the Selam Committee in West Philadelphia, Stephen Smith Tower Apartments in Belmont, and the Freedom Theatre by the Disappearing Heritage Historic Group in North Philadelphia.

Germantown Potter’s Field produced by Afrocentricity International
Produced by Afrocentricity International, this project documents Germantown Potter’s Field, arguably the oldest black public cemetery in America. The once forgotten history of the landmark came to light in 2011, when the Philadelphia Housing Authority publicly announced their intention to construct a new housing development unit directly on the former burial site. In 2017, a historical marker honoring the legacy of Germantown Potter’s Field was installed at the site of the redeveloped Queen Lane Apartments.

The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts produced by the Philadelphia Clef Club
Produced by the Philadelphia Clef Club, this film explores the legacy of The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts (PCC), which was founded in 1935 by James Adams and members of Local No. 274, Philadelphia’s African American musicians union. At a time when the city’s African American musicians struggled for political, economic and cultural recognition, Local No. 274 gave them representation and broke a tradition of segregation

Pier 53 on the Delaware River produced Washington Avenue Green
Friends of Washington Avenue Green document Pier 53, a historic landmark encompassing more than 250 years of Philadelphia and national history.  It was the location of the first Navy Yard in the United States, a shipbuilding pier, a Civil War embarkation and disembarkation point, a welcoming port for about a million immigrants into the United States, and a municipal pier for the City of Philadelphia.

James Shuler Memorial Boxing Gym produced by the James Shuler Boxing Gym
James Shuler Boxing Gym is located in West Philadelphia, right in between the blighted area known as "the bottom" and rapidly developing University. Primarily African American, Shuler's gym strives to create an environment that serves those from the underserved area.

Northlight Community Center produced by the Northlight Community Center
Founded as North Light Boys’ Club in 1936 as a drop-in center to divert community youth from delinquency and petty crime, North Light Community Center (NL) has organically evolved in response to changing community needs. Today, NL is a place where children learn and play in a safe and nurturing environment, teens learn life and entrepreneurial skills to realize their full potential, and families and individuals in need receive critical assistance

Dahlak Paradise produced by Selam Committee
Dahlak Paradise is an Eritrean bar and restaurant that has served as an anchor for the Baltimore Avenue business corridor, East African community, and West Philly natives and transplants alike for the past 30 years. Beyond simply an establishment, Dahlak is an institution that serves as an important cultural and social meeting place for activists, artists, academics, neighbors, and more.

Stephen Smith Tower Apartments produced by residents of Stephen Smith Tower Apartments
Stephen Smith Tower Apartments is an affordable senior housing complex named after abolitionist Stephen Smith who had a church, farm, graveyard as well as passage for the underground railroad in Philadelphia in this location. The site was home to many who escaped slavery before, during and after the Civil War and served as a meeting place for the anti-slavery movement which included Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, William Still and Lucretia Mott. 

Freedom Theatre produced by the Disappearing Heritage Historic Group
Produced by the Disappearing Heritage Historic Group, this film documents Freedom Theatre in Lower North Philadelphia, a historic building billed as Pennsylvania's oldest African American professional theater. Formerly home to a beer magnate, a university ground, and a nonprofit education center, today the 65,000-square-foot brownstone is dark and in danger of it succumbing to the encroachment of developers ,the expanding footprint of Temple University and extensive deterioration. Once a thriving center for the Black performing arts, in the heart of North Philadelphia's African American community, its future is structurally and fiscally shaky. The film is produced by the Disappearing Heritage Historic Group.

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