14
November
2018
|
10:13 PM
America/New_York

Philadelphia Museum of Art to Kick Off the Holidays with Tree Lighting Against the Philadelphia Skyline

The public is invited to kick off the holidays at the annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Tree Lighting celebration on the East Terrace. On Wednesday, November 21, well-wishers will enjoy live music and complimentary warm beverages starting at 5:00 p.m. as the Museum prepares for a dramatic countdown – the electrifying moment around 5:50 p.m. when 12,000 LED lights adorning a beautiful and imposing 55-foot-tall white fir will sparkle against the skyline. The Tree Lighting headlines the Museum’s holiday program, which continues through the close of 2018 with events ranging from ugly sweater-making and caroling through the galleries to a Hanukkah party and a Feliz Navidad fiesta.

“What better way to usher in the holidays than to join us here at the Museum,” said Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and CEO, who will lead the countdown. “The Tree Lighting on the East Terrace is classic Philadelphia, and each year the crowd, including a lot of families, grows larger. It’s such a delight to greet visitors indoors following the countdown as the season of lively holiday events gets underway. Bring your ugly sweater—I’ll certainly be wearing mine!”

The York Street Hustle will return this year to perform for the Tree Lighting. At 6:00 p.m., the Museum will welcome visitors indoors to enjoy the galleries and public spaces adorned with seasonal decorations, along with options for festive food and beverage. The Sister Cities Girlchoir will break into song in the Great Stair Hall and the Museum will remain open until 8:45 p.m. The Tree-Lighting on the East Terrace is free and admission to the Museum on Wednesday evenings is pay-what-you-wish. Visitors will also receive a 20 percent discount at the Museum Store.

"York Street Hustle is delighted that the PMA has invited us back to perform at this year's tree lighting,” said Trumpeter and Arranger Vince Tampio. “Our soulful holiday favorites feel larger than ever whenever we perform at this great location looking out from the Art Museum to the city skyline."

Alysia Lee, founder of the Sister Cities Girlchoir, added: “The Tree-Lighting is an iconic part of the holiday season in Philadelphia, and the girls are so excited to bring their unique blend of songs of empowerment, celebration and meditation. It is a dream come true for them to perform at the Tree Lighting and we’ll include songs by Donald Lawrence, MaMuse and Huddie ‘Leadbelly’ Ledbetter.”

Each year, the holiday tree provides a magnificent spectacle overlooking the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Planning for its placement requires careful coordination. The Philly-bound evergreen makes a 300-mile trip, wheeling in from Hornell, New York, on a flatbed truck. The 7500-pound tree is craned upright upon a platform; it is then unwrapped, branching out to a 25 foot-wide-spread. Next, it is adorned in thousands of lights, each one at.144watts, all powered by (2) 20amp circuits. High on the apex of the tree, the star is placed, measuring 6 feet in diameter and containing 175 lights itself.

Acquiring and installing the tree and generating the lighting would not be possible without spirited support. The Museum is grateful to IBEW Local 98, Dougherty Electric, Inc., and PMC Property Group for its continued support in providing decorations, electricity and labor, and for the assistance of L.F. Driscoll and Dan Lepore & Sons Company, Inc. The Museum offers additional thanks to Eastern Scaffold & Shoring, Inc. (platform); Amquip (crane); Brands Imaging (decorative wrap); Interstate Aerials (high reaches); Yule Tree Farm (tree); and WLX, LLC. (transportation).

Below is the robust schedule of holiday events at the Museum to close out 2018:

DIY Art: Card-Making Station
Great Stair Hall
Free after Pay What You Wish admission
Put last year’s coal to good use and create handmade holiday greetings for everyone on your list.

  • Wednesday, November 21, 2018, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 28, 2018, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 5, 2018, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 12, 2018, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 19, 2018, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 26, 2018, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Family Program: Turkey Hangover
Friday, November 23, Saturday, November 24, and Sunday, November 25, 2018
Great Stair Hall Balcony
Free after admission; Kids 12 and under are always free
Work off your Thanksgiving feast with a stroll through the galleries, and gobble up some art while creating expressions of thanks in the Balcony Studio.

  • Balcony Studio: 10:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Mini Tours: 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. hourly

Final Fridays: The Ultimate Ugly Sweater Party
Friday, November 30, 20185:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
Free after admission

Our annual holiday bash, only grander and gaudier than ever before. Sip a spiked cocoa, bedazzle a sweater, and let the festive tunes start spinning as Mwenso & the Shakes take the stage.

  • Holiday Photobooth with Poser Photobooth Co.
    5:00–8:00 p.m.
    Great Stair Hall, 1st floorStrike a pose, then share it using #philafridays.
  • DIY Art: Ugly Sweater Making with Eric Anthony Berdis
    5:30–7:30 p.m.
    Great Stair Hall Balcony, 2nd floor
    Fiber artist Eric Anthony Berdis uses sequins and thrift-store finds to help you create a new expression of the infamous ugly sweater. BYO sweater; some available while supplies last.
  • DIY Art: Holiday Card Making
    5:30–7:30 p.m.
    Great Stair Hall Balcony, 2nd floor
    Dig into our collection of sequins, ribbons, metallic markers, and shimmer paper to create your own holiday cards.
  • Detour with New Liberty Distillery
    5:45 & 6:30 p.m.
    Olde Kensington’s New Liberty Distillery pairs craft spirits with artwork in a unique hybrid tasting and gallery tour. Participants must reserve a free ticket in advance.
  • Music: Slowey & the Boats
    6:00 p.m.
    Great Stair Hall, 1st floor
    Philadelphia’s Hawaiian jazz pioneers perform holiday classics with a tropical twist.
  • Music: Mwenso & the Shakes
    7:15 p.m.
    Great Stair Hall, 1st floor
    This unique troupe of global artists brings a jazzy, retro holiday variety show to the Great Stair Hall.

Festive Fashion
Sunday, December 2, 2018
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Great Stair Hall Balcony
Free after Pay What You Wish admission
Celebrate with the whole family at this holiday Family Festival. Family Festivals are generously supported by PNC.

  • Balcony Studio: 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
    Play dress up and join special guest artist Eric Anthony Berdis to create a wearable cape to protect you from the cold.​
  • Mini Tours: Depart at 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., and 2:00 p.m.
    Explore the exhibition Fabulous Fashion with a seasonal twist.

Friday Nights: Hanukkah Party
Friday, December 7, 2018
5:00  - 8:45 p.m.
Great Stair Hall
Free after admission
Dan Blacksberg and Freilachs Music celebrate the joy of the Hanukkah season with a night of dancing for all ages and backgrounds.
Presented with the Feinstein Center for American Jewish History at Temple University

Music in the Galleries: Winter Remembrances
​Saturday, December 8, 2018
Performances from 1:30 - 2:00 p.m., 2:15 - 2:45 p.m., and 3:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Wallace/Reader’s Digest Gallery 201, 2nd floor
Free after admission. Seating is limited.
Musicians from the Curtis Institute present a program of reflection and introspection.

Family Sundays: Jolly Jaunts
Sundays, December 9, 16, and 23, 2018
Great Stair Hall Balcony
Free after admission; Kids 12 and under are always free
Decorative arts meets Deck the Halls. Discover Museum treasures on an Art Explorers Tour and make your own in the Balcony Studio.

  • Balcony Studio: 10:30 - 3:00 p.m., all ages
  • Art Explorers Tours: 11:00 a.m., ages 3-5 and 6-10

Caroling Through the Galleries
Sunday, December 9, 2018
1:30 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. Performances at 1:30, 2:30, & 3:45 p.m.
Meet in the Great Stair Hall. 
Free after admission
The Pennsylvania Girlchoir, led by Ya-Jhu Yang, performs a selection of traditional carols.

Trolley Tour: A Festive Tradition—Cedar Grove, Woodford, and Lemon Hill
Meet in Lenfest Hall (West Entrance) 15 minutes prior to trolley departure time.
Paid tickets required $40 ($32 members). Cost includes transportation and house admission. Museum admission not included.Free for Museum Circle members ($1,000+) and above.
Tour three Fairmount Park historic homes—Cedar Grove, Woodford, and Lemon Hill—and delight in unique yuletide decorations.​ Trolley departs from and returns to the Museum’s West Entrance. Houses are not wheelchair accessible.

  • Thursday, December 13, 2018, 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Friday, December 14, 2018, 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 15, 2018, 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 16, 2018, 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Friday Nights: Feliz Navidad Fiesta
Friday, December 14, 2018
5:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
Great Stair Hall
Free after admission
Celebrate a Feliz Navidad with the music of Jarana Beat, rooted in Mexico’s Afro-Amerindian sounds and sure to make you move.

Trolley Tour: A Festive Tradition—Strawberry Mansion, Laurel Hill, and Ormiston
Meet in Lenfest Hall (West Entrance) 15 minutes prior to trolley departure time.
Paid tickets required. $40 ($32 members). Cost includes transportation and house admission. Museum admission not included.Free for Museum Circle members ($1,000+) and above.
Tour three Fairmount Park historic homes—Strawberry Mansion, Laurel Hill, and Ormiston Mansion—and delight in unique yuletide decorations. ​Trolley departs from and returns to the Museum’s West Entrance. Houses are not wheelchair accessible.

  • Thursday, December 13, 2018, 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Friday, December 14, 2018, 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 15, 2018, 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 16, 2018, 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Family Art Workshop: Holiday Clay
Sunday, December 16, 2018
Education Studios
Paid tickets required. $20 ($16 members) per child
Sculpt festive decorations and more.
Space is limited. Adults must register as well and are free with admission. ​Sign up in person or online at philamuseum.org/families.

  • Ages 4-7 with an adult: 10:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
  • Ages 8-12 with an adult: 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Friday Nights: Classic Cartoon Jazz Party
Friday, December 21, 2018
5:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
Great Stair Hall
Free after admission
Get in the spirit of the season with songs from A Charlie Brown Christmas. The Cartoon Christmas Trio welcomes special appearances by the Cartoon Christmas Chorus under the direction of M’Balia Singley and by world-class baritone Grant Youngblood.

Final Fridays: For You & Yours
Friday, December 28, 2018
5:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
Free after admission
Whether you’re looking for solo time or a night out with your squad to prep for the New Year, we’re toasting to you. Choose from an array of activities, then cozy up to the tunes of Canadian indie-folk artist Basia Bulat.

Holiday Family Programs
Daily, Wednesday, December 26 through Monday, December 31
Great Stair Hall Balcony
Free after admission; Kids 12 and under are always free.
Create tiny wonders and your own magical mini world inspired by the miniatures of Little Ladies . Hop on a Jolly Jaunts family tour and pick up a Let it Glow Holiday Family Guide to add some sparkle to your visit.

  • Balcony Studio: 10:30 am -3:00 pm, all ages
  • Family Tours: 11:00 am and 1:00 pm, all ages

Gifts for the Season
In addition to our holiday programming, an array of creative and distinctive gifts is available in Museum stores and online, including art-inspired items made exclusively for the Museum. Read the press release and download media images.


Social Media @philamuseum

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