(Illustration by Hannah Agosta Illustration, based on a photo by Jessie Fox)
“How to Give” is a biweekly column by local philanthropy wizard Lansie Sylvia. In it, Lansie answers readers’ questions about millennials, philanthropy and engaging the next generation of givers. To ask her a question, tweet @FancyLansie.
THIS WEEK’S QUESTION:
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. What are some ways to celebrate with my sweetie that also benefit the community? I don’t want to get another crappy stuffed animal, and I really want to do something fun and original.
Did you know that “philanthropy” translated literally means “love of mankind?” There are tons of wonderful ways to celebrate this (somewhat manufactured) holiday while also giving back to your local community. Here’s a list of great events that shower the people (and places and organizations) you love with love!
For the Ms. or Mr. Artsy Pants: Fleisher’s 17th Annual Print Love-In
When an annual event has been going on for 17 years, you know it has to be good. Beloved local art center Fleisher Art Memorial has a weekend of love planned for people of all ages. On either the adults-only Saturday sessions or family-friendly Sunday session, you can make your own valentine cards while being introduced to different forms of printmaking, including silkscreen, relief, collograph, letterpress and lithography.
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And don’t worry if you’re no Andy Warhol — local artists will be onsite to help you create your masterpieces.
[21+ adult sessions on Saturday, Feb. 11, from 5 to 7 p.m. or 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.; $35 per person includes all printmaking materials, demos lead by Fleisher faculty, tote bag printing, and seasonal cocktails and beer]
For the aesthete: BalletX Winter Series
While not expressly related to Valentine’s Day, the BalletX winter series might just put you in the mood to move your body (ahem). As Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet company, BalletX always showcases stunning, sexy choreography performed by a diverse cast of local dancers. Plus, this season’s series features live onstage accompaniment by alumni of the Curtis Institute of Music. Sure to get your pulse racing.
[Friday, Feb. 10, through Sunday, Feb. 19, various times, $25-50]
For the history buff: Love Potion #9 at the Penn Museum
Yes, this is technically the day after Valentine’s Day, but what’s another 24 hours when you’re spending eternity together, eh? EH??? Penn Museum’s special exhibition “Magic in the Ancient World” tells the story of how ancient peoples sought to fulfill desires through supernatural means — such as a gem to help charm a crush, or a tablet to curse a scorned lover. Plus, you can make your own magical love amulet or stand gobsmacked while a Tarot reader parts the ephemeral veil, all while sipping on specialty cocktails.
[Wednesday, Feb. 15, $20 per person includes one free drink for guests 21+]
For the Norman Rockwell enthusiast: DRWC’s Sweetheart Skate at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest
What could be more romantic than tentatively falling forward on slippery ice surrounding by a swarm of zooming teenagers? How about doing all that while eating a heart-shaped Dunkin Donut and gazing upon the stunning Ben Franklin Bridge? DRWC’s Sweetheart Skate includes ice skating, skate rental, chocolates, flowers, a photo booth and a DJ taking your special requests. Just don’t request LL Cool J’s “I Need Love.” That’s my jam.
[Tuesday, Feb. 14, from 7 to 11 p.m., $25 per person]
For the ghostest with the mostest: Valentine’s Day Date Night at the Clay Studio
I can personally attest to how totally awesome this Valentine’s Day-te is, having experienced it with my sweetie last year. There really is nothing quite like sipping champagne from a plastic cup, washed in the lambent glow of Christmas lights, whilst your beloved wrestles a wad of clay into an artfully oblong “mug.”
[Friday, Feb. 10, through Tuesday, Feb. 14, $135 per couple includes light fare, chocolate, champagne, wine and mood music]
For your best ghoul: ‘Til Death Do Us Part: The Love Stories of Laurel Hill
Spend a special night with your boo (get it?) in one of Philadelphia’s most romantic and mysterious locations. You’ll take a guided tour through Laurel Hill Cemetery, where you’ll hear about love stories both sacred and profane, including the one about a little-known woman whose heart — and only her heart — now lies buried beneath visitors’ feet. After you’ve shivered and shrieked your way through many twisted tales of devotion, end your afternoon with a toasty, fireside reception replete with wine, hot chocolate and hors d’oeuvres.
[Saturday, Feb. 11, at 1 p.m., $17 to 20 per person with free parking]