Immigrant Heritage Month 2017: Food, Festivals & Fun in Philly

Throughout the month of June, Philadelphia celebrates Immigrant Heritage Month!

All month long, the Office of Immigrant Affairs joins Welcome.us, a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating a United States that is fueled by immigrants from around the world, to celebrate our immigrant communities!

Last year, we hosted and promoted events in partnership with many of our local nonprofits, ethnic groups, community organizations, cultural institutions, and art organizations.  This year, the tradition continues. Building on last years’ success, local partners for Immigrant Heritage Month 2017 will help us amplify Philadelphia’s diversity and celebrate our immigrant heritage as a source of pride.  This year’s celebration, the fourth annual, will officially kick off on June 5, 2017.

We’ve collected many events below, most of which are free, that can help you celebrate with us this June!


Philadelphia Annual Tango Festival
Thursday, June 1 — Sunday, June 4 | 7:30 p.m. — 2:00 a.m.
611 Spring Garden Street
Come experience outdoor dancing in the evenings in a beautiful courtyard on a professional-grade dance floor! Experience extended milongas on Friday and Saturday nights — until 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m., respectively — in an exquisite, 19th century ballroom. There will be on-site food options, including: a catered dinner Friday night (pre-registration kindly requested); Kiya’s Cafe serving Argentine light bites and coffee Friday through Sunday; and, a barbecue during the Garden Milonga on Sunday evening. There’ll be a late-night alternative milonga in an historic and beautiful, too. Throughout the festival, enjoy superb instruction in Argentine Tango for every level from absolute beginner to very advanced through a total of 28 workshops and 26 hours of social dancing to music curated by some of the most respected tango DJs!

Dancers perform as part of 2016’s Immigrant Heritage Month. (Photo by Samantha Madera.)

Latino Film Festival 2017
Friday, June 2 — Sunday, June 4 | Various times
The Caplan Recital Hall, 211 South Broad Street, 17th Floor
The Philadelphia Latino Film Festival (PHLAFF) was established in 2012 and has become the Philadelphia region’s only festival showcasing the extraordinary and innovative work of emerging and established Latin American and Latino filmmakers. Each year, the festival includes screening of groundbreaking works from all genres. The festival attracts a diverse audience, developing a new space in the Philadelphia region where filmmakers, actors, and producers can meet with other artists, engage with audiences, and present and discuss innovative work.

Caribbean Film Screening
Saturday, June 3 | 7:00 p.m. — 9:30 p.m.
UNIA, 1609 Cecil B. Moore Avenue
Free

Caribbean Community in Philadelphia, in collaboration with Taino Cultural Workshop, will host a free film screening and discussion at Marcus Garvey Local 121 chapter.  A film echoing the sentiments of the present day struggle that Native American Indians and Caribbean indigenous Taino people have protested, “Even the Rain”depicts a Spanish film crew in Bolivia there to dish the dirt on Christopher Columbus and his exploitation of native Indian populations during his journeys to the New World. The director, Sebastian (Gael Garcia Bernal), dreams of making an epic that will expose the imperialist sins of his ancestors. During the shoot, they suddenly confront contemporary South American politics.

APM Sugar Cane Festival
Saturday, June 3 | 11:00 a.m. — 3:00 p.m.
6th Street between Susequehanna and Diamond Streets and along Germantown Avenue
Free
The free Sugar Cane Festival attracts thousands of visitors over the course of the day. Each year, Sugar Cane Festival attendees look forward to receiving information and presentations by businesses and organizations, as well as listening to great music all free to the public.  Community residents will be offered information about the benefits of foster care and adoption, home ownership, and recycling among other activities. A children’s area with family-friendly activities and games, as well as a variety of health and human services information, will be available.

Meet the Author: Carmen Rivera
Saturday, June 3 | 3:00 p.m. — 5:00 p.m.
Taller Puertorriqueno, 2600 North 5th Street
Free

Carmen Rivera will introduce her Obie Award-winning play, “La Gringa,” the longest-running Spanish language play in Off-Broadway history. Rivera is a founding member and co-executive director of E.P.P (Education Play Productions), which brings plays that deal with social issues into public schools. “La Gringa” is about a young woman’s search for her identity. Maria Elena Garcia goes to visit her family in Puerto Rico with plans to connect with her homeland. However, most the Puerto Ricans on the island consider her an American, a gringa.

Irish American Festival
Sunday, June 4 | 1:00 p.m. — 7:00 p.m.
Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, 101 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard
Free
Celebrate all of Ireland’s cultural gems, from music to dancing to food! Enjoy performances from notable Irish musicians, famous dance schools, bagpipers, and, of course, traditional foods like shepherd’s pie and bangers and mash! Browse the outdoor shops for authentic and traditional Irish goods!

#ImmigrantHeritagePHL Kickoff and Philadelphia International Unity Cup Draw Presented by Goya
Monday, June 5 | 5:30 p.m.
Lincoln Financial Field, 1 Licoln Financial Field Way
Free

Immigrant Heritage Month in Philadelphia officially kicks off with the Philadelphia International Unity Cup team draw.  The Philadelphia International Unity Cup is a soccer tournament being held in Philadelphia from September through November. The 48 teams in the tournament will find out who they will play in the group stages of the soccer tournament. Mayor Kenney will be there to officially declare June Immigrant Heritage Month, too!

The Philadelphia International Unity Cup brings together Philadelphia’s immigrant communities and neighborhoods through a World Cup style soccer tournament.

Arab Classical and Contemporary Music with Hanna Khoury and Hafez Kotain
Monday, June 5 | 7:00 p.m.
Parkway Central Library, Grand Lobby, 1901 Vine Street
Free
An evening of Arab Classical and Contemporary Music with Hanna Khoury and Hafez Kotain of the Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble.  Al-Bustan (Arabic for “The Garden”) promotes cross-cultural understanding of all ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds through artistic and educational programs.  They support the pursuit and affirmation of Arab American cultural identity while playing a constructive civic role in broader American society.

Healthy Living 101 for Refugee and Immigrant Communities
Tuesday, June 6 | 1:30 p.m. — 4:30 p.m.
South Philadelphia Library, 1700 South Broad Street
Free
This workshop provides information about exercise, nutrition, and smoking cessation. Call Sarah Levin-Lederer at 216-686-1768 or email sarah.levin-lederer@phila.gov with questions or to register.

Caliban Revisited: Of Castaways, Explorers, Amazons, Cannibals, and Monsters, a Mythological Re-imagining of Latin America in the 21st Century
Wednesday, June 7 — Sunday, June 26 | 6:00 p.m. — 8:00 p.m.
Da Vinci Art Alliance, 704 Catharine Street
Free

This juried art exhibition asks Latin American artists to re-imagine a 21st century Latin America through an exploration of its mythology, both autochthonous as well as that which was assigned to the continent during its period of discovery and colonization. A period marked by the discovery of strange new lands, people, flora, and fauna unlike anything Europe had seen before. These discoveries gave rise to the “literature of wonder” as coined by Martin Butler.

“Tertulia: The New Immigration Landscape”
Thursday, June 8 | 5:30 p.m. — 7:30 p.m.
Taller Puertorriqueno, 2600 North 5th Street
Michael Esposito, co-founder of Raices Culturales Latinoamericanas, will host a speaker event, featuring Fernando Chung-Muy from Cuba, Thomas O’Boyle Lecturer at Penn Law School.  “Tertulia” will be an immigration forum celebrating Pride Month, Caribbean American Heritage Month, and Immigrant Heritage Month.  A small entrance fee of $10 will be charged.

Mayor Jim Kenney speaks at a Take Action Philly event in 2017. Take Action Philly helps educate and connect attorneys, immigrants, and refugees. (Photo by Samantha Madera.)

Human Trafficking Conference (NSC)
Thursday, June 8 | 9:00 a.m. — 4:00 p.m.
Jefferson Alumni Hall, 1020 Walnut Street
The conference will bring together healthcare providers, law enforcement, attorneys, social service providers, businesses, and consumers to discuss the current human trafficking situation in Southeastern Pennsylvania and to identify the existing gaps in preventing human trafficking and assisting survivors in the community.

Tabadul Neighborhood Forum
Thursday, June 8 | 4:00 p.m. — 6:00 p.m.
Northeast High School, 1601 Cottman Avenue
Free
Join Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture for a cultural dialogue and collective art making.

Take Action Philly Citizenship Screening
Saturday, June 10 | 11:00 a.m. — 3:00 p.m.
Northeast Regional Library, 2228 Cottman Avenue
Free with pre-registration
The Philadelphia Bar Association, with the support of the City of Philadelphia and several non-profit legal aid organizations, has formed Take Action Philly (TAP), an initiative uniting lawyers, government, community organizations, and residents to protect and assist Philadelphia residents.  In an effort to protect and assist Philadelphia’s immigrants and refugees, TAP has put together a series of free Citizenship Screenings & Clinics to assist in the completion of your citizenship process. TAP has also put together Refugee Adjustment of Status Clinics to assist refugees adjust their status to legal permanent residents.  Please call 215-238-6301 and leave a message as to your availability to attend this screening.

Pearl Street Season Opening
Saturday, June 10 | 12:00 p.m. — 4:00 p.m.
Asian Art Initiatives, 1219 Vine Street
Help keep Pearl Street beautiful with a community cleanup in the morning, and celebrate the warm weather with art, music, food, and family-friendly fun throughout the afternoon. Hosted by the Youth Arts Workshop students and showing off the work that they create this spring! Sliding scale donations kindly requested between $5-$20.

“La Mort de Louis XIV (The Death of Louis XIV)” Screening at Philadelphia International House
Saturday, June 10 | 7:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.
Philadelphia International House, 3701 Chestnut Street
Acclaimed Catalonian filmmaker Albert Serra’s latest work, “The Death of Louis XIV,” is an adaptation of Saint Simon’s memoirs starring Jean-Pierre Léaud as the Sun King. The cult actor, who has worked with all major directors from the Nouvelle Vague, plays the dying king who cannot move from the Château de Versailles. His wife Madame de Maintenon, his son Louis XV, and his doctor Fagon dread his last breath and try to hide it from the public to preserve the future of France.

Odunde Street Festival
Sunday, June 11 | 10:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.
23rd and South Street
Free
The annual Odunde Street Festival brings a genuine taste of Africa to South Street and one of Philadelphia’s oldest, historically African-American neighborhoods. Now in its 42nd year, the enormous festival will take over a 12-block radius in Graduate Hospital on June 11, gathering hundreds of vendors from around the world.

The Odunde Festival is the largest African-American street festival in the nation. (Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia.)

Anime and Manga @ Your Library!
Monday, June 12 | 4:00 p.m.
Ramonita G. de Rodriguez Library
600 West Girard Avenue
Free
Children ages 11 and up and teenagers are invited to explore Japanese animation, comics, and pop culture! Get to know different anime and manga series and try your hand at fan activities. RSVP kindly requested to Sara Palmer at 215-686-1768 or palmers@freelibrary.org.

Hora de cuentos en español para familias
Wednesday, June 14 | 11:15 a.m.
Ramonita G. de Rodriguez Library
600 West Girard Avenue
Free
Visit the library to share stories, rhymes, songs and other activities.  All members of the family are welcome but the program is geared toward pre-school children. Please call 215-686-1768 with any questions!

Citizens Soirée: A Dinner for Diplomacy
Thursday, June 15 | 5:30 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.
National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 South Independence Mall East
Masters of hospitality, Citizen Diplomacy, holds its annual fundraising party, Citizens Soirée: A Dinner for Diplomacy and this year we celebrate Lifelong Citizen Diplomats Thomas and Katherine Jennings. Guests will enjoy a night of international cocktails and cuisine, a wine pull and drawing with Philadelphia’s globally-minded business, education and civic leaders.

Take Action Philly Citizenship Screening
Saturday, June 17 | 11:00 a.m. — 3:00 p.m.
Charles Santore Library, 932 South 7th Street
Free with pre-registration
The Philadelphia Bar Association, with the support of the City of Philadelphia and several non-profit legal aid organizations, has formed Take Action Philly (TAP), an initiative uniting lawyers, government, community organizations and residents to protect and assist Philadelphia residents.  In an effort to protect and assist Philadelphia’s immigrants and refugees, TAP has put together a series of free Citizenship Screenings & Clinics to assist in the competition of your citizenship process. TAP has also put together Refugee Adjustment of Status Clinics to assist refugees adjust their status to legal permanent residents.  Please call 215-238-6301 and leave a message as to your availability to attend this screening.

Caribeean Carnival and Parade
Saturday, June 17 | 12:00 p.m.
Fairmount Park, 3925 Chamounix Drive
The Greater Philadelphia Caribbean Cultural Organization Inc (GPCCO), a nonprofit community based organization with mission to promote multiculturalism in the Philadelphia area by sharing Caribbean cultural tradition, hosts its annual Caribbean Carnival and Parade.

Cameroonian Association of Philadelphia Convention
Saturday, June 17 | 7:30 p.m.
5000 Springfield Avenue
The Cameroonian Association of Greater Philadelphia is holding its first convention, which will also help provide educational supplies to youngsters in Cameroon as well as local communities in the Philadelphia area. The convention will also help promote of health and wellness for Cameroonians in the Philadelphia area as well as provide medical supplies to hospitals in Cameroon.

The PAPA Sessions Featuring Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists (PAPA)
Monday, June 19 | 7:00 p.m.
Asian Art Initiatives, 1219 Vine Street
Free
Enjoy an evening showcasing the vibrancy of the Asian American theater and performance community in this quarterly showcase series, featuring members of PAPA and other local artists sharing stories through music, comedy, and more.

Photographs depict personal stories and neighborhood history from World Refugee Day in 2016. (Photo by Samantha Madera.)

World Refugee Day at City Hall
Tuesday, June 20 | 12:00 p.m. — 1:00 p.m.
Conversation Hall, Room 201, City Hall
Free
Observe World Refugee Day at City Hall with a lunch with local refugees followed by a press a conference in the Mayor’s Reception Room, Room 202, City Hall. Each year, World Refugee Day is dedicated to raising awareness of refugees throughout the world. This lunch and its program are free and open to the public; please email Juliane Ramic at jramic@nscphila.org with any questions.

Iftar Dinner at International House
Tuesday, June 20 | 8:00 p.m.
Philadelphia International House, 3701 Chestnut Street
People of all faiths and cultures are invited to the Iftar Dinner, served at sunset during Ramadan to break the fast that is observed. The Ramadan holiday, which lasts a month, commemorates the time Muslims believe the Koran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn until dusk each day to build character and self-discipline. The Iftar dinner begins with the traditional breaking of the fast with dates and a water or yogurt drink. Guests will learn about Ramadan and share an authentic meal with the community.

Traditional Chinese and Western Music
Wednesday, June 21 | 6:30 p.m.
Independence Library, 18 South 7th Street
Free
Ms. Qin Qian and Kurt Jung perform traditional Chinese and western music with the erhu (a Chinese two-stringed fiddle) and yangchin (Chinese hammered dulcimer). Children are encouraged to participate!

Uzbek Rhapsody: The Films of Ali Khamraev
Thursday, June 22 — Saturday, July 1 | Various times
International House, 3701 Chestnut Street
This series of films by Ali Khamraev — including “White,” “White Storks,” “Without Fear,” “The Seventh Bullet,” “Man Follows Birds,” “The Bodyguard,” “Triptych,” “I Remember You” and “Bo Ba Bu” — plays over a week and a half at various times in the evening.

Caribbean Day Celebration at Reading Terminal Market
Saturday, June 24 | 10:00 a.m.
Reading Terminal Market, 51 North 12th Street
Free
Come to Philadelphia’s iconic Reading Terminal Market as Caribbean leaders and civic leaders kick off the start of the celebration of Caribbean culture. The event features Steel Pan (Trinidad & Tobago), Junkanoo Band (Bahamas), Afro-Latino Drumming, Dancing, Painting (Dominican Republic, Cuba), Taino Indigenous Peoples of the Caribbean, face painting, and live cooking demonstrations.

Take Action Philly Citizenship Screening
Monday, June 26 | 5:00 p.m. — 8:00 p.m.
Greater Olney Library, 5501 North 5th Street
Free with pre-registration
The Philadelphia Bar Association, with the support of the City of Philadelphia and several non-profit legal aid organizations, has formed Take Action Philly (TAP), an initiative uniting lawyers, government, community organizations and residents to protect and assist Philadelphia residents.  In an effort to protect and assist Philadelphia’s immigrants and refugees, TAP has put together a series of free Citizenship Screenings & Clinics to assist in the competition of your citizenship process. TAP has also put together Refugee Adjustment of Status Clinics to assist refugees adjust their status to legal permanent residents.  Please call 215-238-6301 and leave a message as to your availability to attend this screening.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Naturalization Ceremony
Monday, June 26 | 10:00 a.m. — 11:00 a.m.
30 South 41st Street
Free
Come celebrate and honor America’s newest citizens at this public ceremony!

Muhibbah Dinner
Tuesday, June 27 | 7:00 p.m.
Saté Kampar, 1837 East Passyunk Avenue
Muhibbah is a Malay term that describes the pure harmony of multiple races, religions, and cultures coming together in the spirit of peace and tolerance. In Malaysia, this word characterizes celebrations shared between different backgrounds. The Muhibbah Dinner Series provides a unique opportunity for all to come together in fellowship over food. In the incredibly vibrant culinary capital of Philadelphia, so many chefs, amateur and professional alike, are looking for a platform to share unique global cuisines with individuals eager to learn about them. Proceeds of the dinners will be donated to non-profit organizations in Philadelphia working with immigrants in the city. Proceeds from this event benefit refugee organization HIAS. Tickets are available for purchase online.

Take Action Philly Citizenship Screening
Wednesday, June 28 | 5:00 p.m. — 8:00 p.m.
Wyoming Library, 231 East Wyoming Avenue
Free with pre-registration
The Philadelphia Bar Association, with the support of the City of Philadelphia and several non-profit legal aid organizations, has formed Take Action Philly (TAP), an initiative uniting lawyers, government, community organizations and residents to protect and assist Philadelphia residents.  In an effort to protect and assist Philadelphia’s immigrants and refugees, TAP has put together a series of free Citizenship Screenings & Clinics to assist in the competition of your citizenship process. TAP has also put together Refugee Adjustment of Status Clinics to assist refugees adjust their status to legal permanent residents.  Please call 215-238-6301 and leave a message as to your availability to attend this screening.

Caribbean Story Time!
Thursday, June 29 | 11:00 a. m.
Parkway Central Library, Grand Lobby, 1901 Vine Street
Free
Celebrate Caribbean American Heritage Month with this special Caribbean-themed story time for ages 2 – 6.  Led by Miranda Alexander of the Caribbean Community in Philadelphia.

#ImmigrantHeritagePHL Closing Ceremony & Interactive ESL Map Unveiling
Friday, June 30 | 11:00 a.m.
Mayor’s Reception Room, City Hall, Room 202
Free
The Office of Immigrant Affairs — in partnership with the Office of Adult Education, the Mayor’s Office of Policy, the Office of Innovation and Technology GIS Services Group, and Temple University’s Department of Geography and Urban Studies  — will release an online, interactive English as a Second Language (ESL) Class Locator Map. The ESL map will include English class provider locations throughout Philadelphia. Mayor Jim Kenney will deliver remarks and the Office of Adult Education will explain how residents can sign up for certified English classes in Philadelphia as well as provide a walk through of the map itself. RSVPs are kindly requested online.


Be sure to follow OIA on Twitter and Facebook to stay updated on events — if you’re participating in Immigration Heritage Month, let us know using the hashtags #ImmigrantHeritagePHL, #IHM2017, and #IStandWithImmigrants!


Top