Freedom, Fire, and Promiscuous Meetings: The Philadelphia Community Lyceum



Part of the Place Philadelphia project
Curated by Nadine Patterson
April 5th – May 18thFirst Friday Receptions April 5th, May 3rd, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Gallery Hours Tuesday-Saturday 12 p.m.-  6 p.m.

Nadine Patterson’s exhibit Freedom Fire and Promiscuous Meetings: the Philadelphia Community Lyceum serves as a public forum for the Bride-commissioned play If She Stood by Ain Gordon premiering April 26th. This mixed media exhibit is intended as a Middle Passage continuum experience with soundscape, visuals, found object sculptures, quilts, poetry and film featuring works by Sarah Bond, Theodore Harris, Leon McDuffie, Toni Nash, Nadine Patterson, Lamont B. Steptoe, and more.  In creating this exhibit, Patterson partnered with Sonia Sanchez of the Mural Arts Program, Peace is a Haiku Project with support from historians Denise Valentine and Phillip Steitz. Images were gathered from the Lest We Forget Museum and the Library Company of Philadelphia.  The exhibit designer is Gary Smalls.

Freedom, Fire, and Promiscuous Meetings offers a place for minds to meet and discuss the complex and compelling themes of If She Stood.  The upper portion of the Bride’s gallery will feature interactive opportunities including William Penn Charter School 11th grade student work created under the guidance of Patterson and Gordon.  Manuscripts of a play and other historical fiction by the students is available to express; visual arts pieces inspired by primary source research done in Philadelphia are on display.

PLACE PHILADELPHIA has been an eighteen month project here at Painted Bride Art Center funded by Pew Center for the Arts and Heritage that has allowed the Bride to commission a theatrical production and arts exhibit that unearths an unknown story of Philadelphia. Playwright Ain Gordon and artist/curator Nadine Patterson discovered the compelling background of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, a group of multiracial women who collectively fought for abolition and founded the women’s rights movement in our city. Visit the Place Philadelphia project blog to explore the expansive connections between the 19th Century issues faced in If She Stood and the 21st Century rights struggles of today.   Our city, Our story. WWW.PLACEPHILADELPHIA.COM. Click here for an audio snapshot of the project.

Ain Gordon’s If She Stood has been supported by The Pew Center for the Arts & Heritage and is made possible in part by support from the National Performance Network (NPN) Performance Residency Program. For more information:

Exhibit Partners
Students  from William Penn Charter School and teachers Cheryl Irving and Lee Payton.
Sonia Sanchez and Mural Arts Program, Peace is a Haiku Song Project
Scribe Video Center

Toni Nash
Sarah Bond
Nadine Patterson
Theodore A. Harris
Lamont B. Steptoe
Leon McDuffie, illustrator and bench designs

Image Lenders:

J. Justin Ragsdale & Gwen Ragsdale, Curators Lest We Forget Museum

Library Company of Philadelphia


Denise Valentine

Phillip Steitz

Gallery Designer

Gary Smalls

Artists on the Gallery Soundtrack

Warren Oree and the Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble
From “Touching Bass” Warren Oree on Bass and Vocals
Track used “Casey’s Last Breath”
Produced by Harmony Image Productions available on iTunes

“Moving with the Dreaming” w/Sherry Butler on lead vocals; Craig Harris on Didgeridoo; “Pablow” Douglas Edwards on percussion; Gregory “JuJu” Jones on Drums; Umar Raheem on Saxphone; MOnette Sudler on Guitar; Gloria Galante on Harp; John Hopkins on Keyboars; and Warren Oree on Bass and Vocals
Tracks used “Riot/UpRising” and “Remember and Recall”
Produced by Harmony Image Productions available on iTunes

Lenny Seidman
From “Black Landscape with Flowers” dance performance piece

Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra
From debut CD of the same name
Tracks used include “Merge”and “Osain”
Available on iTunes

Gallery Films

Being….in Philadelphia Past & Present

Films will run from 12noon to 6pm Tuesday through Saturday, unless otherwise noted and before the performances of If She Stood.

Week #1 Friday April 5th to Thursday April 11th
Scribe Video Center’s 2011 Documentary History Project for Youth: City of Sound
“Fire Riots” – Stephen Skeel
“MOVE” – Mei Mei McDowell
“Tides of Change” – Michelle Saul-Yamasaki


Week #2 Friday April 12th to Thursday April 18th
“Lest We Forget: The Black Holocaust” J. Justin Ragsdale and Gwen Ragsdale


Week #3 Friday April 19th to Thursday April 25th
7 Affirmations of North Philadelphia, Nadine Patterson, films include the following:
“Thirty Eight Twenty”
“Anna Russell Jones: Praisesong for a Pioneering Spirit”
“Art, Art and More Art: Sam Brown”
“I Used to Teach English”
“Cosmic Train”
“Moving with the Dreaming”


Week #4 Friday April 26th to Thursday May 2nd
“Lest We Forget: The Black Holocaust” J. Justin Ragsdale and Gwen Ragsdale (encore)


Week #5 Friday May 3rd to Thursday May 9th
“Joined by Divisions”, Ted Passon


Week # 6 Friday May 10th to Saturday May 18th
Scribe Video Center’s Precious Places


Scribe Video Center’s 2011 Documentary History Project for Youth: City of Sound was researched, written, shot, and edited, by Hiwot Adilow, Ezra J. Ali-Dow, Aubrey Backues, Saria Cooper-Burks, Mei Mei Mc Dowell, Kaleb Thomas Mosley, Imani Ross, Michelle Saul-Yamasaki, Stephen Skeel, and Obasi Tahir.