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Actor Nathan Alford-Tate depicts a sailor in a blue coat holding a sailmaking fid in our Meet James Forten first-person theatrical performance.

Experience the Museum's newest first-person theatrical performance, "Meet James Forten," exploring Forten’s life as a free Black Philadelphian, Revolutionary War privateer, and stalwart abolitionist. Following the live performance, join actor Nathan Alford-Tate and Michael Idriss, the Museum’s African American Interpretive Fellow, for a talkback discussion about how and why this new theatrical piece was created and why Forten’s story continues to resonate with audiences today. Kalela Williams, founder of Black History Maven and a member of the Museum’s Diversify Living History Advisory Committee, will moderate this discussion.

The Museum’s Senior Manager of Gallery Interpretation Dr. Tyler Putman will provide opening remarks about "Brave Men as Ever Fought," a new painting by nationally renowned historical artist Don Troiani that shows a significant moment in Forten’s life. The painting, which is featured in the special exhibition Liberty: Don Troiani’s Paintings of the Revolutionary War, on view now, was commissioned with funding from the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail of the National Park Service.

Onsite tickets to this event include access to our Liberty special exhibition, a cash bar, and activities at a discovery cart in the Museum’s rotunda from 5:30-6:30 p.m. The performance will begin at 6:30 p.m. for onsite and online audiences with the discussion to follow. This is a hybrid event with onsite and online tickets available. Onsite tickets include an option to access the online Zoom link and participate from home. If you are feeling unwell, please use the Zoom link to view the program online. 

Health & Safety Note
Guests attending this program in person will be required to show proof of COVID vaccination upon entry. Original CDC vaccination cards, photos, or electronic copies of the card are all acceptable forms of documentation. Proof of a negative COVID test will not be accepted. For ticket-holders unable to provide proof of vaccination, a livestream link will be made available. Masks will be required unless eating and drinking. Please contact the front desk at 267.579.3046 with any questions.

About Kalela Williams

Kalela Williams Headshot

Kalela Williams has worked in public programming and education for more than a decade, in her current role as the first Director of Writing with Philadelphia-based youth organization Mighty Writers and in previous roles with the Free Library of Philadelphia and James Madison University's Furious Flower Poetry Center. As a member of the Museum’s Diversify Living History Advisory Committee, she has also interpreted for the Meet the Revolution series at the Museum of the American Revolution. She is the founder of Black History Maven, a gathering community that honors all diverse pasts, affirms Black identity and pride, and engages communities in literary, artistic, and cultural conversations. 

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Liberty: Don Troiani’s Paintings of the Revolutionary War

Now open through September 5, 2022
The Museum's special exhibition, Liberty: Don Troiani’s Paintings of the Revolutionary War, immerses visitors in the dramatic and research-based works of nationally renowned historical artist Don Troiani to bring the compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events of the American Revolution to life.
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