Philadelphians Convene on Barnes Museum Opening Gala to Condemn Ban on Sharing Food Outdoors

May 19 – In protest of Mayor Nutter’s unconscionable and imminent ban on sharing food outdoors in city parks, human rights advocates, religious groups, and affected individuals will be holding An Alternate Opening of the Barnes Museum: An exhibit on poverty, class warfare, and hunger, sponsored by Food Not Bombs.

Saturday, May 19th
20th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Press Contact: Niko Rayer (215) 881-5734

Mayor Nutter is on his way to outlawing sharing free food with homeless Philadelphians because of money and tourism. The newly opening Barnes Museum is one of the biggest reasons the mayor wants to starve homeless folks off the Parkway, keeping Philadelphians he has done little to help out of sight and out of mind.

On May 19, the Barnes Museum will hold a cocktail reception, with dinner and dancing – at a cost of $1,500 per plate. Those who attend will say they’re there to observe and celebrate art, valuable because it reveals truths about the human condition.

But the truth is, for most of us, $1,500 isn’t a plate of food — it’s more than a month’s income, more than a winter’s worth of heating bills, more than six months worth of food stamps allotments. And that’s for Philadelphians who are squeezed tight in this economy, but nonetheless more fortunate than many who may be displaced from the Parkway by Mayor Nutter’s ban on sharing free food outdoors.

So we’ll be holding our own art show. Outdoors, for all to see. And, this show will focus on class warfare, on hunger, on being poor. These are not abstract themes. Pennsylvania may soon cut General Assistance, for example, even while major homeless shelters in our city are closing down. These are the parts of the human condition we face here in Philadelphia, real people’s problems that need to be confronted instead of swept under the rug.

To illustrate these themes, we’ll show artwork from Barnes’s own collection, alongside art by those outraged by the city’s ban on sharing free food outdoors. And while the city’s upper-crust dine, we’ll be sharing free food, home-cooked by volunteers – because we believe that no one in our city should go hungry.

Join us for an unforgettable evening.

One Reply to “Philadelphians Convene on Barnes Museum Opening Gala to Condemn Ban on Sharing Food Outdoors”

  1. It was a fun evening. There was some tension. A police lieutenant tried to make the mayor’s whim into law. Laura pointed out to him that there we were breaking no existing laws or regulations. Our aim was not to disturb, but merely to make a statement and to offer an alternative.
    Rich people sure are scared! The police had canine units and SWAT teams and special forces and five streets closed. They were profiling cars! It was quite a circus. Even then, I think half the people didn’t show up. The mayor has made such a mess of things. People were afraid.

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