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SIMBY Presents: The Voices of Sisterly Affection

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Awbury Arboretum

1 Awbury Road

Philadelphia, PA 19138

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Event description
Created by Kyra Williams, this is a SIMBY fundraiser and outdoor photo exhibit honoring Philly's Black music herstory.

About this event

As published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, our founder Kyra Williams is one of 23 creatives out of 600 applicants to receive the Black Music City grant sponsored by REC Philly, WXPN-FM, and WRTI-FM to honor Philly's Black music history. After using this opportunity to continue to provide online and in-person arts education to Black womxn and girls as she does with Stories In My Backyard (SIMBY), her photography project is finally set to debut to the public.

Held at the Awbury Arboretum, this outdoor exhibit doubles as a fundraiser to support SIMBY's efforts. It will include food, music, 56 acres of nature for guests to explore, indoor facilities to cool off from the sun, and SIMBY's first in-person photo workshop for Black girls since our soft launch in 2020. This workshop consists of a photowalk that will be held before the event with co-instructors Kyra Williams and Ruby Johnson using iPhones or camera equipment provided by The Philadelphia School District's TV Station. For those unable to join us for this day of community and art, the exhibit will also be released as a virtual reality experience after the event.

Please spread the word and bring the whole family out for a nature-filled day of community, art, and herstory as we celebrate the legacies of Black womxn in music from our city!

To support our efforts as a nonprofit and contribute to our expenses for this event, purchase a donation ticket below (suggested amount of $5 for those 12 years old+) or click here to donate via GoFundMe!

Thank you for investing in and supporting Black womxn and girls!

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Exhibit Description

Philadelphia's motto was expanded to "The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection" by the efforts of longtime radio host and godmother of Black Music Month, Dyana Williams. To continue amplifying the femxle voice in discussions about our city, this photo collection by Kyra Williams is a glance at Philly’s Black music herstory and a labor of love and respect for the Black womxn who have been the soundtrack to our lives: Billie Holiday, Patti LaBelle, Phyllis Hyman, Left Eye, Eve, Jill Scott, DJ Diamond Kuts, Jazmine Sullivan, and Tierra Whack. They’ve been the representation we need, allowing us to see and hear ourselves on screen, on stage, in magazines, and on the radio. They’ve told our stories beautifully through song, putting words and music to experiences that we've struggled to explain. They’ve paved the way for future generations of artists to speak candidly about their experiences while creating their own lanes as lyrical and fashionable risk takers. Without their contributions and the way they’ve amplified our voices, our lives would look and feel differently. These womxn are change makers, culture shifters, trend setters, and undeniable talents that deserve their flowers. Inspired by moments in their careers, these portraits tell nine stories in our backyard with Black womxn and girls from the Philadelphia area —both in front of and behind the camera— to honor their legacies and origins from The City of Sisterly Affection.

Project Credits:

Photographer/Videographer/Editor/ Music Programmer/Creative Director: Kyra Williams

Wardrobe Stylists: Karis Pringle and Kyra Williams

Makeup Artists: Jurnee Gabri-El, Myisha Foy, Tattiana Smith, and Bobbi Johnson

Hair Stylists: Roshun Davis, Shanell Jett, Shanté Williams, Anisa Mason, Ava Jackson, and Azariah Harris

Models: (In order of appearance) Taylor Jones, Tanyyah Peterson, Amya Jackson, Ava Jackson, Taylar Dallas, Aliyah Staten, Azariah Harris, Ania Holland, and Payton Drumwright

Studio: Rec Philly

Exhibit Venue: Awbury Arboretum

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Date and time

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Awbury Arboretum

1 Awbury Road

Philadelphia, PA 19138

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Organizer Stories In My Backyard (SIMBY)

Organizer of SIMBY Presents: The Voices of Sisterly Affection

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