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Summer Nights at Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site

By day and by night, Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site is expanding its offerings to visitors this spring. Starting May 7, the destination will add three new, original artist installations to its growing collection of site-specific art, on view during all public hours. In addition, that evening kicks off Night Tours: Summer Twilight, a summer-long, after-hours event with additional, exclusive programming.


Night Tours: Summer Twilight
Building on the success of its inaugural Night Tours last fall, Eastern State Penitentiary will expand its evening programming with Night Tours: Summer Twilight, where groups will be invited to explore the historic cellblocks as the sun goes down. Admission will include all of Eastern State's daytime programming—self-guided audio tour narrated by actor Steve Buscemi, award-winning exhibits, and popular points of interest such as Al Capone's Cell and Death Row—in addition to some new, exclusive offerings.


Groups who visit Night Tours: Summer Twilight could experience the all-new Fair Chance Beer Garden presented by Eastern State Penitentiary and Triple Bottom Brewing Company, two organizations committed to fair chance hiring and social justice storytelling. Located outdoors on the penitentiary's baseball field, The Fair Chance Beer Garden will offer a selection of Triple Bottom beer for purchase, including Purpose Pale Ale, brewed in collaboration between Eastern State and Triple Bottom.


The Fair Chance Beer Garden will create meaningful, living-wage jobs for people who may otherwise be excluded from the mainstream economy, including people who have experienced homelessness or incarceration, and will only be available during Night Tours: Summer Twilight. Groups could purchase beverages to enjoy on the baseball field, or to take with them as they continue to explore the rest of the site.


Inside the Fair Chance Beer Garden, groups could also participate in hands-on activities as they reflect on Eastern State's history and legacy of criminal justice reform. Activities will focus on art, writing and music, and will prompt conversation on issues of justice today. Eastern State staff will be on hand to engage with visitors and offer special presentations each evening, subject to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.


A new public artist installation will serve as the last stop for groups as they exit the penitentiary. Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site and Mural Arts Philadelphia have co-commissioned artist Andrea Walls to create a new, digital artist installation to be projected onto the exterior of Eastern State. Working in collaboration with Mural Arts' Guild Members of the Restorative Justice program and considering empathy as a framework for social change, Walls' culminating video will be projected onto the dramatic façade of Eastern State Penitentiary during Night Tours: Summer Twilight.


Coinciding with the Night Tours schedule, this projection will debut on Friday, May 7 and will be shown on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, 8 – 11 p.m., through September 4. Viewers will be able to play the soundtrack from their smartphones and watch from the sidewalk throughout the evening. This installation will be free and open to the public.


Night Tours: Summer Twilight will run Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings from May 7 through September 4, 2021. Learn more about the additional new installations and purchase timed tickets at Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site.


Courtesy of Groups Today.


Photo courtesy of Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site.


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