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Registration for Programs

The Tale

Monday, March 25, 4:00 PM

The Tale, an award-winning film written and directed by Philadelphian Jennifer Fox, presents her own story as a 40-some year old who begins to get in touch with her childhood experience of sexual violation by a riding instructor and the instructor’s boyfriend. This account, examining perception, memory and fantasy, explores how teenagers can have difficulty defining relationships and their effects.  The Tale handles its extraordinarily challenging subject matter with sensitivity, grace, and the power of some standout performances led by a remarkable Laura Dern and Ellen Burstyn.

When shown at Sundance the audience was pin-drop silent at the end and then came a thunderous standing ovation. The film has been nominated for 32 awards from the Prime Time Emmy Awards ( The Tale has been shown on HBO) to the Golden Globe Awards to Sundance. Internationally, The Tale has been nominated and won awards in France, Australia, Germany, Norway and South Africa. The critic response is an overall “Universal Acclaim.” And, it has been commended by leaders at the United Nations. 

SaraKay Smullens, a certified group psychotherapist, family life educator and author, will moderate this event. She has known Jennifer Fox and her family for many years and was a consultant on the film. She will talk about her personal involvement with the film and answer questions about the film and the dilemmas it poses.

Wine and beverages served during discussion.

Free. RSVP: Call 215-925-2688 or email

The Athenaeum Takes a Hard Look at Philadelphia in the Movies

Trading Places, Then and Now,” with Carrie Rickey

Wednesday, March 27, 2:00 PM

Trading Places (1983) A con artist (Eddie Murphy) and a commodities trader (Dan Aykroyd) each learn how the other lives in this comedy from John Landis. Combining elements from The Marriage of Figaro with The Prince and the Pauper, this fractured fairytale insists that character is not a question of nature or nurture, but one of opportunity. Co-starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche. (Nudity, racial epithets, coarse language).

Free. RSVP: Call 215-925-2688 or email

Bill Marrazzo, "Public Media, Built To Last!"

Monday, April 15, 3:00 PM

Find out how WHYY is building on its legacy as a trusted source for news, arts & culture and education to provide an expanded scope of services for today's fast-changing media environment.  From Sesame Street to Fresh Air with Terry Gross, WHYY serves a diverse population across three states.  Get some insights on what it takes to build solid financial footing to support the expansion of audio, video and digital media content in a fiercely competitive marketplace. 

Bill Marrazzo has been President and CEO of WHYY since 1977.  Bill’s stewardship of WHYY has resulted in consistent growth in top and bottom lines as a result of the expansion of the production of trusted news and information, content showcasing the region’s creative talent and non- traditional service equipping mid and high schoolers with digital media production skills, a prerequisite for a growing number of career paths.  Marrazzo holds degrees in chemical engineering.  His career in Philadelphia began with the Philadelphia Water Department where he successfully led a regional effort to return the tri state areas waterways to fishable/swimmable status.  He was named Water Commissioner in 1979 and also served as the city’s Managing Director, the number-two job after Mayor. He went on to lead the international, publicly traded environmental consulting firm, Roy F. Weston, Inc., in West Chester, PA before coming to WHYY.

Free. RSVP: Call 215-925-2688 or email

AYA Trio

Tuesday, April 30, 5:30 PM

The AYA Trio was formed in 2013 at the Curtis Institute of Music, where the members have studied with Peter Wiley as their main coach, along with Jonathan Biss, Arnold Steinhardt, and Meng-Shieh Lieu.

The trio has participated in masterclasses with Peter Wiley, Robert Levine, Noah Bendix-Bagely, Peter Stumpf, and Jessica Lee, and have performed numerous times in the Philadelphia Area including performances at the Philadelphia Club and Curtis.

Pianist Ying Li, from China, entered Curtis in 2012 and currently studies with professor Jonathan Biss. Ms. Li holds the Harold and Helene Schonberg Fellowship. Violinist Angela Sin Ying Chan was accepted to Curtis in 2013, where she studies with Prof. Aaron Rosand and Prof. Shmuel Ashkenasi. Cellist Andres Sanchez began his studies at Curtis in 2013. He studies with cellist Peter Wiley and Carter Brey.

This event has received generous support from The Edith Ogden Harrision Lecture Fund

to follow.
Athenaeum Members: Free. RSVP: Call 215-925-2688 or email
General Public: $15

Qty Description Price
AYA Trio: General Public

Maureen Corrigan, National Public Radio book critic, “Who Do You Think You Are? A Critic Responds”

Monday, May 20, 3:30 PM

Everybody’s a critic these days. The democratic possibilities of Yelp, Goodreads, and thousands of other online sites have all-but-toppled the reign of traditional “gatekeepers” of culture. (Think: Sheridan Whiteside from The Man Who Came To Dinner.) Or have they? Longtime Fresh Air book critic, Maureen Corrigan, offers a spirited and self-serving defense of the enduring need for an educated opinion. She’ll also talk about her own circuitous path to becoming a professional book critic and give us a glimpse into how books get chosen for review on Fresh Air.

Maureen Corrigan is the book critic on the NPR radio program Fresh Air and writes for the "Book World" section of The Washington Post. In 2014, she wrote So We Read On, a book on the origins and power of "The Great Gatsby." In 2005, she published a literary memoir, Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books. Corrigan was awarded the 2018 Nona Balakian Award for Excellence in Reviewing by the National Book Critics Circle, and the 1999 Edgar Award for Criticism by The Mystery Writers of America.

Free. RSVP: Call 215-925-2688 or email  

Photo by Nina Subin

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