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Events

  • July 18, 2020, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

    Member Saturday: Draw Your Own Conclusions | 1920s Cartoons of Eastern State

    Members only. Registration required. Art has always played an important role for people living in prisons. It allows for self-expression and can even be a form of activism. In the 1920s, Frederick Funk drew a series of elaborate cartoons, illustrating his experience while incarcerated at Eastern State, and sent them to prison reformer Anna Wharton Morris.

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  • August 4, 2020, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

    The Searchlight Series: August 2020

    Free. Reception to follow. Speaker to be announced.

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  • August 15, 2020, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

    Member Saturday: Neighborhood Connections | Eastern State and Girard College

    Members only. Registration required. Eastern State Penitentiary and Girard College have been neighbors for more than 180 years. You’ve been behind the Eastern State wall. Now, join Katherine Haas, director of historical resources at Girard College, and head behind the Girard College wall for a discussion exploring the historical links between these two Philadelphia landmarks.

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  • September 1, 2020, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

    The Searchlight Series: September 2020

    Free. Reception to follow. Speaker to be announced.

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  • September 19, 2020, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

    Member Saturday: Preserving Eastern State’s Historic Wall

    Members only. Registration required. Have you ever found yourself staring in awe at Eastern State’s nearly 200-year-old, 30-foot high stone perimeter wall? The penitentiary’s iconic façade is striking, but its size makes maintaining and preserving it quite the task. We complete as-needed repairs, but now, we’re developing a long-term strategy to better preserve this architectural treasure.

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  • October 6, 2020, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

    The Searchlight Series: October 2020

    Free. Reception to follow. Speaker to be announced.

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  • October 17, 2020, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

    Member Saturday: Writing on the Margins | Poe, Dickens, and Incarceration in Philadelphia

    Members only. Registration required. Charles Dickens and Edgar Allan Poe met for the first time in Philadelphia in 1842. Their writings revealed a shared fascination with the grim and the macabre but also an interest in exploring deeper topics like poverty, crime, and the margins of society.

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  • November 3, 2020, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

    The Searchlight Series: November 2020

    Free. Reception to follow. Speaker to be announced.

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  • November 21, 2020, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

    Member Saturday: Indigenous People and Incarceration

    Members only. Registration required. In honor of Native American Heritage Month, Eastern State researcher Annie Anderson will discuss the history of Native American people incarcerated at the penitentiary, Eastern State’s relationship with the local Native American community, and how the justice system impacts Indigenous communities today.

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  • November 27, 2020 – December 20, 2020

    Holiday Toy Drive

    BOGO Admission for Anyone Who Donates. Donate a toy November 27 through December 20, 2020 in exchange for "Buy One, Get One Free" admission to Eastern State.   One in 28 American kids has a parent behind bars. In Pennsylvania alone, there are approximately 81,096 children with a parent incarcerated in a PA state prison. How can we come together as a community to support families experiencing incarceration during the holidays?

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  • December 1, 2020, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

    The Searchlight Series: December 2020

    Free. Reception to follow. Speaker to be announced.

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  • December 19, 2020, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

    Member Saturday: Made at Eastern State

    Members only. Registration required. Throughout the penitentiary’s history, people incarcerated at Eastern State made toys, such as doll clothes, chess sets, miniature cutlery, wooden figurines, model ships, and piggy banks. When the prison was operational, Eastern State’s entrance even featured a small store in which the toys and trinkets were displayed and sold.

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2017 American Aliance of Museums Excellence in Exhibitions Overall Winner