Community Briefs: Temple Health Fair; GayBINGO; Arts Festival

Illustration by Ash Cheshire.

Temple Health Fair brings wealth of resources to North Philly

Temple Emergency Action Corps (TEAC), an entity of Temple’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine, is hosting its annual community health fair on September 17 at Mercy Neighborhood Ministries in North Philadelphia. About 15 community partner organizations will provide information and resources related to many aspects of mental and physical health.  

Among those partners include Lutheran Settlement House, which provides a variety of services to families, children and adults, including those who experience domestic violence and inter-relational distress. Representatives from Bebashi Transition to Hope will be offering info on HIV care, social work and general health services. An array of maternal healthcare professionals will be at the fair, including the Maternal Wellness Village, a collective of therapists, doulas, holistic healers, lactation consultants and other specialists who primarily serve communities in the African Diaspora. 

“I think this community health fair is super important because Black and Brown people face such huge health disparities,” said Najya Williams, Temple medical student and co-president of TEAC with Lauren Bendesky. “We see that in Philadelphia, the health outcomes that exist within North Philly are very different from that of Center City, very different from that of University City. When you look at the intersection of race and sexuality and gender identity, the health disparities get even wider. This is an opportunity for us to show up and provide as much accurate and accessible information that we can to try and mitigate some of those disparities.” 

In addition to sexual and reproductive health resources, Temple’s health fair will offer expertise from a culinary expert who will discuss how to use SNAP benefits to get healthy food options; Representatives from an afterschool arts program will talk about their child care services and after school programming for high school students in Philly’s public schools; folks from Power Interfaith will provide info on how to register to vote and get politically involved; MedicZero will provide free CPR training; staffers from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health will give out resources on mental health, COVID-19, monkeypox and housing; reps from Temple Health’s TRUST Clinic will be there to provide info on substance use disorder; and a Temple physician will distribute gun locks and talk about gun safety, among other diverse health resources.

The Health Fair will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on September 17, 2022, at 1939 W. Venango Street in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Fall Arts Fest is an amuse-bouche for this season’s performances

A great way to get a taste of what’s on Philly’s arts and culture menu this season is to attend the free Philadelphia Fall Arts Fest coming up on September 17, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Hosted by Kimmel Cultural Campus and The Philadelphia Orchestra, the festival offers a veritable hodgepodge of artistic activities and demonstrations from Philadelphia-area organizations, including BalletX, Philly’s African American Museum, Esperanza Arts Center, Philly Fashion Week, Jazz Philadelphia, Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers, Taller Puertorriqueño, Usiloquy Dance Designs and Philly’s Magic Gardens. Representatives from organizations will also be recruiting staff and volunteers. 

“Philadelphia Fall Arts Fest is an opportunity to showcase the many artists and arts organizations that make our arts and culture sector special,” Matías Tarnopolsky, President and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc., said in a press release. “Philly is a vibrant and extraordinary place filled with creativity and talent, and we believe in the truth of [the concept of] rising tides lift all boats – we are better and stronger together as an arts community.”

The festival will take place at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on Broad Street, where performances will be held on the Plaza stage and in the Perelman Theater. A special $20 flash sale includes over 100 performances, such as music by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, family-centric shows like “Winnie the Pooh” and “Annie,” Broadway fare like “The Lion King” and “Les Miserables,” and music by the Philadelphia Orchestra.

For tickets and information, visit

GayBINGO is back (and it’s got a reputation)

GayBINGO, the beloved drag queen-hosted event organized by AIDS Fund, returned on September 10 and will take place monthly through spring 2023. This musical, campy, highly amusing event raises money for organizations that serve people living with HIV. 

Bingo-goers are in store for a ton of themed events, like a spooky Sanderson Sisters-themed night, “princesses versus evil queens,” a Christmas movie marathon and more. 

Hosted by the Bingo Verifying Divas, GayBINGO has been providing fabulous game nights since 1996, raising much-needed funds for Philadelphia-area organizations that provide HIV-related direct care services, education and prevention services.

Behind all of GayBINGO’s glitz, glam and craziness lies an important message about HIV awareness. 

“It’s a lot of fun, but the cause is serious,” performing artist Sean Green told PGN in a past interview. Green met his partner Garrett Olthuis at GayBINGO, and the two have performed at the event. “You’re going to get educated about how in distress Philadelphia is around HIV/AIDS education. As a queer person who’s lived here for eight years, I have not seen much discussion on how impactful it still is in my bubble of friends and all across the community. There’s a sobering moment when we talk about it and what’s happening right now.”

All GayBINGO events will take place at Congregation Rodeph Shalom at 615 N. Broad Street in Philadelphia. Entry is $38 for reserved seating. For more info, visit

Newsletter Sign-up