Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Change is coming to the Philadelphia Museum of Art | Morning Newsletter

Fact-checking Toomey on Pa. restrictions.

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

Good morning.

First: This is how the Philadelphia Museum of Art will shake up what’s on the walls and within them when it’s back.

Then: We fact-checked Sen. Pat Toomey’s comment that Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf is “closing down businesses again,” and it checks out.

And: What’s happening with the battle over those $2,000 checks? This is how likely the rare thing Democrats agree with Trump on is so far.

— Ashley Hoffman (@_ashleyhoffman,

Historically, museums everywhere are supposed to reflect multicultural complexity, though few institutions have basked in that perception of progressive sophistication without valid criticism.

But it was this past year’s reckoning that really rocked the Philadelphia Museum of Art with its own internal reflection, forcing museum leaders to confront not only what goes on the walls but what goes down within them. The confrontation made its way to the public eye spurred on by the pandemic and the movement against systemic racism that had insiders ringing alarm bells about staff diversity and decision-making. At the center of this evolution before the museum is set to return this spring is one big question.

Culture writer Stephan Salisbury has the story on how the Philadelphia Museum of Art is trying to evolve, with some major structural shakeups.

When a politician says something that warrants a deeper look, that’s where our reporter Jessica Calefati comes in to distill the whole truth with a transparent research process. This week, that politician is Sen. Pat Toomey, who we’ve broken news first on consistently this year.

On the platter: “In my state, as in many other states, we have governors who are closing down businesses again,” he said on Fox recently in defense of Trump’s economic relief package stance. So just how far-reaching was the latest round of rules anyhow? And who do they affect? After examining the facts with a jury of colleagues, this is where that statement lands on the Truth-o-Meter.

It checks out per our ruling, and read on for the timeline in our fact-check on Sen. Pat Toomey’s Pennsylvania shutdowns comment.

Helpful COVID-19 Resources

  1. We’re answering some of the most common vaccine questions in our comprehensive FAQ.

  2. Here are the updated coronavirus case numbers as COVID-19 continues to spread across the region.

  3. Before New Year’s Eve, here’s our definitive pandemic safety guide to the holidays that covers just about everything.

  4. What to know before visiting someone who’s recovered from COVID-19.

  5. Is it safe to travel this winter? If you are traveling, wherever you stay and however you get there, here’s a breakdown on how to stay safer away from home.

  6. What are the first symptoms of the coronavirus and what are the differences between COVID-19, the flu, a common cold, and allergies?

  7. Sign up to get free coronavirus news updates in your inbox three times a week.

What you need to know today

  1. Could the push for the $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks actually succeed? Here’s what could unfold next with the highly uncertain outcome.

  2. President-elect Joe Biden criticized the pace of vaccine rollout and vowed to speed up the process.

  3. A woman wrongfully convicted of murder was exonerated yesterday, becoming Philadelphia’s 17th exoneree in 3 years.

  4. Yesterday, mourners gathered to remember Jeremy and Jesus Perez who were shot and killed on Christmas morning.

  5. Satellite offices basically gave voters more places to vote early. How effective were they?

  6. After inequities associated with the last one, the new stimulus package is bringing us the chance to help businesses who need it most in 6 promising ways.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

This is a very interesting pile of bricks. Thanks for sharing @roland_gruszewski.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout-out!

That’s interesting

  1. 🐕 Fate conspired to bring a lost German shepherd home. It sounds like a movie, but the great adventure Ted had is stranger than fiction.

  2. 💸 The cannabis industry is going to evolve in 2021. Who gets to play in the unknown playground? What do employers need to know about legal marijuana? Marijuana reporter Sam Wood investigates.

  3. ⚕The physician burnout crisis is about to get a full checkup. Meet the man leading a team trying to diagnose it.

  4. ⚾ All year, our robust sports team brought you swift analysis to “explain the game” in 2020. This is our non-exhaustive list of our best sports journalism of 2020, including our most standout work, from the story of Kobe Bryant’s death to an oral history on the pandemic’s impact on sports.

  5. 🍹 The feeling of sliding up to a bar for your favorite cocktail can’t be replaced. But the best stores slinging bar wear in the Philly region can help you try.


“In fact, almost everywhere we look, we see that the worst times have highlighted the best of us.” — The Inquirer Editorial Board, a group of journalists who operate separately from the newsroom, list Philly’s heroes and villains in 2020. This past year marked by the pandemic, a reckoning with racism, and a fraught presidential election was a major test for many. But those in Philly who highlighted the best of us stood up and stood out, far outnumbering the villains.

  1. “You killed me! I’m dead now, stuck in a house. I might as well just die. You didn’t fight for me.” Those are the words of the father of poverty reporter Alfred Lubrano who writes about caring for his dad once the dementia got so severe he had to take away the car keys.

  2. Longtime mummer Daniel Gold writes that the mummers who fail to organize and put an end to their annual tradition of disappointing the public need to either change or let the parade pass them by.

What we’re reading

  1. We’re just days away from the post-holiday anticlimax, so here’s what the science says about how to get through vaccine purgatory this winter, per VICE.

  2. The Philadelphia Tribune writes that it’s time for more Black voters to take senior staff positions in Congress.

  3. WHYY reports on an ambitious Philly nonprofit group determined to get kids reading on grade level in need of volunteers to help with their literacy push.

Your Daily Dose of | Happy Endings

Good news. Our happy place, The Upside, isn’t even a year old. (We’re celebrating its first birthday in March.) We launched it with a happy mission was to bring you uplifting stories celebrating humanity’s best representatives. Thank you for sending us your tips throughout the year.

They helped us tell you hundreds of refreshing stories that reminded us of our humanity, and out of all of them, 11 UpSide stories are so extremely well-read that we had to check in on the subjects for an update. Here’s where everyone’s at now when it comes to our most popular uplifting stories. We wish you a hopeful, happy 2021.