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,

Philadelphia Museum of Art exits a rocky 2020 talking about change: ‘Whose museum are we?’

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.

Fact-checking Sen. Pat Toomey’s comment that Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf is ‘closing down businesses again’

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

What you need to know today

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


“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.

  • “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.

  • 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

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.