Axios Philadelphia

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  • ☀️ Sunny with a high near 64.

🏀 Situational awareness: Joel Embiid scored 50 points to lead the Sixers to a 125-114 win last night over the Knicks. The Knicks lead the playoff series 2-1. Game 4 is Sunday.

Today's newsletter is 864 words, a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: 🛟 Lifeguards in demand

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Philadelphia still needs lifeguards to fully staff its public pools this summer despite netting hundreds of applications last week.

Why it matters: Staffing shortages over the past year reduced pool hours and caused closures.

State of play: The city requires about 400 lifeguards to staff more than 60 public pools from June-August.

  • About 250 applications came in before last week's deadline for a $1,000 end-of-summer bonus, city spokesperson Andrew Alter tells Axios.
  • This is the city's second year offering that financial perk to combat a yearslong lifeguard shortage.

Yes, but: Those who apply by May 15 are still eligible for a $500 bonus.

  • The city won't be offering any additional incentives to attract lifeguards.

By the numbers: 61 pools are expected to open this summer, including the indoor pool at Lincoln High School in Northeast Philly, Alter says.

Meanwhile, 10 pools are expected to remain closed due to maintenance or, depending on funding, renovations, per Alter.

Flashback: The city had 366 lifeguards working for it last year and operated 61 pools on split schedules because of staffing shortages.

Between the lines: Pools offer relief from Philly's ever-rising summer heat and provide a safe place for some young people to gather when shootings and homicides typically increase.

What they're saying: Alter says the city is committed to fully staffing pools this summer.

  • "City pools give relief from the heat, offer families affordable summer fun, and provide free swim lessons to thousands of children each summer."

How it works: Lifeguards must be at least 16 years old and complete free training and screening.

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2. Malcolm Jenkins talks art at The Philadelphia Show

Malcolm Jenkins showcases his art collection. Photo: Courtesy of The Philadelphia Show

Former Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins dishes on all things art collecting this weekend at The Philadelphia Show.

Driving the news: The 62nd annual event outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art features dozens of antique and art dealers starting today.

  • You'll find Americana, fine and folk art and ceramics from the 17th century to the present.

What's new: Jenkins will discuss his motivations and process for collecting modern African American art together with Eleanor Nairne, the head of the museum's modern and contemporary art, at 10am on Sunday ($30).

Norman Rockwell illustration for the Hills Brothers Coffee company in 1929
Norman Rockwell's illustration for Hills Brothers Coffee in 1929. Photo: Courtesy of The Philadelphia Show/Illustrated Gallery

Plus: "Antiques Roadshow" senior producer Sam Farrell will participate in a panel discussion alongside several of the show's exhibitors to chat about their favorite finds on Saturday at 10am.

By the numbers: 41 exhibitors are participating, including nine new dealers, such as Childs Gallery out of Boston.

What they're saying: Huntley Platt, the show's manager, tells Axios the dealers can offer pro tips about collecting trends, the market and what to look for in artworks.

If you go: Tickets: $20 for adults. Children are free.

  • The show is open today 11am-7pm at 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Saturday 11am-6pm and Sunday 11am-5pm.

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3. News Market: School board nominee in limbo

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

❓City legislators confirmed eight of nine members to the new Board of Education.

  • Joyce Wilkerson's nomination remains undecided ahead of the board's first meeting on Wednesday as she has faced pushback over her prior actions against charter schools. (Chalkbeat Philadelphia)

🚇 The SEPTA station at 15th Street and City Hall will receive the next batch of new signage for the transit agency's system upgrades.

  • The signs will debut later this year, followed by other stations on the Broad Street Line. (SEPTA)

🎭 Anthony Roth Costanzo, one of opera's biggest stars, will take over in June as Philadelphia Opera's next general director and president.

  • In a rare move for the industry, he'll also serve as an administrator to help reshape the organization. (New York Times 🔒)

4. UPenn gets comics treasure trove

The Prebulas' collection includes this first edition X-Men comic. Photo: Courtesy of UPenn

The University of Pennsylvania received a massive collection of more than 75,000 comics, including first editions of X-Men.

Why it matters: Superhero movies like "Spider-Man" and "Deadpool" have led to a resurgent interest in collecting comics whose historical and cultural importance is studied at some of America's top colleges.

Driving the news: UPenn alum Gary Prebula and his wife Dawn donated their collection, estimated to be worth over $500,000, per a news release.

  • The university will eventually make the comics available for public viewing at the Jay I. Kislak Center.

Details: The collection includes rare comics, including the first issues of "The Amazing Spider-Man" and X-Men.

  • The comics range in value from $20 to over $22,500.

Zoom in: Penn's Libraries began collecting comics in 2008.

  • The school's collection previously included 20,000+ comic books.
  • UPenn offers several classes dedicated to comics, including a course where students create their own graphic novels.

The intrigue: Gary Prebula built up the collection over decades, buying new comics every week, reading them and then storing them in boxes in his basement.

What they're saying: "I hope that in 100 years, some scholar's going to be looking at my Spider-Man No. 1, which I signed at the back when I was 11, and go, 'Who the hell's this guy?'" Gary said in the release.

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🥳 Isaac is ready to just chill tonight.

🚗 Mike's car is in the shop but going strong at 149,000 miles.

Today's newsletter was edited by Delano Massey and copy edited by Steven Patrick.