Philadelphia Rowing: Breaking Barriers

March 31 - October 9, 2017

From humble roots powering 18th century ferries, to the establishment of the enduring Schuylkill Navy, Philadelphia has long been our nation's center for rowing. Throughout rowing's esteemed history there have been innovations and accomplishments that have broken barriers of class, gender, race and ability. Uncover stories of the first women's club, leading-edge adaptive rowing, and the empowerment of individuals who have risen from modest beginnings to personal fulfillment and gold-medal achievements.

Upcoming rowing programs:  

Boat Body Blade Kayaking Class
Saturday, May 6, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Take your kayaking skills to the river in this four-hour intermediate class to develop coordination between the three key elements of stability and motion - boat, body and blade. Achieve solid tracking and turning ability by learning how to use your body to control boat performance. Focus on the relationship between blade placement and edge control to maximize performance while improving efficiency with sound body movements. Lunch is included with registration.  

This course is taught by instructor Chris Rabb, an ACA L4 Instructor Trainer who has over 25 years of teaching and guiding experience in sea kayak, canoe and stand up paddle board. 

Prerequisites: A Level 2 skills course or equivalent experience. 

Cost: $125 for Museum members 
  $150 for non-members 

Reel Paddling Film Festival 
Saturday, May 6, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Kick-off the season on the water on Saturday, May 6. Row or paddle in a swan or dragon boat while watching films premiere during the Reel Paddling Film Festival. Admission to the Reel Paddling Film Festival included with a $7 per person Paddle Penn's Landing boat rental

Documentary Screening 
Saturday, July 15, 2 p.m.  
Making Waves by Frances McElroy 
Documentary is approximately 55 minutes long and included with regular Museum admission. 

Local Luminaries 
Saturday, September 30 
Local rowers show their gold and tell their stories. 


This exhibit was guest curated by Virginia Baltzell, Hanley Bodek, Gardner Cadwalader, and dedicated members of the rowing community. 

Contributing Organizations
Bachelors Barge Club
Breaking Barriers
Malta Boat Club
Pennsylvania Center For Adapted Sports
Philadelphia City Rowing
Schuylkill Navy
Shirley Road Productions
Undine Barge Club
University Barge Club
Vesper Boat Club
Vespoli Racing Shells
Contributing Individuals
Dwayne Adams
Bevin Aquila
Virginia Baltzell
Hanley Bodek
Dotty Brown
Scott Brown
Gardner Cadwalader
Tom Darcy
Joanne Iverson
Ann Jonik
Frances McElroy
Bill Munley
Meghan Musnicki
Darya Nemati
Suze Reilly
Maurice Scott
Richard Stehlik
Joe Sweeney
Susan Kelly vonMedicus
Jennifer Wesson
Special Thanks
John Chatzky
Alexandra Golaszewska
Henry Hauptfuhrer
Sarah Marshall
James L. McElhinney