Streets Dept to Help Curate Artists for Knights Cities Challenge Winning Project by Here’s My Chance!
So excited to announce today that a project that I will have a small role in was just named a Knights Cities Challenge Winner!
Picked from over 7,000 applications, the project is called “Next Stop: Democracy!” and it’s 1 of only 32 winning projects, including an astonishing 7 total Philadelphia-based initiatives.
What the project aims to do:
“Next Stop: Democracy!” seeks to improve civic spaces in two ways: by creating and distributing signage made by local artists across the city that clearly shows voters where their polling places are located, and providing site-specific performances to keep spirits high when lines at the polling places are long. With these creative interventions, the project seeks to infuse polling places with a feeling of excitement, joy, and energy.
“By hiring local vendors, artists, and performers, this project will not only increase civic engagement, but also contribute positively to the city’s economy,” adds Elliot Cowan, Creative Director for Here’s My Chance. “We are using human-centered design and creative problem-solving to turn Philly into a city where voting is a far less frustrating experience, and citizens are delighted by the welcoming, exciting civic space they discover.”
Why this is the right project for right now:
“In Philadelphia, many polling places are difficult to find, hidden deep in the recesses of schools, churches, and community centers located on side streets. The required paper signage identifying polling places must only be posted by the entrance of each location, which means they are often out-of-view for anyone on the sidewalks,” Lansie Sylvia notes. “These frustrations may be causing barriers to entry for first-time voters, new Philadelphians, recent immigrants, and more.”
How I will be involved:
I’ll be helping Lansie and the project crew identify local artists to help create the one-of-a-kind, impactful polling place signage…but more on that to come!
Can not express enough how proud I am to lend my support to this project. Aside from the fact that Lansie Sylvia is among the most engaged Philadelphians I know, I think this next election will play a HUGE role in shaping the city we become, and I want EVERY citizen to have a voice in that with as little barrier to entry as possible.
Stay tuned for more updates on the project and the artists we work with!
So excited to get the opportunity this weekend to photograph this 100 year-old, two-story hand painted ad that’s JUST been uncovered by Urban Renewal Builders during renovations on one of their projects in Port Richmond.
The ad was for “Kolb’s Pan-Dandy Bread” by local baker, Kolb Bakery. Kolb had locations at 10th and Reed, Broad and Butler, and 56th and Market at the very beginning of the 20th century. They were then bought and bounded with a number of other small bakeries in 1911 to form the General Baking Co. [-via Ghost Sign Project and Fading Ads of Philadelphia]
This particular ad sat two-stories tall next to an empty lot on Richmond street in Port Richmond until 1915 when a building arose in the lot covering the ad – meaning the ad is at the very least 100 years old! The building that rose in that lot was recently purchased by Urban Renewal Builders, who are renovating it into apartments and a ground-level coffee shop. (Side thought: YES, let’s all please support a small business revival of Richmond street in Port Richmond!)
Despite being painted over a CENTURY ago, the ad is in such remarkable condition due in part to the fact that it was covered with a layer of horsehair plaster, protecting and hiding the ad until it was rediscovered this past week.
Urban Renewal Builders is currently cleaning the ad and applying a layer of clear protection to it to help keep it around and in good condition for (hopefully) another century.
While the ad is being protected for the future, interior walls are being re-added to the space this week. So, these are likely the last photos you, or I, or anyone else will see of the ad in-full for some time. Though, one lucky person will have the top-left part (the head) in their bedroom, the rest will live in the apartment building’s halls.
Such an incredible history, such a lovely neighborhood. My mom actually grew up in Port Richmond, where my grandparents lived their whole lives. My brother lives their now… THANK YOU to Joseph Livewell, an old classmate of mine from Holy Name in Fishtown, for inviting me to come document this! (Joe is also the owner of the ground-level coffee shop that will open later this year, so be sure to keep your eyes open for that!)
SOOO excited to announce that I’ll be taking over Uber Philly’s Instagram account for the next week to explore my favorite places in Philly to travel to in spring! Today’s a bit of an odd start, but I’m hopeful we’ll get some better weather this weekend…
Be sure to follow @Uber_Philly to see all my travels! And tag any places you think I should visit with the hashtag #UberStreets. (Uber also posted this fun little Q&A with me to the Uber Blog, so feel free to check that out as well!)
And, as an added bonus for all of y’all, Uber is offering all my readers/followers who are new to Uber a complimentary ride for up to $20 using the promo code: STREETSDEPT (just click that link to sign up!)
Full Disclosure: Uber will be paying me for every person who signs up and uses the STREETSDEPT promo code, which I think is awesome. To be completely honest with y’all, it’s hard to find ways to support this passion, this blog, so when I can find ways like this that are a win/win for everyone it’s incredibly exciting!
SIGN UP (click the banner):
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SO excited to join Albert Lee and Hidden City Philadelphia as co-host for Philly’s part in Worldwide InstaMeet Day – THIS Saturday (3/21) – from 5-8pm at The Woodlands (4000 Woodland Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104), an equally historic and breathtaking 54-acre 19th-century cemetery in West Philly (SEPTA/bike friendly)…
Pack a picnic, bring your camera, and watch the sun set. Then stick around for some stargazing thanks to Philly Popscope, who will be setting up 3 telescopes! #WWIM11philly
Hope to see y’all there!
Iconic Philly sticker artist, Bines, has just sent me a one-of-a-kind sticker of . . . myself… Can not express enough how grateful and honored I am to have Bines do this!
His work recently, as always, has literally stopped me in my tracks… God Bless Bines!!