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Announcing Our 2022 Streets Dept Membership Benefits

February 3, 2022

Today we’re excited to announce our 2022 Streets Dept Patreon membership benefits! Direct support from you, our readers, helps us maintain and foster this journalism effort. And in return, we’re offering you exclusive content, printed Streets Dept publications, and access to walking tours/events! 

Who should subscribe to our Streets Dept Patreon:

  • Longtime followers who want to show us some support!
  • Lovers of independent journalism
  • Anyone who’d like to continue to see less advertising across Streets Dept 
  • Folks who want to gain access to exclusive content, printed Streets Dept materials, and walking tours/events

Why we’ve chosen Patreon: We launched our Patreon in May of 2021 as a response to the loss of advertisers during the pandemic. And in moving from a more ad-support journalism effort into a more reader-supported one, we’ve been able to create so much more reporting, commentary, and resources—and even our very first print magazine! Moving into 2022 and beyond, we see direct support from you, our followers, as key to building our sustainability and growing this blog to eventually invite more journalists, writers, and photographers to contribute. In short, the more we can count on you, our readers, the more we can offer!

Our 2022 Member Benefits: We’ve learned a lot from our first 9 months on Patreon. And thanks to a recent survey we sent to our members, we have a much better sense of the kinds of benefits you’re most interested in receiving from us. So like any creative effort, we’ll be refreshing benefits periodically to refine what we do best and continue to offer new and exciting things!

How To Become A Member: Simply click on this link, choose a membership tier, and Patreon’s platform will get you all set up!

We love exploring, celebrating, and reporting on Philadelphia’s street art, public art, and public space, and we’re excited to continue to do so with your support. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you! 

Conrad Benner + Eric Dale

Alloyius Mcilwaine Paints One of His Largest Murals To-date

June 29, 2022

Love this new mural from Philly-based artist, Alloyius Mcilwaine located at 5th and Randolph Streets!

“I’m so proud of the mural project that I did for The Story Factory PHL,” Alloyius wrote in his Instagram caption talking about the mural. “It’s one of the largest mural projects that I’ve ever done!”

The mural was created in collaboration with The Story Factory PHL, which is a new arts-leaning events and work space.

See pervious work from Alloyius Mcilwaine around Philly here!

Upstairs At TMom’s – Summer 2022: An Ongoing Photo Essay Documenting Philly’s Unofficial Street Art Museum

June 16, 2022

Words and photos by Streets Dept Contributor, Eric Dale

Welcome to a new periodic series we’re calling “Upstairs At TMom’s!”

Tattooed Mom, the restaurant and bar that has been a [counter]cultural fixture on South Street for 25 years now, is widely known as Philly’s officially unofficial museum of street art. That’s because the entire upstairs is filled—FILLED—with graffiti and street art. Not just from local artists, but also from artists around the world, who make it a point to stop at “TMom’s” when they pass through Philly.

Naturally, we love Mom’s. It’s great to see the walls change over time, but I get serious FOMO thinking about all the pieces that artists put up that get immediately covered before I’ve seen them. That’s what this new series is all about: checking in on a regular basis to see what’s new. And there’s no better way to kick if off than with a recap of an event that TMom’s just hosted—an event that was all about getting artists to come put up new work.

On May 19th, Philly artists old and new congregated at Tattooed Mom for Thirsty Walls, “an evening of slapping stickers, drawing on the walls, making art, and meeting other local artists!” There were stickers everywhere, buckets and bottles of wheatpaste aplenty, a few folks mounting 3D installations, and some even painting directly on the walls with brushes (something I’d never seen there before). The only thing that wasn’t allowed, since the restaurant was open for regular business too, was spray paint.

Read more…

Philly’s Navy Yard Unveils “Sacred Beings (The Origin of Creation),” A New Monument Symbolizing A Bridge Between Two Indigenous Nations

June 9, 2022

In love with Philly’s latest public artwork, unveiled today at League Island Park (11th Street and Constitution Avenue) at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Created by lead artist, Marianela Fuentes the artwork is titled Alpha Sacred Beings (The Origin of Creation). It’s the latest and first permanent public art project created by the collaborative efforts of Philadelphia Navy Yard and public arts group, Group X.

Alpha Sacred Beings (The Origin of Creation) is a monument symbolizing a bridge between two Indigenous Nations,” the project’s press release reads. “This artwork and its concept was created by lead artist Marianela Fuentes, whose previous works in her Sacred Beings series have roots with the Huichol or Wixárika indigenous people of Mexico.”

“The beaded design was created in partnership with artists from the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation. These images tell stories from our region’s original people; they are stewards of all the land throughout the Delaware Valley and Philadelphia, or ‘Coaquannock’, and still live here today.”

“The designs were created on a life-sized Parasaurolophus dinosaur skeleton, which once walked the land in both the Delaware Valley and Mexico. The Parasaurolophus dinosaur, name meaning “near crested lizard”, is significant because it is the biological cousin of the Velofrons, Marianela’s first full-size dinosaur sculpture. It is the most scientifically accurate dinosaur the artist has ever created and is the first to be fully modeled after an almost entirely discovered dinosaur skeleton.”

“The turtle on the crown symbolizes all the land throughout North America. Around the dinosaur’s hips is a wampum belt that was given to recognize the friendship treaty under the Shackamaxon Elm between William Penn (“Mikwon”), and Tamanend (“the Affable One”). Along the spine, fire, water, wind, mountain, moon, sun, and stars appear in a set of seven to represent Seven Generations. The four cardinal directions are represented on each limb. Flora and fauna native to our region also appear throughout the beadwork. As with all things, from the tip of the tail to the end of the nose, the monument begins and ends in the stars.”

See past Navy Yard and Group X projects at their following links: Navy Yard Sea Monster, Tape Philadelphia: Enter the Cocoon, Code Name: M.I.M.O.S.A., and Magical Fantasy!

Streets Dept Podcast: Rick Krajewski On The Power And Possibility Of The PA State House

May 15, 2022

On today’s episode host Conrad Benner is joined by Rick Krajewski. Krajewski is a State Representative running for his second term serving PA’s 188th District. He is a progressive Democrat in a PA Congress which has Republicans in control of both chambers of the state legislature. As he comes to the end of his first two-year term and runs for his second, we discuss the obstacles and opportunities of working in this congress, especially over the last two years with the added challenges created by Covid. And we talk about his goals for a second term, one he’ll likely serve if he beats his Primary challenger in the coming May 17th elections.

Check out the episode below, or on any major podcast streaming platform by searching “Streets Dept Podcast”!

Be sure to subscribe to the Streets Dept Podcast on SpotifyStitcherApple Podcasts, or any major podcast streaming platform to receive new episodes as soon as they’re published, and please feel free to rate and write a review of the podcast on those platforms to help others find it. (Truly, rating and reviewing podcasts, particularly on Apple Podcasts, helps us so much, so thank you for doing that.)

The Streets Dept Podcast is part of the RADIOKISMET family of podcasts. Each episode is mixed and edited by our brilliant audio engineer, Mike Mehalick. Graphics created by Eric Dale, and podcast logo by Linette Messina Kielinski (photographer) and Janelle Munro (stylist)!

Philly Artists: Here’s A $5k Grant You Should Apply For Right Now

May 9, 2022
Image: Cesar Viveros, 2021 Velocity Fund Grantee, Collaborative artwork at Iglesias Gardens

Applying for grants can be intimidating and confusing, and I’m speaking from personal experience. And that’s why today I’m so excited to tell y’all about The Velocity Fund!

Now in its fifth year, The Velocity Fund directly supports artists throughout the city of Philadelphia by awarding grants up to $5,000 for community-focused projects. Past winners include Arien Wilkerson, Cesar Viveros, Lori Waselchuk and more (see all of 2021’s winners here.)

The Velocity Fund was established in 2018 with support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, whose regional regranting supports vibrant under-the-radar artistic activity by partnering with local cultural institutions. The Velocity Fund is administered by Philadelphia Contemporary, an art organization whose mission is to connect the people and places of Philadelphia through art and partnership.

Who can apply? Individual visual artists​ and​ artist run spaces/collectives who are located within the city limits ​of Philadelphia. And this application process is so straightforward. Please, if you’ve ever had a negative experience applying for a grant before, cast those hesitations aside and look into applying for this grant now. This is money waiting for awesome local artists who want to create impactful projects!

CLICK HERE to learn how to apply today. The deadline to apply is June 6.

And, if you have questions or want help with the process, join Philadelphia Contemporary for one of their three remaining Grant Application Info Sessions! During these sessions, The Velocity Fund team will answer questions about the application process and introduce past and current projects:

  • Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at 6pm
    • In-Person Event: Hosted by Philadelphia Folklore Project
    • Featuring 2021 Grantee Cesar Viveros
    • Philadelphia Folklore Project, 735 S 50th Street
    • RSVP here!
  • Friday, May 20, 2022 at 1pm
    • In Person Event: Joint Information Session with Leeway Foundation
    • Cherry Street Pier, 121 N Christopher Columbus Blvd
    • RSVP here!
  • Thursday, June 2 at 1pm
    • On-Line Event: Joint Information Session with NextFab
    • Featuring 2021 Grantee Maria Dumlao
    • RSVP here!

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity, Philly!

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