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Streets Dept to Help Curate Artists for Knights Cities Challenge Winning Project by Here’s My Chance!

March 31, 2015


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.

Led by the BRILLIANT Lansie Sylvia of Here’s My Chance, “Next Stop: Democracy!” hopes to increase civic engagement during the upcoming 2015 Mayoral Election in Philadelphia.

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!


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