Barnes West is supported by a grant from the William Penn Foundation.
The Barnes Foundation’s community engagement programs are made possible, in part, by generous support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) and the William Penn Foundation.
University Square Complex
Malcolm X Park
Urban Art Gallery
New Africa Freedom Center/Square
Mantua Civic Association
Drexel University Dornsife Center
Photo Gallery -2021
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Photos courtesy of The Barnes Foundation.
BARNES WEST ANNOUNCES ARTISTS SELECTED FOR SECOND ANNUAL EVERYDAY PLACES ARTIST PARTNERSHIPS
Seven West Philadelphia-based artists to create participatory activations engaging local businesses & community members
The Barnes Foundation and People’s Emergency Center (PEC), through their collaborative initiative Barnes West, have announced seven West Philadelphia-based social-impact artists who have been selected to participate in the second annual Everyday Places Artist Partnerships initiative: Nikki Brake-Sillá, Shanina Dionna, Gigi McGraw, Anssumane Silla, Jaime Wiesner & Joanna Booth, and Yidan Zeng.
Barnes West is supported by a grant from the William Penn Foundation. The Barnes Foundation’s community engagement programs are made possible, in part, by generous support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) and the William Penn Foundation.
Barnes West conceived Everyday Places Artist Partnerships in 2021 to provide West Philadelphia residents with spaces to engage with multidisciplinary artistic projects that offer inspiration and promote hope and healing. This year’s cohort of artists will partner with “everyday” locations in the neighborhood—including public parks, civic centers, and community organizations—to build interactive, participatory projects that engage with the business or site and residents. The projects began rolling out last month and will continue through September. A launch party is scheduled for Wednesday, May 18, at 5:30 pm at Imperial Caribbean & Seafood for community members to meet the artists and learn more about their projects.
Everyday Places Artist Partnerships include (artist's names are linked to their online space):
Nikki Brake-Sillá: Unlocking Your Inner Playwright
(April through September at Drexel University’s Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships, and select dates via Zoom)
- Brake-Sillá will offer free playwriting workshops for community members that reflect on questions of gender, feminism, and heteronormativity. These workshops will complement one of Brake-Sillá’s own productions exploring the same themes, scheduled to be presented in June.
Shanina Dionna: Expressive Arts Healing Sessions
(April through June at Malcolm X Park and Urban Art Gallery)
- Dionna will lead expressive healing arts sessions at Malcolm X Park and at Urban Art Gallery on the 52nd Street corridor. Participants will create artistic work that reflects on their relationship to the self, healing, and mental wellness. Sessions will open and close with a meditation practice and feature fine art and movement.
Yidan Zeng: Community Quilt & Fabric Dyeing
(May through July at University Square Complex, with Golden Dragon and Sankofa Community Farm)
- Zeng will lead community quilting and dyeing sessions at University Square Complex, in collaboration with Sankofa Community Farm and Golden Dragon restaurant. Zeng will facilitate hand-dyeing sessions of fabric swatches from food scraps, working with participants to design and create patches for a community quilt. Conversations will focus on how we build positive relationships with our neighbors, with an explicit invitation for historical tensions between Black and AAPI communities to inform the work.
Anssumane Silla: African Dance Classes with Live Drumming & Singing
(June through August at Clark Park)
- Silla will offer free drumming and dancing sessions in Clark Park throughout the summer. These sessions will emphasize the ways in which music and movement have a positive impact on our mental health and wellness, hope, and healing.
Gigi McGraw: CommuniTree Archival Project
(July through September at New Africa Center)
- McGraw will create a community archival piece with New Africa Center’s network, building a papier-mâché tree, titled the “CommuniTree,” that participants will decorate with leaves that respond to questions about gentrification, history, and community. The piece will be accompanied by a gallery of neighborhood photographs and videos of interviews with participants.
Jaime Wiesner & Joanna Booth: Screen-Printing for Youth
(May through August at Mantua Civic Association)
- For the only Everyday Places Artist Partnerships project specifically designed for youth participants, creative partners Wiesner & Booth will work at the Mantua Civic Association to create a community quilt reflecting on the themes of caring for community. The quilt will be composed of cloth panels, decorated and printed on by youth participants. Printing blocks will be constructed by youth participants out of found objects and materials.