August 2012

Lenfest Plaza

Art — Produced by Michael O’Reilly

Chapter 1 — Installed in August 2011, Claes Oldenburg’s “Paint Torch” hangs over the entrance to the Lenfest Plaza and what is ostensibly the gateway to the “Museum Mile” – The newly unveiled Barnes Foundation, the Rodin Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. At the start of those museums, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Museum, unified into a campus by the construction of the plaza, also provides a sculpture space reserved for PAFA students at the end opposite from the “Paint Torch”. We talk to the creators of the sculptures at either end as well as the designer of the plaza itself, and provide a detailed look at the construction and installation of all three structures over the course of the year.

Web extra: Sculpture in Philadelphia

A Place to Call Home

Art of Life — Produced by Karen Smyles

Chapter 2 — The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program unites artists and communities through a collaborative process, rooted in the traditions of mural-making, to create art that transforms public spaces and individual lives. Since it began, the Mural Arts Program has produced over 3,000 murals which have become a cherished part of the civic landscape and a great source of inspiration to the millions of residents and visitors who encounter them each year.

The Mural Arts Program began in 1984 as a component of the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network, an effort spearheaded by then Mayor Wilson Goode to eradicate the graffiti crisis plaguing the city. The Anti-Graffiti Network hired muralist Jane Golden to reach out to graffiti writers and to redirect their energies from destructive graffiti writing to constructive mural painting. In 1996, Mayor Ed Rendell announced that the Anti-Graffiti Network would be reorganized into the Mural Arts Program, with Golden as the director.

In 2011 The Mural Arts Program partnered with several local social and cultural organizations to bring to light the rising issue of homelessness facing urban children and youth. Three unique art projects were created in the Mantua section of the city that made up A Place to Call Home. Friday Arts spoke with Mural Arts Program Director, Jane Golden to find out how it all came together and visited the 3800 block of Melon Street to see first-hand, how it impacted the community. WHYY 91-FM was a media partner on the A Place To Call Home project with the Mural Arts Program and produced a series of segments that focus on the issue of homelessness.

Web Extra: Behind the Scenes of Mural Arts Project

Weavers Way Food Co-op

Art of Food — Produced by Monica Rogozinski

Chapter 3 — Buying organic often means spending a lot of money on food that comes from who-knows-where—that is, unless you are a member at your local co-op. These neighborhood organizations have become an increasingly popular method of finding fresh, locally grown food while receiving a big grocery discount in exchange for a little help at the store. In this Friday Arts segment, we’ll look at Weavers Way Co-op, a neighborhood store that has been steadily expanding for almost forty years into two stores with three farms and countless partnerships, always with the goal of serving the Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill communities. This member-owned organization endeavors to provide local, sustainable, organic, and healthful food while simultaneously educating local members and Philadelphia youth about urban farming and the value of local food and agricultural sustainability. Watch how Weavers Way has helped to make Philadelphia a focal point for co-ops across the country as we take you from the Weavers Way store to their main farm at Awbury Arboretum and then to the National Co-op Conference in Philadelphia to usher in 2012, the Year of the Co-op.

Web Extra: Weavers Way in the Community

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