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About Barnes West

Serving West Philadelphia with artistic programming and opportunities since 2018, Barnes West is designed to enrich lives and communities through shared art experiences and access. Building upon the Barnes’s community engagement work and HopePHL’s (formerly People’s Emergency Center) LoLa 38 creative placemaking initiative, the Barnes and community organizations present multifaceted arts programming to connect West Philadelphia residents with art in their own neighborhoods. This collaboration brings West Philadelphia residents, business owners, and artists together in celebrating culture, creativity, and community voice—highlighting lifelong appreciation of, and participation in, the arts and cultural life of our city.

Everyday Places Artists Partnerships

Bringing art to everyday places, for everyday people.

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.

Everyday places such as restaurants, parks, and service organizations are key locations in neighborhoods that foster community. Through Everyday Places Artist Partnerships, Barnes West aims to highlight the intersection of art and community to create a space where residents can drive art created and experienced right where they live.

Learn more about the artists and their programs taking place across West Philly:

Elicia Epstein at Neighborhood Bike Works

Multidisciplinary artist Elicia Epstein leads workshops with West Philly bike shop Neighborhood Bike Works to encourage residents to celebrate their relationship to their bikes and the history of political resistance in their neighborhoods. Her project centers around portraiture of community members with their bikes and mapping geographies of resistance around West Philly through archival research, a community bike ride, and a zine.

Isaiah Reese at the Silk Tent and Ultra Silk Gallery

Artist and florist Isaiah Reese leads flower arrangement and botanical workshops at the Silk Tent and Ultra Silk Gallery. This series of entry-level floral design classes provides accessible opportunities for West Philadelphia residents to engage in a new art medium. Register for floral workshops.

Meghan Tranauskas at Dyke+ ArtHaus

Artist and ceramics educator Meghan Tranauskas hosts ceramics workshops at the Dyke+ ArtHaus, with the goal of leading community members in exploring vessel making. Tranauskas will address forced displacement and gentrification and encourage community members to embrace full ownership over the objects they create. Register for workshops.

Pili X at Freedom Greens + Gardens

Photographer, community organizer, and music producer Pili X leads a series of photo walks focusing on historical and contemporary documentation of West Philly neighborhoods. Pili X will also guide community discussions about land sovereignty, access, forced displacement, and the environment, in partnership with Get Fresh Daily’s Freedom Greens + Gardens. Register for photo walks and workshops.

Everyday Places Artist Partnerships In the News

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Learn more about Everyday Places Artist Partnerships:

Past Everyday Places Artists:
Anssumane Silla offered free drumming and dancing sessions in Clark Park throughout the summer.
Gigi McGraw created a community art piece with New Africa Center.
Jaime Wiesner created a community quilt at Mantua Civic Association.
Joanna Booth created a community quilt at Mantua Civic Association.
Nikki Brake-Sillá offered free playwriting workshops for community members at Drexel University’s Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships.
Shanina Dionna led expressive healing arts sessions at Malcolm X Park and at Urban Art Gallery.
Yidan Zeng led community quilting and dyeing sessions at University Square Complex, in collaboration with Sankofa Community Farm and Golden Dragon restaurant.

Sponsors

Lead support for Barnes West is provided by the William Penn Foundation. Additional support is provided by PECO and Spark Therapeutics. The Barnes’s community engagement programs are made possible through the Comcast Center for Community Engagement and with endowment support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).