Civic Practice: Crank It Up

7 Oct 2017
4236 Lancaster Avenue, Philadelphia


Funk, God, Jazz, & Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn, 2014. Brooklyn, NY. Photo courtesy of Creative Time.

As part of its project Civic Practice, the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (OACCE) has conducted a yearlong discovery process to explore how city government can engage a broad range of communities in civic dialogue through large-scale, temporary public art. Led by Creative Time Chief Curator Nato Thompson, OACCE convened a national task force of artists, cultural leaders, and city officials to develop best practices of government-artist collaborations and to lay the foundation for public art programming.

The culmination of this discovery project is Crank It Up, a series of activities that explore the themes of neighborhood change and gentrification in West Philadelphia. Featuring Spiral Q Puppet Theater, the event includes community “story-making” workshops that will inform the source material for a 60-foot moving scroll, or “crankie.” The moving scroll will come to life in a public performance with actors and musicians to portray a collective narrative of West Philadelphia’s heritage and residents’ hopes for the future.