The Village of Arts and Humanities (the Village) supports the voices and aspirations of its North Philadelphia community by providing opportunities for artistic expression and personal success that engage youth and their families, revitalize physical space, and preserve black heritage. Founded in 1986, the Village is an established community asset of 15 art parks and 13 program buildings that include media labs, dance and photography studios, a sound recording booth, and a quarter-acre urban farm.
The Village of Arts and Humanities (the Village) will host two accomplished West African social practice artists, Kwasi Ohene-Ayeh and Olanre Tejuoso, during residencies in which they will collaborate with north central Philadelphia's families to design and execute a public art project. During their six- to nine-month residency, Ohene-Ayeh and Tejuoso will engage community members through facilitated dialogue inside the Village's new mobile studio, the "Fabrication Lab," to design and execute a multi-part project that will re-contextualize various forms of "space"—physical, mental, and socially-constructed. In collaboration with the community, Ohene-Ayeh will draw on Ghanaian quilting and tapestry traditions to create individual and communal narratives from discarded cloth woven into large-scale tapestries, which will be incorporated into a public installation on a false façade in the neighborhood. Tejuoso will repurpose discarded materials from the neighborhood to craft window displays along the merchant corridor, and the Village will host a series of street performances and communal dinners along the avenue to draw attention to the displays and the repurposing of extraneous waste.
*Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.*