Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge

1/14: Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge Neighborhood Convening, June 29, 2015. 632 Jackson Street. Photo by Steve Weinik. Courtesy of the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.
2/14: Community members partake in Mifflin Square Alliance Festival in September 2015, part of Mural Art Program’s Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge. Photo by Steve Weinik.
3/14: Mifflin Square Alliance Festival in September 2015, part of Mural Art Program’s Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge. Photo by Steve Weinik.
4/14: Community members partake in Mifflin Square Alliance Festival in September 2015, part of Mural Art Program’s Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge. Photo by Steve Weinik.
5/14: Mifflin Square Alliance Festival in September 2015, part of Mural Art Program’s Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge. Photo by Steve Weinik.
6/14: Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge © 2015 The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program & Cohabitation Strategies. Photo by Steve Weinik.
7/14: Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge Neighborhood Convening, June 29, 2015. 632 Jackson Street. Photo by Steve Weinik. Courtesy of the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.
8/14: Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge Neighborhood Convening, June 29, 2015. 632 Jackson Street. Photo by Steve Weinik. Courtesy of the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.
9/14: Campagna Urbana / Urban Campaign, Cohabitation Strategies, Lecce, Italy, 2012. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.
10/14: Campagna Urbana / Urban Campaign, Cohabitation Strategies, Lecce, Italy, 2012. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.
11/14: The Power of Two, Cohabitation Strategies. Part of The Freehouse by Jeanne van Heeswijk, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 2013. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.
12/14: The Power of Two, Cohabitation Strategies. Part of The Freehouse by Jeanne van Heeswijk, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 2013. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.
13/14: Guelph-Wellington Urban-Rural, Cohabitation Strategies, Guelph, Canada, 2012. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.
14/14: GWRUP GAZETTE, Guelph-Wellington Urban-Rural, Cohabitation Strategies, Guelph, Canada, 2012. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.

This past year, as an outgrowth of a new, Center-funded curator-in-residence program, Mural Arts began working with contemporary art curators for the first time in its history. As part of the Restored Spaces initiative, Boston-based guest curator Lucia Sanroman has invited Cohabitation Strategies (CohStra), an innovative European urban design and performance group, to work with Mural Arts on a community-driven project. CohStra members will take up residence in Philadelphia and, following a period of research and “data-mapping” of various local neighborhoods, will stage “cultural interventions” such as pop-up markets or staged public performances. These interventions will be intended to galvanize and empower community members to work collaboratively with Mural Arts staff on future community art projects. Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge will conclude with a daylong symposium and publication.


Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Composer Lee Hyla’s musical background includes extensive experience as a pianist in new music, rock, and free improvisation.

The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education commissions art that more directly fulfills its missions of land preservation, restoration, and education.

The first in a series of events organized by AUX’s fourth Curatorial Fellow, Anthony Romero, the evening will consist of lectures by Romero and ICA curator Ingrid Schaffner, followed by a screening of Marlon T. Riggs’ Tongues Untied from 1989.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Bruce LaRowe served as the Executive Director of the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte from 1993 to 2013.

Fall begins with a lively schedule of Center-funded projects, including ambitious artistic collaborations, performance premieres, exhibition openings, and experimental installations.

In 2013, the Center funded 52 projects, welcomed 13 new Pew Fellows, and brought to Philadelphia exemplary cultural practitioners from around the world for roundtable discussions and lectures.

This multi-part project will animate Chester’s downtown cultural corridor by engaging the local community, along with experts in public history, placemaking, and tactical urbanism, in a series of events and programs interpreting the city’s underground history.

Questions of Practice

For Shelf Life, the Center invited artists, curators, and designers to use the books in our library for curated displays on subjects of their choosing.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Nato Thompson is chief curator at Creative Time. He served as a Center panelist (2008) and evaluator (2010), and contributed to the Center’s Pigeons on the Grass, Alas series.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Jan Howard was appointed curator of prints, drawings, and photographs at the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2000.

Pew Fellow and Philadelphia Poet Laureate Yolanda Wisher leads a poetry workshop and story circle in Historic Germantown.

The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia opened to the public in 1954 and is located in the former home of brothers Philip and Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach, international dealers in rare books, manuscripts, and fine and decorative arts.