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

Cora Mirikitani is the president and CEO of the Center for Cultural Innovation, a California-based knowledge and financial services incubator for individual artists.

Grants & Grantees

Temple Contemporary commissioned 2006 Pew Fellow and MacArthur Fellow Pepón Osorio to create a new installation that responds to recent closings of Philadelphia public schools.

Grants & Grantees

The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia developed a new strategic plan that defines areas of emphasis and programs and services the organization should focus on through 2016.

Conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas will recreate a city block with a series of 1:1 scale photographs of North Philadelphia’s people and buildings, installed in the galleries of the PPAC, inviting audiences to consider issues related to gentrification, and setting the stage for public forums and a crowd-sourced neighborhood image archive and exhibition.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Martha McDonald is an interdisciplinary artist whose performances and installations feature handcrafted costumes and objects.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Paul Ha is a museum director widely recognized for his support of influential artists early in their careers, and with raising the visibility of the organizations he heads.

Grants & Grantees

First Person Arts offers bi-monthly story slams, classes, and an annual festival dedicated to transforming real life into documentary art.

As a part of The Great Migration: A City Transformed (1916-30), a series of community film screenings will be held, highlighting films created through the project.

Informed by first-person accounts of the Women, Infants, and Children (W.I.C.) nutritional assistance program, this mobile exhibition and series of public programs will explore the lived experience of welfare and expand the Philadelphia Public History Truck’s programmatic focus.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1827, dedicated to creating beauty and building community through gardening, greening, and learning.

Tate Modern curator Catherine Wood and choreographer Jérôme Bel discuss the concept of “theatricality.”

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.