New Publications from Asian Arts Initiative and Painted Bride Art Center Document Community Engagement Projects

1/2: Consumption: A Project on Pearl Street publication.
2/2: Faustin Linyekula’s Philly Files. Photo by Jen Cleary.

Two recently completed Center-supported projects have released publications documenting artistic collaborations and community engagement processes.

During a two-and-a-half year residency with Asian Arts Initiative, artist and community activist Rick Lowe engaged with residents of Philadelphia’s Chinatown North neighborhood to revitalize Pearl Street, an under-used alley behind Asian Arts Initiative’s building. Through a series of public workshops, community gatherings, and art installations, Consumption: A Project on Pearl Street conceived by Rick Lowe aimed to create a dynamic hub for social and economic exchange, activated by residents and serving the community at-large.

The culmination of the multi-part project is a catalogue featuring essays by Lowe and his Consumption collaborators, artists Emily Chow Bluck, Aletheia Hyun-Jin Shin, and Chaplain Jeffrey Harley, along with photos documenting the project, and testimonials from community members. The catalog is available for purchase online.>>

“The importance of Pearl Street is deeper than just who uses the street,” writes Lowe in his essay. “The space symbolizes a psychological and physical divide between those who have wealth and resources and those who don’t.”

Faustin Linyekula’s Philly Files. Photo by Jen Cleary.

Over the course of nearly two years, Painted Bride Art Center produced a series of performances, exhibitions, lectures, readings, and conversations that invited artists and audiences to expand Philadelphia’s archive of cultural memory by “re-place-ing” it with new narratives and understandings about the city and its history.

The re-place-ing Philadelphia project culminated in three performances in April 2016, including choreographer Reggie Wilson’s postmodern dance piece Stamped Stomped Stumped; performance artist Marty Pottenger’s environmental theater work #PHILLYSAVESEARTH; and Congolese choreographer Faustin Linyekula’s socially-charged dance work Philly Files.

An accompanying e-book, Primary Sources: Materials for a New Cultural Archive, is now available, documenting the project’s development. The handbook includes reflective essays by project facilitators and collaborating artists that continue the conversations initiated by the project. Download the handbook here.>>

In the introduction for Primary Sources, Donna Faye Burchfield, an artistic advisor on the project and director of the School of Dance at the University of the Arts, writes: “Projects like [re-Place-ing Philadelphia]…speak to the ongoing urgency to provide a means to expand the language, strategies, and content around the complex relationships between art, art making, our cities, and the world.”


“I curate for curious people. I curate for people who love some other field or subject the same way I love art. I curate for those people who need to be won over, but are willing.”

Collaborators & Colleagues

Wendy Sutter is widely acclaimed as a cellist by critics in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. In 2015, Sutter served as an LOI panelist in Performance.

In conjunction with the ongoing reFORM project, Temple Contemporary hosts a discussion with Feather Houstoun, member of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Dean Otto is the associate curator of film/video at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Dr. Emil Kang serves as executive director for the arts at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, a post created in 2005 to help unify and elevate the performing arts at the university.

Grants & Grantees

Historic Germantown is a collaborative of 15 historic houses, museums, and landscapes in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. The sites have worked together for decades, gradually building their collective capacity in both infrastructure and interpretation.

Blanka Zizka, Wilma Theater’s Artistic Director, on risk in theater-making.

The Community Education Center produced the 25th New Edge Artists Service Program and Performance Series, connecting emerging and established artists with resources to rehearse and showcase their work.

Bailey’s interpretation of Verdi’s opera, Macbeth, features a South African cast and examines post-colonial central Africa.

Thaddeus Phillips’ original musical Red-Eye to Havre de Grace, which originally debuted in Philadelphia with Center support, has received a massive amount of positive critical attention for its Off-Broadway debut.

Five Acts: Chronicles of Dissent, exhibited at Marginal Utility in winter 2012, examined the ways in which social movements and dissenting individuals convey their mission.

A special opening reception in honor of artist Katharina Grosse and the world premiere of her public artwork for Philadelphia’s rail gateway, psychylustro.