Asian Arts Initiative's Pearl Street Project in the Philadelphia Inquirer

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Gayle Isa, executive director of Asian Arts Initiative, on Pearl Street. Photo by Akira Suwa, courtesy of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Asian Arts Initiative's project to revitalize Pearl Street, an under-used alley behind its building in Philadelphia's Chinatown North neighborhood, is featured in a Philadelphia Inquirer article. The project, which was funded by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, will be spearheaded by Rick Lowe, the founder of Houston's Project Row Houses and a pioneer in urban gentrification projects.

Beginning in 2014, Lowe will work with local residents to re-imagine how the alley can be transformed into a functional space where where people from all walks of life can commune. The ultimate goal, according to Jeff Gammage of the Inquirer, is to "turn dilapidation into destination." The ambitious project also aims to bring a more defined identity to an area that has straddled two burgeoning neighborhoods for over a decade. Seeking to reconcile the two areas with separate identities, "Chinatown North or Callowhill...depending on who is talking," Gammage writes that the plan "represents another step in becoming, a changing of old into new." Read more >