PHILADELPHIA, PA - Little Berlin will transform an unused, empty East Kensington lot into a community accessible outdoor visual art and performance space, thanks to a $10,000 two-year grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of its Knight Arts Challenge.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge is a $9 million initiative funding innovative projects that engage and enrich Philadelphia’s communities.
The Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia is characterized by many vacant lots which are frequently neglected and used for dumping and other illegal activities. Little Berlin will make use of one of these empty lots and transform it into a community gathering space, where they will engage the public in artistic and cultural programming.
"This project is a gesture of resistance in the face of destruction and abandon." Jeff Carpineta, President of the East Kensington Neighbors Association, said. "It represents an instance of hope and a desire for the good, and despite (or perhaps because of) Kensington’s hard industrial history, the people have a need for living space which is relaxing, reflective of the positive, shows a regard for nature and can foster a sense of care for the landscape".
“The arts can help create a sense of place, inspire people, and move the soul of a community. We’re excited by the prospect of how a vacant lot can be transformed into a neighborhood space that can weave the arts into people’s everyday lives,” said Dennis Scholl, vice president/ arts for Knight Foundation.
The Little Berlin Fairgrounds project will include a sculpture garden with art installations made by local artists. In addition Little Berlin will organize cultural events such as film screenings, artist’s fairs, performances, and children’s workshops. Little Berlin will collaborate with other local organizations and entities to provide diverse programming that caters to the desires and needs of the community, and seeks to create a sense of ownership and pride among the local residents. A strong emphasis will be placed on sustainable green energy, recycling resources and re-use of materials.
About Little Berlin
Little Berlin is a collectively-organized “undefined space” for
curatorial and artistic experimentation in the Kensington neighborhood
of Philadelphia. Founded in 2007, Little Berlin serves emerging and
established artists, with a focus on member-activated curatorial
projects. Little Berlin produces exhibitions, music shows, performances,
workshops, book fairs and additional programming to benefit the arts
community of Philadelphia.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. To learn more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.
Knight Foundation: Mike Pate, program director, 850-915-0258