/all oct 29 '18

PHLA City Panorama

[h2][/h2] “Maps are everywhere around us, ever present to help us navigate both public and personal geographies, or orient ourselves in communal and universal landscapes. But all maps come with an agenda—as much as maps can reveal about a


/sovereignty oct 26 '18

Community Control of Land!

FREE THE LAND! On October 25th, Soil Generation took to the streets, as a proud group of community members, educators, gardeners, and people with a cause; real and transparent pathways to community control of land. Photos b


/reconstructions oct 10 '18

North Philly Teach-In: Changing the Master Narratives

North Philly Teach-In: Changing the Master Narratives, November 10, 2018, Mount Pleasant Mansion, By Denise Valentine Philadelphia Assembled collaborator, Denise Valentine is organizing a North Philly Teach-In. Got History


/futures sep 12 '18

Indigenous Peoples' Day Philly 2018

Indigenous Peoples' Day Philly 2018, Celebration and Teach-In: IPD Philly organized by: Indigenous 215 Collective, Taino Cultural Workshops, Indigenous Peoples in Philadelphia, We Are the Seeds, and community members October 12th, 6-10 p.m. Location: Friends Center M


/futures jun 12 '18

Giant African baobab trees die suddenly after thousands of years

Demise of four out of 13 of the ancient landmarks linked to climate change by researchers Some of Africa’s oldest and biggest baobab trees have abruptly died, wholly or in part, in the past decade, according to researchers. The trees, aged between 1,10


/movement jan 2 '18

Within these Walls

A friend recently commented on the impossibility of change, until it happens. To create realities is an immense undertaking, but it’s those small, seemingly unattached victories that weave the webs we now call history.


/futures dec 6 '17


I went to the staged reading of WORKING on October 24th, directed by Jean Haskell and presented by the students of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Temple University. The staged reading consisted of excerpts from the musical, WORKING, which was originally based on nonfiction book published in 1972.


/movement dec 6 '17

The History of Resistance in Food

Where do you see the history of resistance in your food? Working alongside the Kitchen’s theme of resistance, Shari Hersh of Homestudio-Lab, led an interactive quilting workshop to invite visitors to dig into their own food stories and histories using the prompts of the Kitchen.


/futures dec 5 '17

Indigenous Peoples’ Day is Not About Columbus

We can’t have dialogue if our languages are dead. At the Indigenous Peoples’ Day Celebration, we learned of Coaquannock’s former Pow Wows celebrated in a beautiful documentary by Ollin Yolitzli Calmecac. The site, now known as Belmont Grove of Fairmount Park, no longer hosts the lively gatherings of the United American Indians of the Delaware Va


/sovereignty dec 5 '17

#Politicourselves: Building New Histories

It takes a lot of joy and creative style to keep a community strong. Charlyn Griffith, a North Philadelphia resident, has made it her mission to open up the conversation around how we want our cities organized.


/movement dec 1 '17

Fathers and Children Take the Stage at the PHLA Fathering Festival

On November 11th and 12th, the Perelman Building galleries were filled with a new sound: the pitter-pattering of tiny feet. This was PHLA’s Fathering Festival, a two-day event organized by the Fathering Circle in collaboration with several other fathering organizations based out of Philadelphia.


/movement nov 11 '17

The Fathering Festival

“Is she okay being touched?” I asked the father of the crying child. He said yes, so I picked her up and she hugged me as I pointed to Les, her father, who was busy filming rehearsal for the Fathering Festival movement piece.


/movement nov 10 '17

The Visitor and the Wall: Hosting “Philadelphia Assembled” and Reflections on Gentrification

As the autumn leaves begin to fall around us and Philadelphia’s air is full of crisp possibilities, something very special is happening in the Perelman Building at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. “Philadelphia Assembled,” the cumulative exhibition of a project over three years in the making and initiated by Dutch artist Jeanne van Heeswijk, does not seek to tell the viewer what to think, but rather probes questions that people like myself--a lifelong Philadelphian--sometimes do not ask ourselves.


/reconstructions nov 7 '17

Home Sweet Home: Homestudio Lab Workshop

On Saturday, October 21st, I had the chance to attend the Homestudio-Lab workshop, “Home Sweet Home”, which took place as part of a day-long series of programs focused on gentrification and displacement.


/sovereignty oct 14 '17

Bodies: Part 2

...all stemming from the hearth, the central meeting place in non-linear space time; the fireplace ‘round which the Move family gathered. As in real life, the event was full of complexities. The heart has many ventricles, but the blood moves everywhere the body will allow. No matter the motion, e


/sovereignty oct 14 '17

The Mouth, the Gut

Salt, hot sauce, and honey: grit, fire, and sustaining sweetness, rest on the wooden tables of the Philadelphia Assembled Kitchen dining room. The place comes equipped with sunlit views and survival’s strength.


/sovereignty oct 1 '17

Organizing: Part I

Two years of moving parts came together on September 9th of 2017. There were whispers trickling down the grapevine about a change in the city’s heartbeat, gracefully affirming itself with the aging quality of wine.


/reconstructions sep 28 '17

Sharon Wiggins, 1951-2013

Sharon Wiggins was 43 at the time of this 1992 recording. She recalls her grandmother’s memory of the Ku Klux Klan. Her grandmother, who raised her, died when Wiggins was 14. Wiggins was homeless in a Pittsburgh ghetto before she committed her crime at the age of 16. The terror that both Wiggins


/sanctuary sep 23 '17

Survival, Resistance & Victory: Practices of Freedom in Troubled Times

At this, the Autumn Equinox, day & night are of equal length. After a season of triumphant (but slowly diminishing) sunlight, our hours of light and of dark are matched, as the balance tips in favor of the night -- all across the Northern Hemisphere.


/reconstructions sep 13 '17

“Waiting For The Just Neighbor”

(with apologies to Beckett)

/futures sep 12 '17

One Participant's Take on Saturday's PHLA Opening

Philadelphia Assembled is the process of over a hundred people putting their creative inputs into an ecosystem of programming. It would never - could never - be just one thing. The Art Museum and its staff have done a heroic job of wrangling everything together through the forms of a mural, exhibition spaces, and programming in the Perelman Building.


/futures sep 12 '17

Worldbuilding Workshop

For my contribution the day of the PHLA Opening Celebration at the Perelman Building, I hosted a world-building workshop. The workshop consisted of a changing crew of about six people as folks walked back and forth through the exhibit, some leaving partway through, and some joining partway through, talking about the future and how to meet its challenges by imagining it through the lens of creating art.


/sanctuary jul 25 '17

New Sanctuary Movement Newsletter: Six Months Under Trump - Transforming Fear and Anger Into Concrete Action

[center] It has now been 6 months since the Inauguration, and as we transition to fighting for the long haul we remember a few things: • As we defend our communities against the extremist policies of the Trump Administration, it is critical we also have offensive campaigns. • We must stay grounde


/reconstructions jul 25 '17

Dedication of the Memorial to Loss: Freedom in a Carceral State

On July 8, 2017, the Alumni Ex-Offenders Association (AEA) gathered with members of the Nicetown/Tioga community to dedicate the Memorial to Loss: Freedom in a Carceral State. The program was the culmination of a series of planning meetings between AEA and Philadelphia Assembled (PHLA). The even


/all jul 20 '17


Philadelphia Assembled tells a story of active resistance and radical community building through the personal and collective narratives that make up Philadelphia’s changing urban fabric. These narratives will be explored through a collaborative effort between the Philadelphia Museum of Art and a team of individuals, collectives, and organizations as they experiment with multiple methodologies for amplifying and connecting relationships in Philadelphia’s transforming landscape.


/futures jul 1 '17

You Are Now Here - with Black Quantum Futurism

Maps are everywhere around us, ever present to help us navigate both public and personal geographies, or orient ourselves in communal and universal landscapes. But all maps come with an agenda - as much as maps can reveal about a place or idea, maps also have the power to hide or distort truths.


/sovereignty jun 25 '17

Marketplace: Seeds of Sovereignty

African Cultural Art Forum in partnership with Philadelphia Assembled presents a day-long celebration of West Philadelphia’s 52nd Street historic legacy with The “Marketplace: Seeds of Sovereignty” festival.


/movement jun 19 '17

Philadelphia Assembled Film in Post Production

As the calendar of PHLA public events unfolds across the city, the Philadelphia Assembled Film Series is in Post Production. The narrator-character, We, is taking shape, testing their voice, finding their footing in time.


/sovereignty jun 18 '17

Master Narratives: Calling a Storyteller by Her Name

On Sunday, June 18th, a grounds with an assorted history awoke to new life humming through its cemetery grasses. Storyteller, Denise Valentine, and members of Fika Capoeira created a timeline of knowledge, passing through a personal history and into a shared Philadelphia lineage.


/reconstructions jun 10 '17

Jeopardy: Mass Incarceration Edition (excerpts)

Performed by Lisa Adjei at Reconstruction Inc.’s Mass Incarceration Teach-in on June 10, 2017 at Mercy Neighborhood Ministries of Philadelphia, Inc., 1939 W. Venango Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvan


/reconstructions may 30 '17

Lighting of the Bridges

Passage from the Lighting of the Bridges ceremony: “Tioga, or Teaoga as it has also been spelled in the past, is a Native American Word meaning gateway, or the meeting of two rivers.  As a place, Tioga was an especially strategic location. It was ‘a


/futures may 27 '17

Exploring Paul Robeson

The Mobiel Futures Institute stopped by the Paul Robeson House today for their Open House and a special performative reading of Robeson's 1956 testimony before the House Committee of Un-American activities.


/sanctuary may 18 '17


The following is a note from our collaborators at New Sanctuary Movement: We are postponing Friday's planned action at ICE until later in June. We are so grateful to partner with Philadelphia Assembled in this work and grateful for their flexibility to follow the lead of the immigrant community. We decided to postpo


/sanctuary may 15 '17

Laos In The House Storybooth

We're so happy the Philadelphia Assembled (PHLA) x Laos In The House Storybooth is finally up and running and can currently be seen at the Institute of Contemporary Art! However we know that many of our followers couldn't make it to our #BLESSED event, or don't live in Philadelphia so here's a video! P.S. The saht


/futures may 1 '17

Futures on Strike: A Day to Speak of Freedom and Just Futures

Coinciding with May Day, a historic day for labor activism, Futures on Strike consisted of a workshop, open conversations with passersby, and spoken-word performances that draw on stories of freedom and just futures.


/sovereignty apr 24 '17

The Feel, The Look, The Taste of Sovereignty

In February of 2016 I embarked upon a creative journey along with a group of beautiful people from across the city of Philadelphia to talk about this atmosphere called "Sovereignty ".

/movement apr 22 '17

The PHLA Education Workbook: Teaching is an Art.

I believe that teaching is an art.At its best, a sacred art, a sacred responsibility. Audre Lorde offers “I know teaching is a survival technique. It is for me, and I think it is in general; and that’s the only way real teaching, real learning, happens.” In this Philade


/futures apr 22 '17

Art and Activism

The tension in our bodies, sparked by the future’s difference from the present, is the precursor to art. You see something that isn’t there, and then you create it. At the nexus of uncertainty and competence, all this energy & vision & where can it be put? The Philadelphia Museum of Art, as a keeper of history, is a residence for such stories transformed into engraved gestures, scraps of fabric, splashes of paint and more. I have


/futures apr 19 '17

Writing the Apocalypse - Workshop!

People say the future is in the hands of the youth, because adults are stuck in their ways. The future consists of living in the moment while holding onto a direction. As adults, our lack of futurity derives from our distance from the present moment - we are stuck in the past.


/futures apr 19 '17

Visit to Traction Company

My favorite part of Philadelphia Assembled is the wide range of interesting people I meet and places I visit in the process of making things happen. This month, I had the privilege of spending time at Traction Company, an art studio, mechanic workshop, and all-around mad wizarding collective located in West Philly.


/sanctuary apr 14 '17

Storytelling as Sanctuary: Laos in the House

Story is central to human understanding—it makes life livable, because without a story, there is no identity, no self, no other (Lewis, 2011).

/reconstructions apr 10 '17


The American criminal justice system holds more than 2.3 million people in 1,719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 901 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,163 local jails, and 76 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, immigration detention facilities, civil commitment centers, and prisons in the U.


/movement mar 15 '17

Practices that ground movements and seed futures

The PHL Assembled Film Series focuses on practices and rituals of resilience among organizers, cultural workers, and movement builders. This archive of care is shared through the perspective of a future archivist looking back at our current moment of crossroads.


/reconstructions mar 8 '17

Blurry Edges

“Northern Liberties might be getting too hip for its own good--and it doesn't help when people call it "NoLibs." The post-hip yuppie types are moving in and rents are going up up up. Don't let that scare you, though--it's still a great 'hood.


/reconstructions feb 28 '17

The First Time

Public art is not an art “form”. Its size can be huge or small. It can tower fifty feet high or call attention to the paving beneath your feet. Its shape can be abstract or realistic (or both), and it may be cast, carved, built, assembled, or painted. It


/futures feb 23 '17

Story of the Bus, part 2

So the Beardspace bus was a no-go. According to the mechanic, the crosspiece was completely rotted out, necessitating thousands of dollars in repairs. I drove the bus back to New Jersey, and took the rest of the day off.


/futures feb 16 '17

Story of the Bus, part 1.

Thursday, February 16. Getting on the PATCO at 6:30 am. Going to buy a bus for the Mobile Futures Institute. Already well behind schedule.

/movement feb 1 '17

We will not walk backwards

On January 20th, 2017, the day of the United States presidential inauguration, PHLA Production Editor Zein Nakhoda joined groups from across Philadelphia for The People's Inauguration.


/sanctuary jan 25 '17

The People's Inauguration

On January 20th, 2017, hundreds joined with New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia to take The People’s Oath in a promise to defend each other and work for a world of justice, love, and dignity. This is a moment to transform the anger, the fear, and the sadness into active hope, fierce love, and strategic action.


/movement jan 19 '17

Fathering Festival Presentation

Below are works by Eric Marsh Sr., Billy Yalowitz, and Les Rivera about their personal experiences with fathering. These works were presented during the Second Collaborator Assembly on December 11th, 2016.


/futures jan 15 '17

How Things Happen Before They Happen (behind the scenes)

Last week I met with Ron Whyte, a Futures collaborator and friend of mine, for coffee to discuss programming for the public phase of Philadelphia Assembled. We talked about finding specific ways to empower engaging in the future.


/futures jan 1 '17

Why I'm Here (what decolonization means to me)

Uncertainty isn't the problem. The problem is what we do with it. The stories of manifest destiny and colonialism are diseases, namely spoken through white, male bodies. They belong to nobody. Decolonizat


/sanctuary dec 22 '16

Solstice Feast & Famine

Though the creeping cold and its halting starts have teased us through the waning autumn, here in the Mid-Atlantic, winter seems to be settling in at last. The trees are mostly bare, and the last of the hardy, fresh produce is being gleaned from the fields & gardens.


/futures dec 15 '16

Philly Stay Resisting

Philly loves a story. These days, a meme is worth a thousand words. Futures aims to gather and tell our stories, no bullshit. You from here or nah? Who hasn't been challenged to prove their cred in this tough-loving town? Feeling the history of the land as an unbroken thread, extending from before white colonizers even got here, helps us understand where we might be able to go, together. Empowerment


/reconstructions dec 13 '16

Palimpsest - Reconstruc­tions Presentation

The following text is a play written by Mona Washington for the Collaborators Assembly on December 11th, 2016. It served as an introduction to Reconstructions Site 2 which focuses on displacement in the changing city.


/sovereignty dec 13 '16

Land Sovereignty

Below is the Land Sovereignty presentation for the Collabroator Assembly on December 11th, 2016. Land Sovereignty as Sensory


/reconstructions dec 12 '16

Reconstructions Guiding Principles

Public Site Proposal Guiding Principles - Reconstructions Atmosphere The following is a set of guiding principles for the Reconstructions Atmosphere. These principles are meant to guide our Atmosphere throughout its life and in all of its manifestations, irrespective of changes to its goals, strategies, or actions. They are ap


/futures nov 1 '16

Our Emergent Futures (Process Blog)

Futures are visions without bodies, yet. Tomorrows are the horizons that we walk toward. When each tomorrow comes around, it's suddenly today, and here we are running around, the envisioned future of yesterday etching its beauty and struggle into our bodies.


/reconstructions sep 26 '16

Women's Community Revitalization Project Ribbon Cutting

Spirit News Article Article from Spirit News Riverwards: The Women’s Community Revitalization Project (WCRP) and partner Firm Hope Baptist Church cut the ribbon during a ceremony Friday at Grace Townhomes, a newly built residential development that brings 36 townhomes to a formerly blighted lot in Port Richmond. The two, three and four bedroom townhomes are rental units with options for eventual home ownership. They are the first homes to be built on land owned by the Community Justice


/sovereignty sep 7 '16

Field Trip to African Cultural Art Forum (ACAF)

Sovereignty Working Group Field Trip 9/6 at 6pm From the ACAF website: "ACAF was established in 1969. We are a community based manufacturing business striving to create more jobs and providing education for our youth through our on-the-job training programs. Your purchases help us


/futures aug 31 '16

Film Screening: Embrace of the Serpent

Futures collaborators met in August to watch the film Embrace of the Serpent (2015). " In the early 1900s, a young shaman (Nilbio Torres) in the Colombian Amazon helps a sick German explorer (Jan Bijvoet) and his local guide (Miguel Dionisio Ramos) search for a rare healing plant."


/reconstructions aug 12 '16

Field Trip to William Goldsby's House

On the afternoon of July 9, 2016, Reconstructions Working Group members gathered in the home of William Goldsby, in Nicetown/Tioga. William is the Director of Reconstruction, Inc, a leadership program for individuals in re-entry.


/sovereignty may 20 '16

Visit to Experimental Farm Network

On one of the first days that felt like summer, Jeanne and myself (Phoebe) visited the Experimental Farm Network's farm in Southern New Jersey. Nate and Dusty our trusted tour guides gave us directions to go out into the field.


/reconstructions may 7 '16

Field Trip to Lest We Forget Slavery Museum

On a grey day in spring, ten Reconstructions Collaborators gathered to visit the Lest We Forget Slavery MuseumLest We Forget Slavery Museum in Port Richmond. We were greeted by Gwen Ragsdale, her mother, and husband,


/sovereignty apr 3 '16

Coordinating Meeting for DNC Demonstrations This Summer in Philly

Up Against the Law Legal Collective invites you to a meeting for organizations across Philadelphia who are planning rallies/marches/demonstrations during the Democratic National Convention this summer in Philadelphia.


/sanctuary mar 13 '16

Field Trip to Colored Girls Museum

Sanctuary took a field trip to the Colored Girls MuseumColored Girls Museum in Germantown. Around 20 of our collaborators came for a wonderful walk through the house staying around two hours. The Colored Girls Museum is a memoir museum, which honors the stories, expe