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Tag Archives | Southwark School

What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

New Courtyard from Old Materials for Southwark School

Southwark School at 9th and Mifflin Streets is gearing up for an exciting redesign of the 9th Street courtyard into a true community space. Since February, Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Restored Spaces Initiative, in collaboration with the Spanish trash-focused artist collective Basurama – which translates to “Trash-o-rama” – has worked with community members, Southwark School students, faculty, and staff, to design and produce furniture for the currently empty space.

Southwark School – 9th Street project area. Credit: Google Maps.

At the beginning of the school year, Mural Arts installed the mural “Weaving Culture” on the north side of the 9th Street courtyard. This vibrant mural was designed in collaboration with Southwark students, parents, faculty and staff.

“Weaving Culture” mural by James Dunn in collaboration with Southwark School student artists. Photo credit: Steve Weinik.

Earlier this year, Southwark parents and neighbors had an opportunity to design the new benches and planters that will be placed in the courtyard in front of the mural. The distinctive feature of the design, and a specialty of artist collective Basurama, is that all of the fixtures will be built from recycled materials, including, very appropriately, old school desks.

The design process has been a real community effort. The meetings, during which several translators were present, have been well attended by a true cross-section of the community found in and around Southwark School.

The final design was presented on April 23rd at a meeting where the community had the opportunity to discuss and vote on the design and the placement of benches and planters within the space. After some discussion and careful deliberation the final arrangement and orientation of the fixtures were agreed upon unanimously.

East side of 9th Street, looking northeast. Credit: Google Maps.

The first phase of the courtyard construction is taking place this week, June 4th to June 8th. While some highly-skilled work will be done by professionals, community members (and others) are welcome and encouraged to participate in the collaborative build. Just stop by the site between 10 a.m. and noon or 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to lend a hand. A second construction phase will occur this fall.

After this week’s build-out is completed, a representative of artist collective Basurama will address the community at Bok on June 11th at 6 pm. Basurama will be joined by Ron Whyte (activist and blogger, Deep Green Philly), Nic Esposito (Director, City of Philadelphia Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet), and Raquel de Anda (artist; Director of Public Engagement, No Longer Empty). Register or find more information about the event here.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Not their first (Rolling) Rodeo…

The Rolling Rodeo returns to the playground of Southwark Elementary School, 9th and Mifflin streets, Saturday, May 12th, from 10am to 12pm. Children under 12 years old from surrounding neighborhoods are invited to bring “anything with wheels” (and their parents or a guardian) to this family-friendly event. The Rodeo is produced by the Friends of Southwark, part of the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association Education Committee which helps support the school.

Last year, children descended on the school yard on bicycles, scooters, roller skates, and in wagons. Organizers expect the same mix of wheeled conveyances this year, but they’ve collaborated with new partners to expand the event. Children can decorate their rides, race through a road-safety obstacle course, and participate in other games. As Friends of Southwark chair Nichole Girgenti explained: “The event provides a safe space for children to ride and race, while learning the rules of the road and participating in helmet and bike checks.”

In addition to the learning component, “The 2017 Rolling Rodeo was successful as a welcoming and inclusive event for all of our South Philadelphia neighbors,” Girgenti explained, “This is due in large part to the driving force behind the event, David Krill.” Krill, a neighbor of the school and Friends of Southwark member, conceived and found funding for the event.

A scene from the 2017 Rolling Rodeo.

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