Opportunities, Events, and a lot of positive News for early March

It's officially March and all of a sudden there's like, a lot going on! Just for you, we curated a list of local art news, upcoming events we think look great and art opportunities with nearby deadlines (so you can conquer that last-minute application!)

A drawing of a raccoon pushing a shopping cart that holds a circular object with the initials "asn" on it.
Space 1026’s new “Artist Shopping Network” graphic – Shop coming this April!

March marks one year since the pandemic shut down Philadelphia. As a cute little anniversary present, FEMA has descended upon Philadelphia and has already vaccinated thousands of Philadelphians (with the promise of many more to come). Things are looking up! The sun is giving me energy I thought I had permanently lost this winter, and judging on the recent influx of emails and text messages I have been getting, I think it’s safe to assume that a lot of you are feeling the same way.

If you’re experiencing newfound hope, joy, or happiness, and want to stretch those emotions, you might consider reading up on this curated list of Philly art news (it’s all good). We’ve also got some virtual events that you might actually feel like attending because the sun sets at 6PM instead of 5PM now. And, if you’re really feeling good, there are two artist opportunities with nearby deadlines that you could throw together an application for (it can’t be harder to do than enduring 2020)!


Space 1026 launches new ‘Art Shopping Network’ hosted by Rose Luardo

Philadelphia artist collective Space 1026 debuts their take on the familiar TV home shopping experience with in their new project “Art Shopping Network.” Hosted by Rose Luardo, the network will offer a humorous and immersive way to learn about and purchase affordable artist-made goods. It promises to be as unique, amazingly weird, and great as the artist collective itself.

They will premiere their first four episodes on each Thursday in April, 7PM on Twitch or Instagram. The Space 1026 shop will open on April 1st, 2021.

Two from PCCY – PCCY Picasso Project leader Tim Gibbon awarded Distinguished Service Outside the Profession Award from NAEA! Plus, PCCY awards arts education grants to 20 Philly schools

Tim Gibbon, Director of Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY)’s Picasso Project, was awarded the Distinguished Service Outside the Profession Award by the National Art Education Association (NAEA) on February 27, 2021. This is a well-deserved distinction and we are so proud of Tim and grateful for all that the Picasso Project offers.

Speaking of which, on March 1st, Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) awarded grants to 20 schools that serve a total of 600 students. The grants will support arts educators who are teaching remotely during Covid-19, enabling them to offer more engaging courses in visual art, theatre, spoken word, musical performance, and more. Some local schools will use the funds to partner with other individuals and organizations such as TV actor Eddie Kaye Thomas or The Clay Studio.

We were excited to see that Linda Fernandez of Amber Art & Design will be teaching “environmental justice, concentrating on global warming, waste reduction, and regenerative agriculture” at Francis Scott Key Elementary school; Eric Abaka will teach “new media and traditional art forms, learning to transform their COVID quarantine experiences into meaningful artwork” at Lankenau Environmental Sciences Magnet High School; and Sally O’Brien (who recently collaborated with Artblog contributor Candy Gonzalez on a book arts project) will be running a program at Kensington Health Sciences Academy High School where ” students will embark on poetry/spoken word as a powerful creative outlet with arts organization ArtWell!”

Creative Resilient Youth (CRY) produces new podcast ‘CRY: The New Normal’

Philadelphia teen-led collective Creative Resilient Youth (CRY) recently announced their brand new podcast series The New Normal, in which teenaged artists and activists discuss mental health, art making, hopes for the future, and advocacy! Presumably inspired by the mess that was 2020, this project addresses essential issues and is an important resource not only for teen artists, but artists of all ages.

You can find CRY’s new podcast ‘The New Normal’ on Spotify, Youtube, or Soundcloud.

Creative Resilient Youth (CRY) is a teen-led collective addressing youth mental health and intergenerational trauma through artmaking, direct aid, and awareness and advocacy campaigns. CRY teens work with peers, adult facilitators from the Creative Resilience Collective, and members of their communities to create socially-engaged art projects.



A Conversation with artist Glenn Ligon and writer Hilton Als – Mar. 11, 5:30 PM

Thursday, March 11, 2021, 5:30 p.m. EST – Artist Glenn Ligon, whose work draws on literature and history to explore race, language, desire and identity, joins Pulitzer Prize-winning author and critic Hilton Als to discuss the ways in which art can engage and rethink the most urgent issues of our time. Als writes for The New Yorker and is an inaugural Presidential Visiting Scholar at Princeton University for the 2020-21 academic year.

The conversation will include live closed captions in both English and Spanish.

Register for free!

Glenn Ligon wearing black framed glasses and a button up shirt, standing and looking downwards while holding a pen. Hilton Als wearing a suit jacket and shirt and looking sideways at the camera with a big grin.
Glenn Ligon (left), Photo courtesy Paul Mpagi Sepuya. Hilton Als (right) Photo courtesy Brigitte Lacombe

BIG SING, “Say Her Name” with Mendelssohn Chorus A.I.R. Alysia Lee – Mar. 10, 7:30pm

For our third BIG SING, we welcome Alysia Lee, founder and Artistic Director of Sister Cities Girlchoir and 2020-21 MCP Artist-In-Residence. Together with MCP artistic director Dominick DiOrio, Alysia will remind us to “Say Her Name” as we work to end systemic racism and injustice and create a more welcoming and inclusive choral music community through our singing and song-making.

You won’t want to miss this collaborative experience which will also welcome singers from the Sister Cities Girlchoir, an El Sistema-inspired girl empowerment choral academy.

Buy Tickets



Request for Proposals, Nelson Playground Recreation Center Renovation and Addition Project – PHDC – Dealine: Mar. 31, 2021, 3:00 PM

PHDC through the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority on behalf of the City of Philadelphia is pleased to issue this Request for Proposals for qualified prime contractors for the Nelson Playground, Recreation Center Renovation and Addition project located at 301 W Cumberland Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130 This project is part of the City’s Rebuilding Community Infrastructure Program (Rebuild).

All Applicants must attend the mandatory pre-bid meeting onsite at 301 W Cumberland Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130 at 10:00 A.M. on March 16, 2021. All Applicants attending will need to wear masks and maintain social distancing. They must also complete the required COVID screener. The names and contact information for all attendees at the pre-bid meeting will be posted on PHDC’s website as public information within a few days of the pre-bid meeting. PHDC will accept questions and requests for additional information directed in writing to up to 3:00 PM on March 22, 2021. Questions, responses and additional information will be posted on this page within 3 business days of this date.

Responses will only be accepted in the following manner. Online Submission – via the following electronic portal: Online Submission. Applicants must submit a response/proposal no later than March 31, 2021, at 3:00 PM; absolutely no Response will be accepted after that time.

Colored Conventions Movement Mural project – Mural Arts – Deadline: 5PM, Mar. 19, 2021

The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program is proud to announce our partnership with the Colored Conventions Project, an award-winning initiative that brings seven decades of early Black organizing to digital life at Together we are seeking proposals for the first in a series of murals to be dedicated to the rich history of the Colored Conventions Movement which was founded right here in Philadelphia. The project will run approximately from the beginning of June until late summer, and the artist fee will be $10,000. This is a two-phase selection process, in which several artists will be short-listed and then asked to prepare a concept, and the selection will be based on both qualifications and concepts. The deadline for applications is March 19.

Submission Instructions
Submissions will be accepted electronically by email, DropBox or WeTransfer, Please submit your application materials in one folder file attachment and send to the following email address: Email
Subject: Colored Conventions Project
Mural Arts will reply with an acknowledgement of all submissions it receives. Questions or concerns can be directed to: Maya Thomas, Project Manager Community Murals, Mural Arts Philadelphia:

NOTE: All questions should be submitted by Friday March 5th, 2021 to

ICYMI – Additional news

BlackStar Projects teams up with The Fabric Workshop and Museum

We were thrilled to hear that two important fixtures of Philadelphia’s art scene, BlackStar Projects and The Fabric Workshop and Museum, were collaborating on an audio-visual project. Revival! “an audio-visual meditation celebrating Black spiritual and ecstatic experiences and resilience” that first took place in 2020, presented by BlackStar Projects and hosted in partnership with Icebox Project space. The project is expanded upon in this iteration as a public art project (on view in the FWM window on Arch street) featuring new mixes by filmmaker and artist Rashid Zakat. “Rashid Zakat’s mix channels Arthur Jafa’s Love is the Message, Kahlil Joseph’s Black News, and a long lineage of House DJs.”

Earlier this year, Artblog’s film contributor reek bell interviewed Maori Karmael Holmes, Artistic Director, CEO and founder of BlackStar Projects. Check it out!

The new iteration of ‘Revival!‘ featuring new mixes by filmmaker and artist Rashid Zakat will be on display in The Fabric Workshop and Museum’s front window through June 6, 2021

ART IS ESSENTIAL awards micro-grants to 45 artists, plus additional funding for select artists

On March 1st, 2021, the first round of awardees of the ART IS ESSENTIAL initiative were announced! Through the initiative, 45 artists were awarded $1,000 each and the opportunity to apply for additional funding during their second round of funding. 10 artists will be selected for funding during Round 2: IMPACT. Those artist will then become eligible for yet another round of funding and receive “the necessary funds to fully develop their proposed project.”

We were thrilled to see many names we recognized. To name a few, Jacob C Hammes (who illustrates the “Grand Ballroom of Doom” comics on Artblog), Michelle Angela Ortiz (check out poems inspired by Michelle’s work from an Artblog Look/Draw/Write workshop), Heather Raquel Phillips (performer, object maker and video artist, interviewed on Artblog Radio in 2019), Kristal Sotomayor (documentary filmmaker and 2019 guest on Artblog Radio), Li Sumpter (scholar, filmmaker, educator, and more, and yet another guest of Artblog Radio), and Mat Tomeszko (who Artblog has been following for years, most recently for their dual exhibition alongside Roberto Lugo). There are many more awardees on the list that Artblog loves and thinks are great and some that we have yet to meet but look forward to getting to know.

ART IS ESSENTIAL is an initiative by PHDC through PRA’s Fund for Art and Civic Engagement with support from the Knight Foundation.