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Rally for the Arts! Citizens to envision new use of Roundhouse, Melissa Lucio documentary, and two opportunities

Whether you're an artist, arts lover, collector, administrator, or interested citizen, show up for the rally May 11 and support more funding for the arts in the city budget! In other city news, Amber Arts and Design and Connect the Dots will engage citizens about the future of the police HQ, the Roundhouse, and what to do with the building going forward when the police move to a new building (the former Inquirer building on North Broad St.). There's a couple great opportunities And we urge you to watch a documentary on the death row inmate Melissa Lucio, whose execution has just been stayed by a Texas court.



Rally For the Arts Wednesday, May 11, 2022, 11:30 AM – 1:30 AM at City Hall

We want to encourage you to turn out for the Rally for the Arts on Wednesday, May 11 at 11:30 – 1:30 at City Hall. The Mayor’s budget cuts enacted over the last two pandemic years and proposed for 2023 demonstrate the Mayor’s lack of understanding of the importance of the arts to the life of Philadelphia and its citizens.

Dark blue banner with blue and white text that reads: "SAVE THE DATE - #FundPHLArts Rally, Wednesday, May 11, 11:30-1:30PM, City Hall- North Apron"

From the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance:

Be part of the call for change! With three straight City Budgets in which the Creative Economy has been relegated to a mere afterthought, it’s time to send a clear message about the essential power and impact of Philadelphia’s cultural industry. It’s time to #FundPHLArts!

Join Philadelphia’s arts and culture community – artists, creative entrepreneurs, arts educators, organizational leaders and arts allies – on Wednesday, May 11 for a daytime rally calling for greater – and necessary – public investment in our creative economy!

The #FundPHLArts Rally will be held on the North Apron of Philadelphia City Hall, at N Broad St and John F Kennedy Blvd, between 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. The Rally will include remarks from arts leaders, art makers and those who our work inspires and uplifts. There will also be performances showcasing Philly’s vibrant and diverse arts and culture industry.

There are many ways to support the #FundPHLArts Rally:

  1. Join us for the whole event or stop by during your lunch break!
  2. Tweet your elected officials using #FundPHLArts.
  3. Bring your own #FundPHLArts sign or grab one there!
  4. Bring your instruments, come in costume or come as you are.
  5. Encourage your staff, colleagues, friends and more to attend and have their voice heard.

More information to come – I hope to see you on Wednesday, May 11 at City Hall for #FundPHLArts Rally!

Patricia Wilson Aden
President & CEO
Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance

City Selects Connect the Dots and Amber Art and Design to Engage Philadelphians in envisioning the future of the Roundhouse

From the City of Philadelphia:

Community engagement for the Roundhouse to begin this summer. The City expects a final report on the findings in early 2023.

The City has selected a multi-firm team to lead community engagement about the future of the former Police Administration Building located at 7th and Race Streets, also known as “the Roundhouse.” The community engagement team led by two experienced consultant firms: Connect the Dots and Amber Art and Design will begin work in May. More information here. [Ed. Note: Read an article on the history of the Roundhouse and possible current preservation issues at Hidden City – lots of photos]

The community engagement process is a significant first step in the preparation for redevelopment of the Roundhouse. The consultant team will engage with Philadelphians citywide for input on what they think should happen to the site after the Police Department completes their move to North Broad Street. The outcome is expected to be a vision plan for the site that provides community-driven, realistic guidance to the City regarding its future use.

Connect the Dots and Amber Art and Design have experience working with historically underrepresented communities in Philadelphia. Their joint proposal demonstrated experience with trauma-informed public engagement, planning for racial equity, outreach to multiple constituencies, conflict resolution, real estate economics, public space design, and engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The consultant team’s work will incorporate youth outreach through One’s Up, led by Alex Peay.

The consultant team also has an internal advisory group made up of Mindy Fullilove, MD; WSP USA; and SITIO architecture + urbanism.

“This is a new process for us,” said Ian Litwin, a planner at the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and project lead for the Roundhouse. “We want citywide engagement because the site represents something to communities all across the city.”

The Roundhouse was designed in 1959 and dedicated in 1963. At the time of the building’s construction, the City of Philadelphia cleared entire city blocks for future development in a practice called urban renewal. The building’s unique shape and heavy concrete form are notable features that also make redevelopment challenging.

The community engagement team is sensitive to the complex relationship many Philadelphians, most notably communities of color, have with the Roundhouse and its 60-year history as the home of the Philadelphia Police Department.

“We recognize the importance of reflecting on the history of community trauma as the City looks to the future,” said Marisa Denker, CEO of Connect the Dots. “Community engagement is much more than meetings. We will use many-layered methods to meet people where they are and enable the sharing of citywide stories, memories, and hopes for the site.”

Melissa Lucio’s death sentence granted a stay of execution by Texas court!

We at Artblog are so thrilled by this news, since we watched and talked about (in a podcast!) a great documentary, “The State of Texas vs Melissa” that chronicles the injustice poured onto this woman and mother by every agent of government in Texas. The documentary was featured in the 2021 Philadelphia Latino Film Festival. You can watch it now at Hulu, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV and YouTube. And listen to our podcast about the film here, scroll forward to 19:30 and listen until 31:05 for the 12-minute discussion between our film reviewer, reek bell, Morgan Nitz and me.

ICYMI, More about Melissa Lucio’s stay of execution, From The Guardian:

The Texas court of criminal appeals has issued a stay of execution for Melissa Lucio, the Mexican-American woman who was set to be judicially killed within 48 hours, ordering a lower court to consider new evidence of her innocence in the death of her two-year-old daughter Mariah.

The court issued its order on Monday as the final clock was ticking on Lucio’s transfer to the death chamber. She would have been the first Hispanic woman executed by Texas.

As Wednesday’s scheduled execution date grew closer, calls for a stay to give time for new scientific evidence of her innocence to be reviewed grew to fever pitch. The intensity of the outcry against her pending death rivaled that of the case of Troy Davis, the African American man executed by Georgia in 2011 despite serious doubts around his guilt.


Open call for $130,000 Percent for Art Project at PHL International – Deadline JUNE 1, 2022

Aerial view of the Philadelphia International airport, with many planes parked on the pavement with people loading into them.
PHL International, aerial shot, courtesy of Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy

From the City Office of Arts Culture and the Creative Economy:

Project Budget: $130,000
Deadline for Submissions: June 1, 2022
More information – Read the Call for Artists
To apply – Submit an Artist Application Online
The City of Philadelphia’s Percent for Art Program and Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) are pleased to announce a competition to commission artwork for a restroom wall located in Terminal A-West in the International Terminal.

To best meet the needs and expectations of the Airport’s 33.02 million annual passengers (pre-pandemic), PHL is continuing its restroom renovation project that will greatly enhance its ability to efficiently connect travelers to their destinations as well as provide innovative and world-class amenities. A major feature of this project is the overall sense of aesthetic including the architecture, interior design, and fine art — all components that will enrich the public’s airport experience and continue to make PHL a choice destination for travelers.

PHL and the City of Philadelphia’s Percent for Art Program encourages artists from the 11-county Greater Philadelphia region to propose works that respond directly to the characteristics of the specified site, which will enrich the public’s experience at the airport, and be a positive reflection of the region.

Open Call for National Artist Residency at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas – Deadline June 17, 2022

The Neon Museum announces a call for entries for its 2022 National Artist Residency. Now in its seventh year, The Neon Museum Artist Residency program is designed to expand the interpretive potential of the museum collection while providing a U.S.-based contemporary artist working in the fields of digital, performance or visual arts the opportunity to create new work in an unconventional setting.

The residency includes a public program to engage the community and museum visitors while providing exposure to new artists and a fresh perspective on the collection. The Artist in Residence program is generously sponsored by The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, National Endowment for the Arts, and Nevada Arts Council.

The successful entrant will be selected based on demonstrated artistic excellence, clarity of residency goals, quality and benefit of proposed public program, and ability to complete the project within the set schedule, including residing in Las Vegas for a six-week period between Dec. 5, 2022 – Feb. 24, 2023.

During the winning candidate’s tenure in Las Vegas, the local community will have opportunities to engage with the artist and his/her work. Public programming includes an educational workshop, an artist talk at the beginning of the residency to introduce them and their work to the community, and a studio open house to showcase the final project inspired by the museum collection at the end of the residency.

Neon Museum will provide the selected candidate with:

  • $2,500 stipend
  • $4,000 materials budget
  • $1,000 travel allowance
  • Living accommodations for six weeks at Juhl, a high-rise condominium tower in downtown Las Vegas
  • A 1,000-square-foot studio space inside the museum’s 12,000-square-foot Ne10 Studio that is climate-controlled and has a ceiling height of 19 feet
  • Access to the museum’s sign collection and archives, marketing and publicity support, photographic documentation, and staffing to assist with administering the public programming.
  • Installation and gallery space for the artist to present a solo exhibition.

The selected artist will be introduced to Las Vegas in a visit preceding the residency. They will be welcomed by the museum’s residency team who will facilitate cultural explorations and information gathering in support of the residency project.

Upon completion of the residency, the museum requests the artist contribute a mutually agreed-upon piece of art to the museum’s collection.

Eligible artists must live in the United States and work in the field of visual arts (including two- and three-dimensional work as well as digital and video art), performance, or sound and be over the age of 18. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on June 17 and selection results will be announced on July 20.

Application instructions are online or email for details.

A complete listing of the past six Neon Museum resident artists and their work is also at