New City money for the Arts! Artblog is N.I.C.E. Plus, Paradigm, Facture, and Chef Kurt Evans’ End Mass Incarceration dinners

In the Philadelphia art world, where money from the city has always been tight, there’s been a surprising turn, with an unprecedented $21 million new dollars for the arts organizations that make this city special! Hooray for all and let’s hope the dollars are available soon. In other great news, Paradigm Gallery has bought a building in Old City that will be it’s forever home. And Facture, the new house gallery by artist and educator William Gerhard is hosting its second show, works by Gina Michaels. We are thrilled with the news this week. And finally we draw your attention to the End Mass Incarceration dinners by activist Chef Kurt Evans. Buy a ticket to one of the two dinners to support those recently entering society, and help celebrate their journeys. Plus, Artblog is proud to announce our participation in WHYY’S N.I.C.E. community program, which supports local community news producers. We are so very proud to be part of this group and looking forward to collaborating with the other partners!


More City Money for the Arts including stepped up funding of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund – Woohoo!

From the Cultural Alliance:
Today is a banner day for our arts and culture community in the City of Philadelphia. Mayor Kenney proposed and City Council increased and approved over $21 million new dollars for arts and culture in the 2022 Mid-Year Transfer Ordinance. The ordinance moved unanimously from the Appropriations Committee, chaired by Councilmember Curtis Jones, Jr, and received its first reading at today’s Council session. It is poised to receive final consideration on Thursday, December 1.

This unprecedented investment of public dollars is an acknowledgment of arts and culture as an essential economic driver for this city – and it is a recognition of the power of our collective voice.

Since 2020, GPCA’s advocacy has focused on a consistent and powerful call for the City to invest in the Philadelphia Cultural Fund more deeply. In addition, we have called on the City to live up to its responsibility of supporting City-owned arts and cultural institutions, especially those that reside in and serve Black and Brown communities.

Today, through the Mid-Year Transfer, the City took an important step in doing exactly that.

  • The Philadelphia Cultural Fund will be funded at $5.5 million, benefitting hundreds of arts organizations across the City and in our neighborhoods.
  • City institutions including the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Mural Arts Philadelphia, the Please Touch Museum, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Philadelphia Zoo, The Franklin Institute, and The Dell Music Center will all receive infusions of significant support.
  • Visionary projects like Calder Gardens will also be boosted by significant support in the Mid-Year Transfer.

Read more here

Community Journalism with N.I.C.E.!

Artblog is happy to announce its participation in WHYY’s community news collaborative, N.I.C.E. We are meeting regularly with the 14-partners in the N.I.C.E. cohort via zoom and are thrilled with some collaborations we see on the horizon! The N.I.C.E. partners run local newspapers, internet radio stations, blogs, and are plugged in to their communities, providing content and growing their voice and their audiences. Stay tuned in the future as we announce some of our collaborations with the partners. We are humbled and proud to be part of this great cohort of spirited community journalists.

More from the N.I.C.E. website:

WHYY’s News & Information Community Exchange (N.I.C.E.) is a mutual aid, journalism collaborative funded by the Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund. Managed by Eric Marsh, Sr, Community Outreach Organizer for WHYY, the goal of N.I.C.E. is to organize, support, and develop grassroots news and information content creators who serve their communities and who, in turn share content, sources, wisdom and audiences with WHYY and each other. By utilizing the industry leading reputation and experience of WHYY, N.I.C.E. partners are able to collaborate with one another and grow their relationships and professional capacities while helping WHYY connect with diverse communities and build relationships and trust.

New gallery opens – Facture Presents

Artist, educator and friend of Artblog, William Gerhard opened his house gallery, Facture this year, celebrating the second exhibition – bronze sculptural works by Gina Michaels – up now to Dec. 17. We love that Bill opened this beautiful space to show art. It’s domestic galleries like Facture, and House Gallery that make and keep the Philly art scene vibrant and accessible. They contribute to the arts ecosystem here and help the arts economy. If you haven’t heard of Facture yet, check them out online and contact the gallery to make an appointment.

Paradigm Gallery buys a building

After the heartbreak of losing their bid to own the building they’ve “lived” in for years on 4th Street’s Fabric Row, Paradigm finally has a forever home! Hooray.

From the gallery:
Jason Chen and Sara McCorriston have officially purchased a 5-story, 7000 sq. ft. building in Old City that will become the new, permanent home of Paradigm Gallery + Studio.

Following renovations to the building, the public will be invited to visit the gallery in its new location in Spring 2023.

A fixture of South Philly’s Fabric Row since its founding in 2010, Paradigm Gallery’s generous community crowdfunding support enabled the purchase of this new building. As McCorriston states:

“We have long dreamed of owning a permanent space for Paradigm Gallery to ensure its future in Philadelphia. The community rallied behind us when we attempted to purchase the building at our current location. Unfortunately, we were out-bid, but the money raised during that time allowed us to hold on to the dream of ownership, and helped towards making the purchase of 12 N. 3rd St. possible for us.” Read more here.


Chef Kurt Evans (featured in Artblog’s forthcoming book “Atlas of Art and Food in Philadelphia”) hosts End Mass Incarceration (EMI) Dinners – Dec. 10 and 11, 2022

From the press information:
The Voices of The Unheard project collects and shares stories that center on the transformative process of those incarcerated. Voices of the Unheard is part of the larger abolition and transformative justice project, the Future of Justice, both conceived of by Rob “Mjasiri” Dowell of Kensington, currently in the 12th year of a 25-50 year sentence he received when he was 20 years old.

Over the past six months, the Justice 4 All working group, part of 215 People’s Alliance, has collected stories from individuals currently incarcerated at SCI Coal Township. These stories will be shared in an interactive listening session and art exhibit at the Urban Art Gallery in West Philadelphia, featuring artwork by Suave Gonzalez and Akeil Robertson. Light refreshments will be served.

When: Dec. 10th and 11th 4:00 – 9:00pm both days

Where: Urban Art Gallery, 262 S. 52nd St.

Follow Instagram for updates!
End Mass Incarceration Dinner celebrating Sergio
Dec. 10, 5:30 PM
Urban Art Gallery 262 South 52nd Street Philadelphia, PA 19139
Tickets $55 Purchase here

In addition, Chef and Organizer Kurt Evans will host an End Mass Incarceration (EMI) Dinner to support individuals and organizations working towards prison reform. Limited tickets are available for each night. Please purchase tickets using the links below.

On December 10th, starting at 5:30pm , we will be honoring Sergio Hyland, a Philadelphia native. Sergio is a writer, organizer and “The Hood Abolitionist” who speaks about issues regarding racism in the United States, including police brutality, alternatives to police, wealth inequality and gun violence.

Proceeds from this dinner benefit Sergio. Purchase Tickets Here. Limited tickets available.

End Mass Incarceration Dinner benefiting/honoring Rasheeda Bagwell
Dec. 11, 5:30 PM-7:30 PM
Urban Art Gallery 262 South 52nd Street Philadelphia, PA 19139
Tickets $55 – Purchase tickets here

On December 11th, starting at 5:30pm , we will be honoring Rasheeda Bagwell, a North Philadelphia native. Rasheeda officially began her career in reentry in August 2021, but has always had a passion to assist as many individuals as possible on their journey as returning citizens. Rasheeda currently serves as coordinator for MAPs (Mural Arts Philadelphia) Women’s Re-entry and CO-ed programs. For Bagwell, the Women’s Reentry Program helps solve two big problems in Philadelphia: the lack of services for system-impacted women, and, more importantly, stopping the cycle of incarceration within multiple generations of the same family.

Proceeds from this dinner benefit Rasheeda. Purchase Tickets Here. Limited tickets available.