UArts faculty union tentative agreement, Debra Ward at Bridgette Mayer, Moore students and PA Ballet, the DP’s new building, 7th Ward tours, plus Opportunity!

We have a smorgasbord of news for you this week from Congratulations to the UArts Faculty Bargaining Unit, which reached a tentative agreement with the University for a new fair contract; to walking tours of the 7th Ward and lots more! This is a slice of news from Philadelphia's growing arts and culture scene. There's a much bigger pie out there to be found. Check out gallery and events listings on Artblog Connect. And sign up for the Connect Weekly Newsletter for the ease of listings coming to your inbox.


A group of people wearing masks and holding signs supporting a union stand on the steps of a university in Philadelphia.
UArts members of United Academics of Philadelphia stand in front of the Hamilton building showing solidarity and support for a union. Photo courtesy of UAP website

The UArts Faculty Bargaining Unit of United Academics of Philadelphia reached a Tentative Agreement with University of the Arts!
The UArts Faculty Bargaining Team is thrilled to announce a Tentative Agreement for their first union contact, almost 3 years and over 70 bargaining sessions in the making.

Our planned strike vote created enough pressure for us to WIN SO MUCH for ALL UArts Union Faculty!

THANK YOU to all the UArts students, parents, staff and alumni who have supported us during this process! We could not have done it without you!
More at United Academics of Philadelphia.

A female ballet dancer soars through the air her legs extended, toes pointed, arms in an elegant “L” surround her head; she looks exultant and in command and her costume is golden and gives her a regal look.
2024; The Galleries at Moore; MOORE; Moore College of Art & Design; GALL; Reimagining a Holiday Classic: Costume Designs Inspired by The Nutcracker; Philadelphia Ballet; Community Education and Public Programs; Moore’s Apparel Design Studio One course; junior-year Fashion Design students; Erin Partlow FD ’25 – “Hot Chocolate”; Eva Martinez FD ’25 – “Candy Cane”; Morgan Cure FD ’25 – “Tea”; Syniah Coleman FD ’25 – “Coffee”; Photos taken by @Pics_by_Claud Claudia Rubio PH ’24;

Moore College students collaborate on costumes with PA Ballet
Building on the success of their collaboration in 2022–2023, Philadelphia Ballet and Moore College of Art and Design (“Moore”) have teamed up once again to provide a one-of-a-kind learning experience for students in Moore’s Fashion Design program. This academic year, the relationship has expanded with a student costume design experience inspired by George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®. The project is part of Philadelphia Ballet’s award-winning Community Education and Public Programs, which provide rich access to dance and a connection to the arts.

“Hands-on educational experiences and ongoing relationships with organizations such as Philadelphia Ballet generate groundbreaking, real-world opportunities that prepare our students for career success,” shares Cathy Young, president, Moore College of Art & Design. “Designing for the stage requires a sophisticated understanding of how the garments will move, how the fabric will appear under stage lighting, and how the designs can support the overall production, so this experience is a significant learning opportunity for our students as they explore their craft and potential career opportunities. As we celebrate Moore’s 175th anniversary, we’re proud to continue our longstanding tradition of connecting students with the larger Philadelphia art community and the unique experiences our cultural institutes can provide to complement what they’re learning on our campus.”

A group of ballet dancers and students and teachers poses in front of a black wall with words on it announcing an art exhibit. The students are juniors at a Philadelphia art school who designed and created the dancers’ costumes. The group is all smiles and proud of their performance and the costumes.
2024; The Galleries at Moore; MOORE; Moore College of Art & Design; GALL; Reimagining a Holiday Classic: Costume Designs Inspired by The Nutcracker; Philadelphia Ballet; Community Education and Public Programs; Moore’s Apparel Design Studio One course; junior-year Fashion Design students; Erin Partlow FD ’25 – “Hot Chocolate”; Eva Martinez FD ’25 – “Candy Cane”; Morgan Cure FD ’25 – “Tea”; Syniah Coleman FD ’25 – “Coffee”; Photos taken by @Pics_by_Claud Claudia Rubio PH ’24;

As part of Moore’s Fashion Design program, 10 students in their junior year worked directly with Philadelphia Ballet during the fall 2023 semester to design and create costumes inspired by four Nutcracker themes: coffee, tea, candy cane and hot chocolate. From initial concepting to designs, dancer fittings and modifications, to performer photography in the new costumes, students acted as professional costume designers under the advisement of Moore faculty Francine Martini and Morgan Porter in collaboration with Sarah Cooper, creative director of Community Education and Public Programs, Philadelphia Ballet and Jennifer Tierney, wardrobe manager, Philadelphia Ballet. The designs and photography of the dancers in costume will be on view in The Galleries at Moore in an exhibition, “Reimagining a Holiday Classic: Costume Designs Inspired by The Nutcracker,” from January 25 through March 16.

To celebrate the Moore students’ achievements, Philadelphia Ballet II dancers held a special performance for the opening of the exhibition “Reimagining a Holiday Classic: Costume Designs Inspired by The Nutcracker.” The performance was on January 25 in The Galleries at Moore Atrium at 1916 Race Street, Philadelphia.

A head shot of a white woman, smiling, her white hair in a pixie cut and her black sweater circling her neck. She looks nice and approachable. She just became Assistant Director at a prominent Philadelphia Gallery.
Debra Ward, new Assistant Director, Bridgette Mayer Gallery. Ward will be focused on sales and new opportunities. Photo courtesy of the Gallery

Debra Ward joins Bridgette Mayer Gallery as Assistant Director
Bridgette Mayer Gallery is excited to welcome a new senior team member to the gallery: Debra Ward. Debra will be joining Bridgette Mayer Gallery as Assistant Director, focused on sales and new opportunities.

Debra has twenty years of experience working in and around galleries and art organizations in Philadelphia. She was the Finance Director of the Painted Bride in 2004 and that same year she joined the board of Vox Populi. Debra was on the board of Vox Populi for sixteen years, where she served as the Finance Chair for most of her tenure and simultaneously as the Board President for ten years. Working with the artist collective at Vox, Debra became very interested in visual arts and quickly became an avid art collector. Her collection consists of nearly 100 pieces, mostly by Philadelphia artists. During her tenure at Vox, she worked on collaborations with other artist organizations and galleries to raise awareness and support of local artists in the Philadelphia community.

“I have known Debra since 2001 when I opened my gallery. She is an important addition to our team after we continue to have another year of growth in 2024,” says founder Bridgette Mayer. “This upcoming year, Debra will help the gallery expand our reach by attending more events, adding to our artist roster and doubling down on our relationships with our current artists and collectors.”

UPenn Student Newspaper Daily Pennsylvanian buys building and will rehab – Cost $3.7 million

From the DP…The DP, Inc. Foundation Board, which was established in 2023 to oversee the purchase of the new building, will be charged with fundraising for renovations and designing the building. Nestled in the heart of University City, the new office building is poised to be a harbor of creativity, collaboration, and cutting-edge journalism as well as a hub that facilitates engagement with the Penn and West Philadelphia community…

From the Penn Gazette
The DP’s new digs will cover 4,200 square feet across four floors and include designated spaces for meetings, workshops, and events; a modern newsroom; studios for photography, videography, podcasting, and livestreaming; and an innovation lab for emerging technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality.

The DP, Inc. Foundation Board, made up of alumni volunteers and students, was recently established to oversee the purchase of the new building and will continue to fundraise for its renovations. The total cost of the project, including the building acquisition, is estimated at $3.7 million.

Walking tours of historically Black 7th Ward part of 7th Ward Tribute
From Hidden City Philadelphia: An ambitious, multi-platform project aims to change that. Legacy Reclaimed: A tribute to Philadelphia’s historic 7th Ward is mounting art installations, providing curricula and walking tours, and hosting discussions to bring the people, institutions, and history of the neighborhood alive. “I didn’t know the depth and extent of all the organizations that started in the 7th Ward,” said Tayyib Smith, co-founder of Little Giant Creative, which has partnered with the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Records and Mural Arts for the project. “I started thinking about how little people knew about the Black history of Philadelphia.”
More here.
Register for the free walking tours here


Cfeva Visual Artist Fellowship 2024 – Deadline: March 1, 2024 Fee (USD): $20.00
The Visual Artist Fellowship is designed to help artists in the Philadelphia Region reach new levels in their career. Artists will be asked to demonstrate a vision for the next stage of their professional or artistic practice and a clear plan for CFEVA’s proposed role in reaching it. Artists will be selected by an independent Board of Artistic Advisors based on the merit of their artwork and a demonstrated ability to reach stated goals. Four artists will be selected to receive a full range of career support during the two-year Fellowship period. In addition, selected artists will receive a $1,000 award and up to $3,000 to cover expenses related to the proposed activity. We invite all artists to apply with their current needs and ideas. Artists within 150 miles of Philadelphia are eligible to apply. Please note each application is reviewed carefully and all applicants are also eligible for exhibitions, sales, teaching, and other opportunities through CFEVA. CFEVA support includes: · Guidance and career support from CFEVA’s Executive Artistic Director. · Career Enhancement Excursions · Opportunities to foster peer dialogue · CFEVA Artist Membership. · Registration and featured placement in CFEVA’s annual Philadelphia Open Studio Tours. More information and to apply.