Blog

Andrea D. Carter

AndreaCarter_001bFresh Strawberries at 100 N. Peach St.

Andrea Carter’s regrets planting too late for strawberries last year. “There is nothing like the taste of a strawberry off the vine,” says Carter.

Carter created a container garden in a vacant lot on N. Peach St. The lot was filthy. “I knew no one would want to eat something grown in that soil. ” says Carter. During the weeks she spent cleaning and weeding the front half of the lot, she drove around on trash days and collected enough containers, crates, and plastic bottles to begin transplanting the seedlings.

Carter hoped the garden would interest the kids on the block. She set up a portable greenhouse on her porch to grow seedlings. “I wanted to peek their interest,” Carter says. If they came to ask questions about the greenhouse, Carter would talk to them about the garden.

None of the eight children who helped last summer had ever grown anything. When I visited their garden last fall, I watched as they nervously tasted their first grape tomatoes off of the vine. Ethan, 10, wrinkled his nose and closed his eyes before putting the small red ball into his mouth. Zamir, 9, puckered his face as he watched Ethan brave the fresh food. Angel, 12, was more composed and curious. She nibbled thoughtfully, taking tiny bites from the small fruit.

AndreaCarter_5884

“Some of the kids on the block have it rough,” Carter explains.  “The kids need something to do.” She devised a citizenship program and gave prizes, including digital tablets and a remote-control car, to the children who were “really, really helpful – not just in the garden, but at home and at school.”

Carter is not sure how many kids will come to help plant this weekend. Besides strawberries, she has seedlings for tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, pole beans, carrots, peas, watermelon, cantaloupe, garlic and corn. Carter wants fresh strawberries, “If we don’t get something into the soil soon, we won’t have anything to harvest until fall.”

Town Hall on Gender Justice and Mass Incarceration

townhallimage

 

You’re invited on March 25 for the RELEASE Town Hall on Gender Justice and Mass Incarceration.

“We invite people organizing to end mass incarceration, detention, and deportation. We invite people organizing to end violence against women, transgender, and gender non-conforming people. And we invite all those people whose lives demand that we organize to end all these systems of oppression at the same time.

In this town hall event, we will use creative arts expression, and small group discussions to reflect honestly together on the fears that divide us and to build a shared vision for community safety and individual safety that doesn’t rely on imprisonment.”

Here are the details:
Wednesday, March 25, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street
The space is fully wheelchair accessible.
Childcare and food will be provided.

Register for the March 25 RELEASE Town Hall now

This town hall is part of RELEASE, an ongoing exhibition and program series that explores the intersection of gender justice and mass incarceration. RELEASE is co-presented by Bread & Roses Community Fund and the Leeway Foundation. RELEASE aims to provide shared spaces for women, transgender, and gender non-conforming survivors of the prison industrial complex, local artists, cultural producers, and activists to critically reflect and build power for change.

Community Art – Everybody Wins

Today is the last day that Ci-Lines, the temporary installation created by Aaron Asis at St. Andrew’s Collegiate Chapel, will exist. It has been an incredible experience to work with the talented and visionary Mr. Asis, to spend time in the stunningly beautiful Chapel, to work the Penn Alexander 5th graders, and to welcome the hundreds of visitors that have come to see the exhibition so far. The chapel at 4205 Spruce Street will be open to the public from noon to 4:00 pm. Then at 4:00, we will host “Stories of St. Andrew’s”, and we will listen to and share stories about the history, the architecture and the community that is/was St. Andrew’s. I hope to see you there.

I also want to extend an appreciative welcome to the 20 new subscribers to Them That Do!

 

Aaron Asis, right, looks at his installation at St. Andrew's Collegiate Chapel with 5th graders from Penn Alexander School.

Aaron Asis, right, looks at his installation at St. Andrew’s Collegiate Chapel with 5th graders from Penn Alexander School.

Seeing Between The Ci-Lines: St. Andrew’s Chapel Awakened With Art And Geometry | Hidden City Philadelphia

Seeing Between The Ci-Lines: St. Andrew’s Chapel Awakened With Art And Geometry | Hidden City Philadelphia.

New Work at Main Line Art Center

Two early successes from my Urban Farmers portrait series will be on exhibit at the Main Line Art Center. The opening reception is Friday, Jan. 16, 5:30 – 7:30.

I’m sending a shout out to Don Shump, the Bee Beard Man,  and Jacob at the Philadelphia Bee Company and to all those lovely  Philadelphia Urban Creators!

Dayuana Broggins at Urban Creators Community Garden. Philadelphia 2014

Dayuana Broggins at Urban Creators Community Garden. Philadelphia 2014

Jacob Arnold, closes bee hood on a rooftop apiary. Philadelphia, 2014

Jacob Arnold, closes bee hood on a rooftop apiary. Philadelphia, 2014

Street Movies – Shared Stories

Thank you Scribe Video Center for organizing Street Movies! and screening Them That Do Films. The film about Lisa Barkley and the Haddington Homes gardens screened on Wednesday  in North Philly at another amazing urban garden built by the Philadelphia Urban Creators. Last night’s screening at Malcolm X Park was rained out by a beautiful, soaking cloud burst. The photos below are from the Philadelphia Urban Creators (PUC) garden. To learn more about PUC, read GRID magazine’s  August issue.

The opening animation sequence.

Them That Do’s awesome animation by Allison Kerek.

Maudene Nelson of Care Coordination Services, LLC, stir fires kale for audience members.

Maudene Nelson of Care Coordination Services, LLC, prepares kale for audience members.

Jeaninne Kayembe, founding member of Philadelphia Urban Creators and poet, acted as emcee for the night.

Jeaninne Kayembe, founding member of Philadelphia Urban Creators and poet, acted as emcee for the night.

The Unity played a set.

The Unity played a set.

Light and Sound and the Moon

2014_08_09_StreetScreening2blogPhoto by Mitch Borden

Saturday’s screening at the 54th Street Memorial Garden provided a moment for all the volunteers, cooks, and kids who participated in the 3rd annual Neighborhood Foods Block Party, to relax. Lisa Barkley, who watched the video that featured her for the first time, covered her smiling cheeks with her hands and giggled.

Them That Do films will be featured in Scribe Video Center’s Street Movies! this week.

Wednesday, August 13
NORTH PHILLY
Host: Philadelphia Urban Creators
Location: N 11th Street (b/w W York and W Dauphin Streets)
Rain Location: Maken Studios – 3525 I Street
Opening Performance: PLP The Unity
Emcee: Jeaninne Kayembe

Thursday, August 14
WEST PHILLY
Host: Friends of Malcolm X Park
Location: Malcolm X Park
South 52nd Street and Pine Street
Emcee: DJ C (WPEB 88.1 FM)

 

Lisa Barkley: ‘More colors, more vitamins’

I’m proud to release the second video of the Them That Do film series featuring Lisa Barkley.

I will screen the film Saturday night, August 9th (after sunset – 7:30) at the 3rd Annual Neighborhood Foods Block Party on the 500 block of North 54th Street in the Memorial Garden. Lisa Barkley will be there to sign autographs!

I recommend that you come enjoy the afternoon party hosted by Neighborhood Foods. Platters are just $3 featuring Jamaican, Soul Food, and Veggie cuisine.  In addition to food, there will be kids’ games, face painting, hula hooping, a giveaway table, and much more all accompanied by the smooth reggae tunes of Moses Livingston and the Raggamuffins featuring Charlie Marley.  ALL ARE WELCOME at this FREE EVENT.

 

Audience and Actor

Making do with Them That Do

Making do with Them That Do

A folded table for a screen. Stones for a tripod. Extension cords for power. Our first street screening of Them That Do had a guerrilla feel to it. I am not sure what kind of impact these screenings will have, but it feels like a good place to start.

Sharon Joy Shoatz-Mayazi, the block captain of the 200 block S. 58th St., invited me to show my videos as part of a National Night Out event in her neighborhood. I knew that the evening would roll along organically, not on any schedule. So I was not surprised that after the sun had set behind the row homes on the west side of 60th Street, Shoatz-Mayazi was still trying to solve the problem of how we would power the projector and stereo system in the playground next to Sayer High School. What did catch me by surprise, though, was that my films were the only activity on the agenda for the night, apart from three crafts and jewelry vendors who set up tables outside the playground fence. Teenage boys played basketball on the other side of the playground.

Shoatz-Mayazi and two friends were able to stretch three long extension cords from her home across S. 58th St and into the playgroud. Power! The promised projection screen never made it to the site. We made do. We flipped the plastic folding table intended to hold the projector and stood it on a bench. That provided a very nice, solid screen. The projector we set on top of a folding chair, propping a stone underneath to somewhat straighten the horizon line of the projection. We had four additional folding chairs and a stool for the audience. The remaining four or five spectators stood.

As the opening sequence rolled onto the tabletop screen, the event became a complicated space where everyone present — the block captain, the boys playing basketball, the crafts vendors, the two police officers who stopped by on foot patrol, the disinterested neighbors walking past the playground on all sides, the folks in the cars rolling over our extension cords, and I — were audience and actors. The 2 x 3 foot projected image was the least interesting thing in this landscape of effort and apathy.

Thanks to the University City Arts League for the projector!

 

 

Free Outdoor Screenings for Them That Do Videos

ThemThatDoTitleshotYou will have several chances to watch Them That Do films at outdoor screenings in Philadelphia.

Tomorrow night, August 5th, the residents of the 60th Ward, 19th Division will celebrate National Night Out with music, activities and films.

Tuesday, Aug 5th 6-9pm
Host: Block captain, Sharon Joy Shoatz-Mayazi
Location: 200 block of S. 58th St. between Spruce and Locust

Then next week, Scribe Video Center’s Street Movies! will show Them That Do films.

Wednesday, August 13  7:45pm
NORTH PHILLY
Host: Philadelphia Urban Creators
Location: N 11th Street (b/w W York and W Dauphin Streets)
Rain Location: Maken Studios – 3525 I Street
Opening Performance: PLP The Unity
Emcee: Jeaninne Kayembe

Thursday, August 14  7:45pm
WEST PHILLY
Host: Friends of Malcolm X Park
Location: Malcolm X Park
South 52nd Street and Pine Street
Emcee: DJ C (WPEB 88.1 FM)