"Philadelphia Assembled" Artistic Team and Collaborators
About Jeanne Van Heeswijk
Jeanne van Heeswijk facilitates the creation of dynamic and diversified public spaces to “radicalize the local.” Her projects question art’s autonomy by combining performative actions, discussions, and other forms of organizing and learning in order to work alongside communities to take control of their own futures. This work has been featured in publications and exhibitions worldwide, including the Liverpool, Shanghai, and Venice biennials. Accolades include the 2011 Leonora Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change, the 2012 Curry Stone Prize for Social Design Pioneers, and the 2014 inaugural Keith Haring Fellowship in Art and Activism at the Center for Curatorial Studies and Human Rights Project at Bard College. She lives and works in Rotterdam and Philadelphia.
About Social Practice
Social practice is an art medium that focuses on participation and collaboration with individuals, communities, and institutions in the collective creation of a temporary or permanent community. The process involves careful listening, thoughtful conversation, and community organizing. This is also referred to as socially engaged art, social justice art, community art, and new genre public art.
Philadelphia Assembled Project Coordinator, artist, and community organizer
The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art
Kirtrina M. Baxter, M.A., is a mother, drummer, food justice activist, and community organizer. As an Agro-Africanist, she is dedicated to preserving and creating cultural traditions through nutrition, growing food, seed-keeping, and advocacy. She is the community organizer for the Garden Justice Legal Initiative, a program of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia. She also organizes Soil Generation, a group of urban agriculture advocates and food justice activists who inform policy and provide community education and support to Philadelphia gardeners. She co-founded the Ithaca (New York) Youth Farm Project, a CSA that engages students from culturally different backgrounds; Congo Square Market, an outdoor summer cultural market that creates opportunities for start-up entrepreneurs of color; and the First Annual Food Justice Summit in Ithaca. She is also the farm manager at Urban Creators and a member of the Black Dirt Farm Collective. Baxter received her M.A. in cultural studies from Union Institute and University.
Shari Hersh is a community artist and organizer. As senior project manager and founder of the Restored Spaces Initiative at the Mural Arts Program, she researches and develops innovative projects in the public sphere. Her recent efforts focus on socially engaged projects with youth, community, and interdisciplinary collaborations that address issues such as housing, sustainability, and access and right to green spaces. Hersh holds a lifelong interest in textiles and handwork, seeing them as documents of women’s creativity and social endeavor. She recently initiated a project called Home Studio Lab, which uses needle arts to initiate conversations about racism and white privilege. Combining insights from trauma-informed care with the recent surge in theory and action for racial equity, Home Studio Lab creates safe spaces for challenging dialogue and reflection on urgent issues of equity and connection.
Nehad Khader is a writer, curator, and image-maker. She is the managing editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies, a quarterly academic publication. She is also the co-curator of the DC Palestinian Film & Arts Festival, founded in 2010. With a background in Black and Palestinian literature and media, she has published critical articles about narrative and the politics of art in Al Jazeera, Huffington Post, and Jadaliyya, as well as interviews with Palestinian luminaries, including filmmaker Elia Suleiman. She also serves on the staff of Philadelphia’s Blackstar Film Festival as a film curator.
Mabel Negrete (CNS)
Mabel Negrete (CNS) is a performance artist, designer, activist, researcher, and educator. Born in Chile, she made her home in the San Francisco Bay area in the 1990s. In 2007, she founded the Counter Narrative Society (CNS), a research unit that works to initiate counter narratives about bio-power, urbanism, culture, and technology. She graduated from the MIT program in Art, Culture, and Technology in 2011 and now works in Philadelphia. Negrete is also a founding member of SPARKmakers and co-founder of Philly with Standing Rock/NoDAPL, Indigenous 215, the Mobile Futures Institute, and other social organizations.
Associate Curator of Education for Community Engagement and Access
Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art
Denise Valentine is a storyteller of forgotten and neglected African and African American histories. She worked closely with Reconstruction Inc., where she helped formerly incarcerated men build storytelling skills. Her performances illustrate the power of story to transcend differences between people, to transform negativity, and to inspire hope. She is a member of Keepers of the Culture, Inc., and the National Association of Black Storytellers, Inc. She is also a historical performer and has portrayed Sojourner Truth and Phillis Wheatley in reenactments across Philadelphia. She is a lifelong resident of Philadelphia and a longtime activist for peace and social justice. In 2013, she founded the Philadelphia Middle Passage Ceremony and Port Marker Project and Ancestral Remembrance Day to raise awareness of Pennsylvania’s role in the slave trade and to advocate for a historical marker at Penn’s Landing in honor of African ancestors who disembarked there.
Kamara Abdur-Rahim, Khdir Abdur-Rahim, Sharif Abdur-Rahim, Chad Africa, Ramona Africa, Aldolphe Alexander, Brianna Barton, Kamau Blakney, Tony Brooks, Eddie Brown, Rodney Camarce, Tempest Carter, Sunshine Coffee, Marian Dalke, Jenni Drozdek, Christopher Eads, Alex Epstein, Sonia Galiber, Cassandra Green, Charlyn Griffith, Jasmine Hamilton, Dusty Heinz, Amber Henry, Russell Anthony Hicks of Ebony Suns Enterprises LLC, Michaela Holmes, Miguel Huerta, Jeannine Kayembe, Annette Medford-Griffin, Stanley Morgan, Pedro Ospina, German Parodi, Dozi Pate, Fred Riley, Christian Rodriguez, Pat Ruger, Tinamarie Russell, Rashie Abdul Samad, Amanda Spitfire, Theresa Stigale, Gabriela Sanchez, Diana Larisgoitia
Lisa Adjei, Hakim ‘Ali, Ali Braxton, Erin Bernard, Alden Blyth, Kiki Bolender, Christi Clark, Despina Costalas, Herman Davis, Brujo De la Mancha, Mary Dewitt, Jorge Galvan, Maggie Gynestra, Hakeem Fulton, William Goldsby, Jim “Bear” Katona, Jessi Koch, Atiba Kwesi, Betty Leacraft, Nora Lichtash, Kevin Maguire, Kariymah McClary, John McMillin, Staci Moore, Ariel Morales, Deion F. Morrison, Nadiyyah Morrison, Talib Morrison, Michaela Pommells, Naomi Roberson Reid, CR Robinson, Judith Robinson, Raheim Taylor, Holly Trnka, Tieshka Smith, Denise Valentine, Lisa Volta, Mona Washington, Jared Wood
Ask Nicely, Sheldon Abba, Mayyadah Alhumssi, Chantelle Bateman, Emily Chow Bluck, Thea Renda Abu El-Haj, Lynda Grace, Hakan Graf, Charlyn Griffith, Daniel De Jesus, Willow Krake, Trapeta B. Mayson, Brenna McGinnis, Aisha Mohammed, Michael O’Bryan, Peter Pedimonti, Clayton Ruley, Ellen Skilton, Frances Rose Subbiondo, Acorn Swiggum, Catzie Vilayphonh, Phantazia Washington, Ron Whyte, Laurent Widjaya, Ricky Yanas
Alberto Oro Ayala, Howard Bailey, Priscilla Anacakuyani Bell, Ira Bond, Angelina Conti, Patricia De Carlo, Camae Dennis, Cassandra Green, Jondhi Harrell, Jean Haskell, Samantha Heth, Johannad Jones, Lamarr Kendrick, Nate Kleinman, Kevin Lee, Marlon MacAllister, Stephanie Mach, Erica Mines, Michael Muehlbauer, Sarah Muehlbauer, Rasheedah Phillips, Stan Pokras, Julie Rainbow, Chris Rogers, Patricia Sills, Gary Smalls, Brandon Stokes, Rubén Chicomeocel Tezcatl, Ron Whyte, Brittany Wood
75B, Amber Arts and Design (Keir Johnston, Ernel Martinez), People’s Paper Co-op (Courtney Bowles, Mark Strandquist), Traction Company (Steven Dailey, Miguel Horn, Sedakial Gebremedhin, John Greig), in•sitecollaborative (Larissa Begault, Julia Borowicz, Rania Dalloul, Nora Elmarzouky, Nadia Elokdah, Sara Minard), Janneke Absil, Nicole Allen White, Yana Balson, Eric Battle, Poetica Bey, Jeffrey Blair, Pascale Boucicaut, Maurits de Bruijn, James Cincotta, Helen Cunningham, Kate Cuffari, Abigail Dangler, Kerry DiGiacomo, Alexis Dixon, Olivia Dudnik, Gretchen Dykstra, Mahdi Sufi El, Nadia Elokdah, Jorge Galvan, Morgan Gengo, Taylor Johnson-Gordon, Jacob C. Hammes, Virginia Hansen, Adele Hayer, Chessia Kelley, Norman Keyes, Jason Killinger, Shelley Langdale, Dianne Loftis, Shivon Love, Charlotte Lowrey, Eric Marsh, Shanti Mayers, Marcel van der Meijs, Andrea Metz, Nia Danielle Minard, Jamie Montgomery, Bernice Morris, Femi Olatunji, Sulaiha Olatunji, Zein Nakhoda, Ailbhe Pascal, Elisabeth Perez-Luna, Andrienne Palchick, Miki Palchik, Khaliah D. Pitts, Nisa Qazi, Zachary Rawe, Les Rivera, Hiro Sakaguchi, Jack Schlechter, Kristin Schwab, Ariel Schwartz, Saigay Sherrif, Daniel Tucker, A.M. Weaver, Gee Wesley, Karina Wratschko, Billy Yalowitz, Josh Yoder, Youth Dream Trust, Linda Yun, Rashid Zakat, Ms. Nandi
Community Partners & Program Hosts
A & Associates, Ahimsa House, African Cultural Art Forum, Alumni Ex-Offenders Association, AORTA, Attic Youth Center, Black Quantum Futurism, The BLOC Party, Broad Street Ministry, The Center for Returning Citizens (TCRC), Coalition for Racial Justice, Counter Narrative Society (CNS), Deep Green Philly, Disabled in Action, The Dorrance H. Hamilton Center for Culinary Enterprises, Drueding Center, Epicurean Jerk Sauce, Experimental Farm Network, Fair-Amount-Forest, FICA Philadelphia, Free Library of Philadelphia Culinary Literacy Center, Granny Peace Brigade Philadelphia, Healthy Rowhouse Project, Historic Fair Hill, Illuminator Collective, Indigenous 215, K Is for Kitchen, Laos in the House, Lest We Forget Slavery Museum, Mighty Writers, MOVE, Mural Arts Philadelphia, New Sanctuary Movement Philadelphia, North Philly Peace Park, Norris Square Neighborhood Project, Ollin Yoliztli Calmecac, Partners of the Americas Pennsylvania Chapter, Paul Robeson House and Museum, People’s Emergency Center, Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance, Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations (PACDC), Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities, Philadelphia Middle Passage Ceremony & Port Marker Project, Philadelphia Radical Faeries, Philly Coalition for R.E.A.L. Justice, Philly with Standing Rock/Philly NoDAPL, Power Street Theater Company, Prevention Point Philadelphia, Project SAFE, Public Interest Law Center, Puzzlement Laboratory, Reanimator Coffee, Reclaim Printing, Reconstruction Inc., Sister’s Original Supreme Pies, Soil Generation, SPARKmakers, Stretch and Fly Youth Business Garden, Sunday Suppers, Sweet Nectar Dessert Kitchen, Taino Cultural Workshop–Philly, Take Back the Night, Teacher Action Group Philadelphia (TAGP), Thomas Jefferson University, Tillmon Community Garden, TOT’s Hot Sauce, Ulises, Urban Art Gallery, Urban Creators, Vietlead, The Village of Arts and Humanities, Voces del Barrio, Walnut Hill Association, West Philly’s Community Supported Kitchen, Wholistic Arts, Wikidelphia, W/N W/N Coffee Bar, Womanist Working Collective, Women’s Community Revitalization Project (WCRP), Wooden Shoe Bookshop, YMCA–West Philadelphia
This project is made possible by the William Penn Foundation, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, The Daniel W. Dietrich II Fund for Contemporary Art, Wyncote Foundation, The Arlin and Neysa Adams Endowment Fund, Nancy M. Berman and Alan Bloch, Lynne and Harold Honickman, Mr. and Mrs. Milton S. Schneider, Constance and Sankey Williams, the Mondriaan Fund, Lyn M. Ross, and The Netherland-America Foundation.
Philadelphia Assembled is a project undertaken in collaboration with stakeholders from across the city and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The views expressed by individual participants or in materials developed as part of Philadelphia Assembled are representative of the project’s collective conception and production and are not, necessarily, the views of the Museum or any other individual involved.
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