As students came back to in-person learning, this town outside of Philadelphia knew they needed something to spark a renewed passion for reading. Going strong into its second year, One Book One Norristown includes live events, book clubs, public art projects, and author visits.
Cinderella partying in the roaring ’20s. Huck Finn crossing the Rio Grande. Juliet sharing her love for Romeo via TikTok. An award-winning program in Chester County is reimagining timeless stories and engaging patrons in the process.
What a ride it’s been! In this installment, we chat with PA Humanities’ Laurie Zierer about her growing passion for podcasts, some favorite moments from season one, and what’s coming next.
A “main street think tank” is bringing people together in Northwestern Pennsylvania, providing a space for deep conversations, community engagement, and growth. The Jefferson Educational Society is also listening, expanding their reach into new towns and neighborhoods.
ARTICLE: With a new digital archive, The Mattress Factory stays true to its ‘for artists, by artists’ mission
After decades as a mecca for installation art, this Pittsburgh cultural institution is adding to its repertoire, housing the archive of iconic trans artist Greer Lankton and using digital tools to reach beyond the museum’s walls.
They certainly can, whether it’s through an innovative, low-tech museum or via oral histories of recent generations. In our latest episode, we talk about how institutions in Gettysburg and Philadelphia are bringing young people into the process of preserving the past.
Two programs in different parts of the state are using the voices of everyday citizens to build connections and explore deeper truths about their communities.
The historic south central Pennsylvania city of York, set amid the rolling hills and small towns of the county of the same name, has a thriving arts community. From downtown galleries to a lively music scene to myriad performance opportunities, this is a place where creative people thrive. In this episode, we speak Gregory DeCandia, artistic director of DreamWrights Center for Community Arts, where he is collecting the stories of 100 locals and transforming those interviews into a play. It’s just one example of how artistic energy can help a place tell its own story, and boost the local community.
There is a void opening in the arts media landscape — fewer publications, fewer critics — which means less attention for the city’s world-class performing arts scene. To tackle this issue, a new program from Theatre Philadelphia is offering a series of workshops that prepares participants to play this essential role in the creative ecosystem.
For thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers, the Lenape thrived in the Delaware Valley. Centuries of displacement followed, and now a repatriation project aims to heal old wounds. In this installment, we speak with Jeremy Johnson, Cultural Education Director of the Delaware Tribe of Indians, and Doug Miller, site administrator of Pennsbury Manor historic site in Bucks County, about giving the tribe’s ancestral remains and artifacts a final resting place.
This Philly neighborhood has been the site of everything from a Revolutionary War battle to racial justice protests. We look at how local historic sites work to be good neighbors.
There are many ways to build community. In the Adams County they used live performance and storytelling in a program called “The People Project”. This year’s theme, explored during an event this past October, was “My Place at the Table.” Essays, music, and visual art pieces explored the connections between food, cultural traditions and family dynamics, while also tackling bigger ideas: Who gets a place at the table? How do you find your voice?
We’re continuing the conversation about Pennsylvania’s libraries. Sue Banks knows libraries, and she knows what they need to do as the world changes and communities evolve. She shares her thoughts as part of our We Are Here story series.
Philadelphia has long been a city of immigrants — over the last four centuries, families have arrived here from England, Ireland, Italy, Central America, Mexico, Vietnam, Cambodia, West Africa. From all over the world. They have left their mark on this place through enduring cultural institutions, murals, architectural styles, regional slang, and of course water ice and weekend barbacoa. Lucky for us, people are still coming here — and there are organizations ready to welcome them. In this episode, we spoke with two such groups, both committed to the idea that staying connected to one’s culture is an important way to feel at home in a new country.
As the world changes, so do libraries. Whether it’s organizing board game nights, loaning out wi-fi hot spots, or encouraging conversation — no need to whisper — Pennsylvania’s libraries, and the people who work there, are ready for what’s coming next. To discuss the continuous evolution of these essential community spaces, we spoke with John Pappas, a reference librarian at Ludington Library in Lower Merion, and Linda Capozello, Director of Advancement and Communications at Reading Public Library.
In this episode, we’re headed back to nature. The Farm Arts Collective is based in Damascus, Pennsylvania, a town on the banks of the Delaware River in the northeastern corner of the state. Part organic farm, part immersive theater venue and education hub, this bucolic property operates at the intersection of so many essential challenges. How do we grow food in a way that preserves the environment? How do we take action on climate change? Can art and engagement transform a society? And can a perfect heirloom tomato win hearts and change minds?
From an urban ag/arts mashup, to a video series spotlighting traditional dishes, to a bucolic theater venue on the Delaware, Pennsylvanians are cooking up connection.
In our first episode, we’re heading to Millvale, a town of about 4,000 people right over the 40th Street Bridge from Pittsburgh. The riverside hamlet is home to an incredible series of church murals by Maxo Vanka. The Croatian-American artist explored themes of inequality, war, and justice in his intense, colorful work. Now a dedicated group of art-lovers, activists, educators, scientists, lighting designers, and parishioners have committed themselves to the preservation, promotion, and exploration of these remarkable works. It’s all part of an exciting new energy bubbling up in this historic town.
Created in partnership with PA Humanities, this podcast is all about Pennsylvanians making their mark. To get you excited about the conversations to come, we’re chatting with Dawn Frisby Byers, the organization’s senior director of content and engagement. In this short intro episode, she helps us define “humanities” and illuminates how their work helps communities thrive.
Funding for “We Are Here” comes from PA Humanities and its federal partner, the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.