PhilaMOCA’s Eric Bresler presents a humorous, feature-length slideshow on the closure and eventual reopening of the beloved art space.PhilaMOCA was shut down by the Department of Licenses and Inspections in September of 2019, just a few months shy of its 10th Anniversary. After surviving, and eventually thriving, for nine years with a DIY attitude and a rarely matched level of creativity and productivity, PhilaMOCA found itself facing the inevitable byproducts of a neighborhood in the throes of rapid development. Legitimacy in the eyes of the city became a necessity to survive, but it quickly became apparent that proper zoning and an occupancy number sign to hang next to the front door weren’t attainable overnight. And thus began PhilaMOCA’s 23 month road to resurrection.PhilaMOCA manager Eric Bresler meticulously archived the entire journey, from closure to reopening, and will now recount the whole story as a humorous, feature-length slideshow that also serves as a history of the beloved art space. Relive his endless frustrations as he navigates a maze of permits and licenses, deals with a disinterested neighborhood organization, and ultimately faces off with the Board of Building Standards (via Zoom). Things seemed pretty bleak at times, especially when the pandemic rolled around, but if this closure proved anything it’s that there are people in this city who truly care about PhilaMOCA’s programming and mission. From loving support letters to desperately needed donations, it was really the support of the public, and the skills of a few kind individuals in particular, that enabled the building to reopen.Wondering what took us so long? Interested in finding out what is needed to open a space of your own? Still confused about who that 12-year-old kid was that took your money at the door and told you not to bring your drink outside? Come join us for the answers to these questions and many more as we salute the past while looking ahead to a newly legitimized (in the eyes of city records) future.Advance tickets for FRI 7/23:
https://resurrectionofjuly23.eventbrite.comAdvance tickets for SAT 7/24:
Meet our new Public Programs Manager
Zoë Rayn Evans Zoë Rayn Evans (she/her) is a graduate of Temple University, where she studied Communications and Art History. The intersections of art, community and social justice have been at the forefront of her professional interests for as long as she can remember. Zoë believes, wholeheartedly, that art, in all its various forms, as the catalyst for poignant dialogs surrounding complex, often uncomfortable issues, is an invaluable tool in unpacking the individual (and collective) human experience. She has worked in both the commercial fine arts as well as non-profit sectors. We are so excited to welcome Zoë to the Friends of the Rail Park team, and to share some exciting projects that she’s been working on with you soon!
Sprucing up for Spring & Summer If you’ve been to the Rail Park in the past few weeks, you may have noticed the park is looking freshly landscaped for the spring and summer seasons!
On May 9, Friends of the Rail Park was joined by 25 volunteers to celebrate Love Your Park Week with a Rail Park clean up. Together, we picked up trash throughout the park and the surrounding blocks, and added new plant life to the soil, courtesy of Studio Bryan Hanes. Thank you to Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and Fairmont Park Conservancy for supporting this clean up!
With a grant from the Philadelphia Committee of The Garden Club of America Fertilizer Fund, we were also able to install a whole new inventory of pollinator plants! With native flowering species, these additions will attract pollinators like birds, bees, and butterflies to help keep the park’s ecosystem healthy and thriving. We can’t wait to see the park in full bloom this spring!
Philly Fighting Asian Hate May 22-23, 11 AM to 3 PM As a response to the recent rise in anti-Asian hate violence, Philly Fighting Asian Hate is an event that will provide free 50-minute self-defense classes for the AAPI community in Philly on May 22-23, during AAPI Heritage Month. The event’s mission is to fight against anti-Asian hate, and empower the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community through self-awareness and self-defense training and education. REGISTER Sound Walk with Raúl Romero May 22, 4 PM to 6 PM This installation Onomonopoetics of a Puerto Rican Landscape highlights the sounds of the Eleutherodactylus coquí, a frog endemic to Puerto Rico named by the Tainos. Coquí is an onomatopoeia for the resounding call the frog makes. This work looks at the way the coquí sounds connect back to Puerto Rico and perform as a vessel carrying memory, culture and language. For some the sound may be unfamiliar and for others it may serve as a calling from a homeland.
The soundwalk will kick off at 4 PM at Vox Populi, located at 319 N 11th Street. At 5 PM, a short Artist Talk and Q&A will begin at the Rail Park, featuring Romero, Blanche Brown & Cristina Keiffer, and Stephanie Powell – artists whose exhibitions close at Vox Populi the very next day, Sunday, May 23rd. LEARN MORE Elder Hour 長者專屬時間 May 25 & June 1, 8am – 10am If you’re 60+, join Friends of the Rail Park for Elder Hour, every Tuesday from 8 AM until 10 AM, for free games, giveaways, and light refreshments. Hand sanitizer and masks provided. Elder Hour 長者專屬時間 At The Rail Park 在鐵路公園 Tuesdays 星期二 8 AM – 10 AM 早上8點-10點 Ages 60+ 60嵗以上 Sounds of the Rail Park NEW EPISODE June 3! Click here to check out a sneak preview of a Sounds of the Rail Park 2-part episode, a meditation with Nalaverse! Nalaverse is a women-led, Black-centered mental wellness community offering live virtual classes focused on yoga, meditation, breathwork, and sound healing. In this two-part episode of Sounds of the Rail Park, launching June 3 on all major streaming platforms, Friends of the Rail Park and Nalaverse will discuss the importance of access to the outdoors in mindfulness practice with Theresa Shropshire, co-founder and CEO of Nalaverse and A’Tiya Sinae, yoga instructor, sound healing practitioner and Reiki healer. In Part 2, A’Tiya guides you through a meditation set at the Rail Park. LISTEN TO EPISODE 1
Friends of the Rail Park is honored to be a 2021 grantee of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. The Philadelphia Cultural Fund is the mechanism by which the City supports the arts to enhance the cultural life and vitality of the City of Philadelphia and its residents. We are so thankful to receive this critical operating support that makes the arts and cultural experiences at the Rail Park possible.
Additionally, thank you to Councilmember Mark Squilla, and Mayor Jim Kenney for advocating for a thriving arts community in Philadelphia. Wear your park on your sleeve Want to show your support for the Rail Park? Well, we have great news! Our new merch site is finally live! We’ve got t-shirts, onesies, and more! All sales go directly to supporting the Rail Park, helping us with things like landscaping, maintenance, and community programming. We even have a limited batch of Rail Park hoodies, hand-dyed by local youth artists. SEE THE SHOP What do you want to see at the Rail Park this Spring & Summer? TELL US HERE Support the Rail Park When you donate to The Rail Park, you’re supporting more than just a park. You’re supporting a space where community and culture can thrive. Your donation will help us turn a piece of Philadelphia’s history into a safe and fun place for everyone. DONATE NOW Open every day, 7am–10pm
North Broad & Noble St.
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