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Music and dance education offer lifelong skills and opportunities for underserved students

Antoine Mapp used to approach drug-dealing teens near his West Philly home and ask if they wanted to learn to play drums to earn a few dollars. “Sometimes they’d say, ‘Get the [hell] out of here,’ then … they’d try it,” says Mapp, 41, whose grandmother started a community drumline, the West Powelton Steppers &

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4 mins read
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Queer clients are safe to be themselves at Germantown backyard barber studio

Tucked into a little corner of Germantown, there’s a backyard garden unlike any other. At the entrance there’s a black-and-white sign with a combined triangle and circle logo. After passing through the barbed-wire gate, there’s a stone path passing several trees and plants along the side of the house. In the back, a circular garden

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4 mins read
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Poet laureate builds verses with her community at watershed-centered workshop

Tapeta Mayson, Philadelphia’s 2020-2021 poet laureate, knows that residents of Germantown can have mixed feelings about water. The area is susceptible to flooding during heavy rains and the loss and displacement that sometimes comes as a result. A native of Liberia who grew up in North Philly and Germantown, Mayson—in addition to being a poet—is

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6 mins read
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An independent studio prepares to release its first zero-waste, feature-length film

This 16-ounce jar holds all the waste produced on the set of “Citywide.” Photography Courtesy Fishtown Films. A 16-ounce mason jar filled with trash feels like a trophy to Emily Gallagher and Austin Elston, cofounders of Fishtown Films. It was the designated place for all waste produced during the creation of their first feature-length film, “Citywide.”

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4 mins read
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Drexel student turns passion for sustainability into full-blown candle business

With tuition bills looming, Drexel student Janyah Green launched her own candle-making business last year, vending online and at local events under the name Monae Designs. Selling scents such as peppermint and eucalyptus, as well as seasonal specials, the 22-year-old, fifth-year architecture student has successfully created her very own Black-owned, Philly-local brand while studying and

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4 mins read
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Ten years into his photoblog, Conrad Benner reflects on its genesis, evolution and future

Fishtown native Conrad Benner was in community college, working at a gelato shop in 2011 when he started capturing Philadelphia’s street art. Connecting his love of photography and writing, Benner began what is now Streets Dept, a full-grown photoblog and community news source that documents street art and artists. From WordPress to TikTok, Benner has

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6 mins read
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Doctors gave this HIV+ West Philadelphia man a month to live. 15 years later, he leads creative, therapeutic workshops

Since ancient greece, and maybe earlier, humans have shared stories of wounded healers—people whose own injuries seem to confer upon them the gift of relieving other people’s pain. Multimedia artist Terrence Gore, 56, of West Philadelphia seems such a person. “Doctors gave me 30 days to live at one point,” he says. “That was 15

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4 mins read
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This Philly-based designer is making it easy for women to get tailored professional clothing

When Victoria Wright was getting married, her husband bought a made-to-measure suit for their wedding. The purchase was a lightbulb moment for her. She thought to herself “Why doesn’t this exist for women?”  Now, she’s bringing a made-to-measure brand that does to Philadelphia. “Women have so many fit issues, I feel like every other day

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2 mins read
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