Mantua

 By Maureen Costello

Mantua: A Puppet Theater Raises Big Issues in Bigger Ways

Mantua: A Puppet Theater Raises Big Issues in Bigger Ways

“The office is a mess,” Alice Manos says with a laugh. “It doesn’t usually look like this.”  She stands off to the corner of the Spiral Q Theater office and pulls wires across the open room. Alice has been working as a communications and development assistant for Spiral Q, a community-based puppet theater since August […]

 By Mary Coyle

Mantua/Parkside: Bridges Remain Neglected and in Disrepair

Mantua/Parkside: Bridges Remain Neglected and in Disrepair

Brad Johns waits for the bus at the corner of 41st Street and Westminster Avenue, resigned to the long wait. From his perch at this stop on SEPTA’s long-term detour for bus routes 38 and 40, Johns stares north, at the cement barricades that sit two blocks away at the entrance to the 41st Street […]

 By Maureen Costello and Mary Coyle

Mantua: West Philadelphia Community Center Enriching Young Minds

Mantua: West Philadelphia Community Center Enriching Young Minds

The innocent chatter of a group of elementary age children spills out of a colorful room filled with bookshelves and play mats. Dressed in smocks and wielding paintbrushes, they splash colors on to blank sheets of paper laid out on tables. In another room, an older group sits on the floor and listens intently to […]

 By Anna Hyclak and Sherri Hospedales

Mantua: MOMobile Center Provides Healthy Start for New Moms and Infants

Mantua: MOMobile Center Provides Healthy Start for New Moms and Infants

Remarkably, whether a child eventually graduates from high school relates to behaviors that child’s mother engages in during pregnancy. The mother’s behaviors can affect almost everything about her child’s future from health to social skills and test scores. But first-time mothers don’t always know how to properly take care of themselves and their babies while […]

 By Dustin Khebzou

Mantua: Food Not Bombs

Mantua: Food Not Bombs

A heavenly aroma spills outs from a bubbling pot of potato squash soup in the basement of the Cavalry Church. Claire Smith quickly turns down the burner and goes back to preparing three large trays of savory brussel sprouts. Paul Divido and Anna Jacobs take turns kneading dough to turn into luscious cinnamon buns. In […]

 By Emily Freisher

Mantua: Dancing Martial Art

Mantua: Dancing Martial Art

There is one place in West Philadelphia where fighting is acceptable. High-flying kicks and swiftly moving bodies pass back and forth across the room. The sound of sneakers hitting the floor—and sometimes skin—is drowned out by the rhythmic drum music reverberating through the room. Someone shouts out directions over the thumping bass and others listen, […]

 By Nicole Finkbiner

Mantua: A Rainy Day Peoplehood Parade

Mantua: A Rainy Day Peoplehood Parade

The forecast called for one very wet and mucky Saturday afternoon. But after having already been postponed a week, Spiral Q Puppet Theater’s “10th Annual Peoplehood Parade and Pageant” in West Philadelphia went on as planned. As part of their Parade and Pageant Program, each year Spiral Q artists hold workshops in the city’s most […]

 By Samantha Williams and Emily Freisher

Mantua: Daycare Centers Feel the Pinch

Mantua: Daycare Centers Feel the Pinch

[local /files/2009/10/fa0906mantuaaskthegovernor.mov] Some of the children of Heavenly Hall Day Care center know their ABCs. Others choose to defer the alphabet to focus on the basic motor skills needed to connect food to fork, fork to mouth. The play area, a messy toy-land of kitchen sets and building blocks, bursts with the high energy of […]

 By Emily Freisher and Samantha Williams

Mantua: Farming Provides Locals with Fresh Produce

Mantua: Farming Provides Locals with Fresh Produce

A bright spot sprouts amidst a string of deteriorating row homes lining Brown Street in the Mantua neighborhood of Philadelphia. The fresh patch of greenery located on the corner of 49th Street, known familiarly as Millcreek Farm, contrasts directly with the burnt chestnut coloring of the aged houses on the opposing corner. The once vacant […]

 By Emily Freisher and Samantha J. Williams

Mantua: Transportation Assistance Provided for Elderly Residents

Mantua: Transportation Assistance Provided for Elderly Residents

Public transportation for the elderly residents of Mantua and Parkside can be a struggle to find. Handicaps make taking local buses and trolleys run by South Eastern Philadelphia Transit Authority (SEPTA), a struggle. Further, with over 40 percent of the area living below the poverty line, affordable alternatives are difficult to come by. Seniors in […]