West Philadelphia

 By Maureen Costello

Mantua: A Puppet Theater Raises Big Issues in Bigger Ways

Mantua: A Puppet Theater Raises Big Issues in Bigger Ways

[vimeo 18391663] “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 […]

 By Mary Coyle

Mantua/Parkside: Bridges Remain Neglected and in Disrepair

Mantua/Parkside: Bridges Remain Neglected and in Disrepair

[vimeo 18391693] 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 […]

 By Anna Hyclak

Parkside: Fresh Food Initiative Gains National Recognition

Parkside: Fresh Food Initiative Gains National Recognition

[vimeo 18393490] “Look, if you’re poor, we’ll give you food stamps. But if you don’t have a place to spend them, then what’s the point?” It’s a rainy Tuesday afternoon, and Jeff Brown is on a train to Washington, D.C. In just a few short hours, he’ll speak to officials at the U.S. Department of […]

 By Trenae McDuffie

Walnut Hill: Reality of Rough Times

Walnut Hill: Reality of Rough Times

[vimeo 18394748] Making a critical decision to get a hair cut or pay a bill leaves many under close watch of how their money is spent. Current economic conditions are getting worse. Money has become tight for many people of Walnut Hill, but others have managed to find ways to modify budgets and create other […]

 By Linda Lam

Walnut Hill: YES Program

Walnut Hill: YES Program

[vimeo 18392467] The YES Program stands for Youth + Entrepreneurship = Success. The Enterprise Center is the facility that houses the After-School Executive Incubator Program. YES Program partnerships with seven surrounding Philadelphia Academy public schools. The schools they are in partnership with and grants fund the YES Program. Not all students get the opportunity to […]

 By Lauren Gordon

Walnut Hill: What is Best for West High?

Walnut Hill: What is Best for West High?

[vimeo 18392424] For students, teachers, parents and the community, it was apparent that change was a must for the neighborhood’s local high school, West Philadelphia. In 2007, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s “School Report Card,” West’s eleventh grade test scores indicated only a 5.5 percent proficiency score in math, with reading proficiency scores hovering around […]

 By Trenae McDuffie

West Philadelphia: Families Find Ways to Pay for College

West Philadelphia: Families Find Ways to Pay for College

[vimeo 18394784] The SAT scores are in, the essays are written, and the applications have been mailed, but the pressure and stress of financing a college education still remains. The current economic climate has made money very tight in households. Even with tax returns and stimulus packages thrown into communities, many families struggle to pay […]

 By Taqiya Miller

Cedar Park: Acupuncture and Other Changes

Cedar Park: Acupuncture and Other Changes

[vimeo 18394731] Along Baltimore Avenue in the Cedar Park section of West Philadelphia a transformation is taking place. The avenue, which is at the center of the community, has begun to go through renovation due in large part to the attraction of new businesses both large and small to the neighborhood. Yet one section of […]

 By Sarah E. Bergstein and Christian J. Clarke

West Philadelphia: Tough Winter Brings More Potholes

West Philadelphia: Tough Winter Brings More Potholes

[vimeo 18395093] The next and newest battle drivers face after the long winter of severe weather conditions are the potholes plaguing the city streets as the rainy months of spring have begun. In West Philadelphia, drivers complain that Market, Walnut and Chestnut streets are both the busiest roads in the area and the most problematic […]

 By Lauren Gordon and Linda Lam

Walnut Hill: Messages on the Wall

Walnut Hill: Messages on the Wall

[vimeo 18392438] Throughout Philadelphia, murals brighten up neighborhoods and beautify industrial areas. However, for the residents of Walnut Hill the “writing on the wall” sometimes sends a controversial and confusing message to community members. On the 4800 block of Market Street, on the side of the first African-American nightclub in the area, a mural stains […]