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Police Community Partnerships Offers Ways to Improve Neighborhood Safety

From Flying Kite

If you walk past North Philadelphia’s Rainbow de Colores Park on a summer day, you’ll see children playing on a playground and running through sprinklers, a bustling handball court and a well-tended community garden. Newly installed solar lights mean the activity continues well into the evening.

Five years ago, Rainbow de Colores looked very different.

“It was a playground that was basically controlled by drug dealers,” says Andrew Frishkoff, Executive Director of the Philadelphia office of the Local Initiatives Support Coalition (LISC).

Less than a block from a prolific drug-dealing corner, the park served as a base of operations for a local drug-trafficking organization. Community members were reluctant to leave their homes, let alone play in the park.

Beginning in 2010, however, community members, local nonprofit organizations (including LISC), a Philadelphia police captain and the local councilwoman joined forces to take back the space.

While LISC worked with community members to clean up the park, 26th District Police Captain Michael Cram and his team dedicated themselves to keeping away criminal activity. Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sanchez and the Department of Public Property delivered approximately $200,000 to support the cleaning and rehabilitation efforts, and the community drove the decisions to include the handball courts and community garden.

“It’s a little bit of judo,” says Frishkoff. “Taking something that is blighted and a hub of criminal activity and not just trying to move the crime but actually turning that space back into an amenity for the community.”

Read the rest of this great story at the Flying Kite at this link.

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Call for Frankford Artists

From our friends at the Flying Kite Media, Frankford artists who would like to be featured in a show.  The deadline for the application is December 9th.  See below.

On the Ground: Four Corners Artist Submission Form

ON THE GROUND: Four Corners Art Exhibition Call For Artists in former “On the Ground” neighborhoods We are accepting proposals for art for an upcoming exhibition being coordinated by Flying Kite Media, Painted Bride Art Center and Small But Mighty Arts.

This opportunity is open to artists: – who live or hold a studio in one of the following areas: Mantua, Philadelphia Frankford, Philadelphia Germantown, Philadelphia Camden, New Jersey – working in any medium – interested in showing work that is responsive to the theme of community or is reflective of their experience in the areas listed above.

Deadline for submissions is MONDAY, DECEMBER 9. Opening exhibition and receptions will be held on First Fridays on January 3 and February 7 from 5-7pm at Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street. The exhibit will run from January 3 – February 16. Artists will be notified by Friday, December 13 and can make arrangements to install during designated times, which will be shared upon invitation to participate. We have space for about 20+ artists (dependent on size of pieces, etc) and will likely ask participating artists to submit 1-2 pieces (dependent on size). This exhibition is being presented by Flying Kite’s On the Ground program, Painted Bride Art Center and Small But Mighty Arts.

Follow this link to apply.

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Big Money and Big Change Coming to Frankford

From our partners at Flying Kite written by Greg Meckstroth:

The Lower Northeast District Plan was officially adopted by the Planning Commission last fall, and its designers are now turning their attention towards implementing its ideas. Working with the Mayor’s Office of Grants, the Commission has developed a series of partnerships to secure funding — they recently earned over $600,000 from federal agencies and private foundations.

“The Plan has been a guide for everything we do,” explains Ian Litwin with the Planning Commission. “We are building on the strengths that Frankford already has which can catalyze future development.”

The grants were awarded for three key initiatives:

– A $75,000 grant from the William Penn Foundation and the Parks and Recreation Department will fund study of the options to return Frankford Creek to its natural state, connecting Frankford to the Delaware River and East Coast Greenway. A recommended trail alignment and suggested next steps will come from the study, which is already underway.

– A $200,000 EPA Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grant will fund a planning study and develop reuse alternatives for three catalyst industrial sites in Frankford and Bridesburg along the Frankford Creek. The plan will lead to recommended site designs and create the possibilities for myriad implementation grants.

– A $335,150 grant from ArtPlace America will support Destination Frankford, an initiative to improve Frankford’s commercial corridor through artfully designed signage and street furniture; a Globe DyeWorks storefront for local artists; and an arts-focused marketing campaign and website. The initiative will also create art installations in Womrath Park. Of 1,200 submissions across the country, Destination Frankford was one of 40 to receive grants. The initiative will kick-off on June 1.

Fine the entire story at this link