Philadelphia has long been a city of immigrants — over the last four centuries, families have arrived here from England, Ireland, Italy, Central America, Mexico, Vietnam, Cambodia, West Africa. From all over the world. They have left their mark on this place through enduring cultural institutions, murals, architectural styles, regional slang, and of course water ice and weekend barbacoa. Lucky for us, people are still coming here — and there are organizations ready to welcome them. In this episode, we spoke with two such groups, both committed to the idea that staying connected to one’s culture is an important way to feel at home in a new country.
As the world changes, so do libraries. Whether it’s organizing board game nights, loaning out wi-fi hot spots, or encouraging conversation — no need to whisper — Pennsylvania’s libraries, and the people who work there, are ready for what’s coming next. To discuss the continuous evolution of these essential community spaces, we spoke with John Pappas, a reference librarian at Ludington Library in Lower Merion, and Linda Capozello, Director of Advancement and Communications at Reading Public Library.
In this episode, we’re headed back to nature. The Farm Arts Collective is based in Damascus, Pennsylvania, a town on the banks of the Delaware River in the northeastern corner of the state. Part organic farm, part immersive theater venue and education hub, this bucolic property operates at the intersection of so many essential challenges. How do we grow food in a way that preserves the environment? How do we take action on climate change? Can art and engagement transform a society? And can a perfect heirloom tomato win hearts and change minds?
From an urban ag/arts mashup, to a video series spotlighting traditional dishes, to a bucolic theater venue on the Delaware, Pennsylvanians are cooking up connection.
In our first episode, we’re heading to Millvale, a town of about 4,000 people right over the 40th Street Bridge from Pittsburgh. The riverside hamlet is home to an incredible series of church murals by Maxo Vanka. The Croatian-American artist explored themes of inequality, war, and justice in his intense, colorful work. Now a dedicated group of art-lovers, activists, educators, scientists, lighting designers, and parishioners have committed themselves to the preservation, promotion, and exploration of these remarkable works. It’s all part of an exciting new energy bubbling up in this historic town.
Created in partnership with PA Humanities, this podcast is all about Pennsylvanians making their mark. To get you excited about the conversations to come, we’re chatting with Dawn Frisby Byers, the organization’s senior director of content and engagement. In this short intro episode, she helps us define “humanities” and illuminates how their work helps communities thrive.