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After a joyful, inspiring exhibition opening in early May, the Staying Power program series is coming atcha! This series deepens the exhibition’s exploration of staying power by way of performance, discussion and teach-ins around themes including Philadelphia culture, Black creativity and home space, gentrification, and civic strength building. The series is curated by Staying Power artists and neighborhood curatorial fellows in collaboration with Monument Lab and The Village.
Staying Power is an outdoor art exhibition and program series in the Fairhill-Hartranft neighborhood of Philadelphia. Staying Power asks artists, residents of the neighborhood, and visitors: What is your staying power in this neighborhood? What is your staying power in a city and world that are rapidly changing? Staying Power seeks to understand, amplify, and invest in the staying power of Fairhill-Hartranft’s neighborhood residents.
Hosted by The Village of Arts and Humanities and curated with Monument Lab, Staying Power will feature prototype monuments by artists Sadie Barnette (Oakland), Black Quantum Futurism (Philadelphia), Courtney Bowles and Mark Strandquist (Philadelphia), Ebony G. Patterson (Chicago/Kingston), and Deborah Willis (New York City/Philadelphia) that each respond to the curatorial prompts of the project. The resulting exhibition will include monumental outdoor sculpture, photographic installations, storefront activations, and research and performance engagements, presented alongside The Village’s existing public collection of legacy artworks on the Germantown Avenue corridor of North Central Philadelphia.
Leading up to and through the exhibition, Monument Lab was invited to be in residence at The Village to collaborate with a cohort of paid Fairhill-Hartranft Neighborhood Curatorial Fellows, and work together through various methods of public artistic and research engagement. The project acknowledges and celebrates community residents as curators, thought leaders, and makers. Throughout Staying Power, together with this group, Monument Lab & The Village will also collect public responses to our central questions. This process of listening and learning will inform a final publication on the ideas, structural forces, and relationships that nourish or undercut staying power.