The Collaborative will work with South Philadelphia’s East Passyunk Community Center and East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association (EPX) to develop a conceptual design for improvements to the outdoor space at the Center. The goal is to create an inclusive, intergenerational outdoor space where the community can come together to play, exercise, relax, celebrate, and interact. The East Passyunk Community Center is owned by the City of Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation, and was reopened to the community in August 2015. EPX spans Broad to 6th, Tasker to Snyder and aims to provide a forum for the neighborhood to have voice and visibility in how the community develops, to bring folks together who have an interest in improving the quality of life in our public spaces, while celebrating the diverse and vibrant character of the neighborhood.
In West Philadelphia, Friends Rehabilitation Program (FRP) will bring stakeholders together with Collaborative volunteers to develop a conceptual design for the renovation of a historic mansion to provide affordable housing and a community hub for the Belmont neighborhood. FRP wants to use the design and renovation process to demonstrate best practices in sustainable construction and establish the new center as a teaching tool for sustainable living. FRP is a Quaker values-based affordable housing and social service provider working in the Philadelphia region.
The Collaborative will provide a design grant to Mother Bethel Foundation for a conceptual design for the renovation, expansion, and possible reconstruction of a portion of their facility, which houses the historic Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church and Richard Allen Museum and Archive in Center City Philadelphia. The focus will be on improving the visitor experience and safety at the museum and archive—an important resource and interpretive center for the history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the first African-American churches in the United States, and Reverend Richard Allen, who brought together other black Methodist congregations from the Philadelphia region to organize the new denomination in 1816.
Store owners on East Wyoming Avenue in North Philadelphia will work with the Collaborative through a design grant with Nueva Esperanza, a faith-based nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening Hispanic communities through education, economic development, and advocacy. The Collaborative will offer conceptual design for facade improvements to leverage funding from the Commerce Department’s Storefront Improvement Program (SIP) and other available sources to improve individual businesses.
The Collaborative will provide a blueprint for schoolyard and other open space improvements for the Laura H. Carnell Elementary School in Lower Northeast Philadelphia through a partnership with the Oxford Circle Christian Community Development Association (OCCCDA). OCCCDA has been working in partnership with Carnell to support its students and families and their engagement in the life of the school. With the recent redesign of the school’s program, the principal has identified the transformation of Carnell’s schoolyard and other open space as a priority in nurturing high-achieving students.
About Design Grants
The Collaborative’s Design Grants offer pro bono preliminary design services to nonprofit organizations in greater Philadelphia. Nonprofits work as partners with volunteers from the design profession – architects, landscape architects, preservationists, interior designers, urban planners, engineers, cost estimators, and others—to put their visions down on paper and advance to the next stage: gaining support, raising funds, and building projects. Wherever a nonprofit's mission and vision are taking them, we're here to help. See our recent work or apply for a Design Grant.