At A Glance
What: The Accelerator Residency invests in neighborhood artists so they can rapidly prototype and evolve their creative ideas for nurturing community relationships. The program makes strategic investments of money, time, and artist support to help expand or launch their initiatives.
Why: Our goal is to embolden and support our neighbors to take direct, creative action on the most pressing community safety issues facing our neighborhood today.
Who: Residencies are for any community members who currently live in, or who still have strong familial ties to, the Fairhill-Hartranft neighborhood; artist mentors can be any working artists, designers, craftspeople, and other technical experts selected by the Accelerator Resident.
How: Community members may apply for a residency. If selected by our community board, they receive financial, staff and promotional support for their project, and work with staff to choose an artist mentor to help them take their project to the next level.
Contact Director of Social Justice Initiatives Michaela Pommells if you are interested in becoming a Resident or Mentor.
“Staying in touch with people who are incarcerated doesn’t just help the people [who are] locked up, it really helps keep the community together.”
—Reek, Neighborhood Artist
Our first Accelerator artist is photographer and North Philly resident Tyreek Dekeyser. Tyreek is the creator and host of Broz Nite, a bi-monthly letter writing night that connects families and loved ones estranged due to incarceration.
As an Accelerator resident, Tyreek and mentor David Flores designed a Free Family Portrait and Letter Writing Day. Attendees included their pictures with letters to incarcerated family and friends and received a free print for themselves. The event generated over 50 letters for incarcerated community members.
An Inquirer article about the event generated numerous inquiries by Philadelphians who want to support Tyreek’s work through donations or organizing letter-writing campaigns.