SPACES artists return to teach Virtual Reality workshop

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Two former Artists in Residence at The Village are teaming up with Elder Fellow Ms. Nandi Muhammad to introduce a new community workshop: Virtual Reality (VR) Storytelling. 

Artists Mike Keutemeyer and Anula Shetty met Ms. Nandi in 2015. Mike, Anula, and neighborhood artists Fred, Q and Wayne made a film that asked the question: who are the people of power in our neighborhood? They decided to highlight Nandi and Khalid, an older couple who runs a penny candy store in the neighborhood.

Through the lens of the project, Fred and Q realized that the Penny Candy Store is a unique public safety strategy. Nandi and Khalid have run a penny candy store out of their living room for over 15 years, and use candy as a vehicle to teach children counting, Black history, art, and communication skills. They’re remarkable people who foster childhood magic and curiosity on an ordinary North Philly block. Through discount candy, they offer kids a trusting adult relationship and a safe space to go after school.

The team created a short film about the Penny Candy Store and hosted a party called the “Penny Candy Reunion.” The event screened a short documentary created by Fred, Q, Mike and Anula; displayed 400+ of Ms. Nandi’s thousands of photos of neighborhood children taken over the last 15 years; hosted a story-share booth; and served plenty of candy. 

Now Anula, Mike and Nandi are working together and bringing more updated technology to bear on their project. Attendees of the community workshop will get hands-on experience in making media for VR on Monday 3/16 and 3/23. Virtual Reality (VR) is the future of entertainment and journalism and this is a chance to experiment with VR headsets and 360 cameras to tell stories about people and places that are important to us.

Spaces are limited and all are welcome. Register here.