Greetings Allens Lane Creative Community,
This year we celebrate a milestone in Allens Lane Art Center’s history, our 70th anniversary! In honor of this landmark year, we will be looking back for inspiration from our past, sharing our values of racial justice and inclusivity in the present, and creating more opportunities to reach out to our diverse communities in the future.
Our Founding: Rooted in Social Justice
The Center was founded on June 23rd, 1953, by a group of Mt. Airy residents, as part of a larger grassroots movement in the 1950s. Through community organizing, Mt. Airy residents sought to fight for racial and economic justice and to build a safe and welcoming neighborhood for a racially diverse community. The founders' vision for the Allens Lane Arts Center was for all Northwest Philadelphia residents to experience equitable arts and culture opportunities, unite over their shared experiences, and extend this unity beyond the Center to the rest of the neighborhood and city.
Our Present: Brimming with Arts and Culture Offerings
For 70 years, Allens Lane has been fulfilling this vision through year-round visual and performing arts education; our beloved Summer Arts Camp; community theater productions; monthly gallery exhibitions showcasing and supporting the careers of local artists; and free classes in ceramics and mixed media for those experiencing visual impairment.
Our Future Plans: Reaching an Even Larger and More Diverse Community
As we look toward the future, we are excited to plan for expanded community outreach and increased access for all arts and culture seekers in Mt. Airy and the Northwest. We are working on programs to serve our public schools, our senior centers, our parks, and our social service organizations, bringing the arts outside our campus to support our community in places with the most need.
Mark your calendar for our 70th celebrations! October 2023: Community Arts Festival
Bring the entire family for a fun-filled day of hands-on arts and crafts, games and other recreational activities, delicious refreshments, vendors, neighborhood organizations, and much more! Presented in partnership with West Mt. Airy Neighbors.
I Remember When…. Memories of Allens Lane
We want to hear from you! We are excited to announce a new initiative to collect and preserve the stories and testimonials of the many people who have attended, led, and participated in the center over the past 70 years. And we need your help!
· Share with us your memories – and photos! - of Allens Lane and how this impacted your life.
· Tell us what you’d like to see at Allens Lane in the future.
· Please help us spread the word! Share this with your neighbors, friends, and family.
It’s easy! Here are all the ways to share your story:
1. Fill out a questionnaire HERE
2. Email us at email@example.com
3. Record your memory as an audio or video file on your phone and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. (See instructions on our website).
4. Send a letter to 601 W. Allens Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19119, attention “Allens Lane Stories”
I am moved and deeply honored to lead this institution at such an exciting time in its history, and I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at our classes, plays, exhibitions, and events!