Through a partnership with the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine and the Chemical Heritage Foundation, REACH (Resources for Education and Action for Community Health) Ambler explored the history, environmental health, and community identity of Ambler, Pennsylvania. A play, The White Mountains, was the culmination of a project that also included a website, exhibit and publication. The entire project was funded through a Science Education Partnership Award from the National Institute of Health.
Produced by Ambler’s Barrymore-winning Act II Playhouse, The White Mountains brought together ten Philadelphia playwrights, who developed short plays on Ambler’s past, present, and future. These plays were inspired by interviews Chemical Heritage Foundation staff conducted with Ambler residents, activists, and government officials, and informed by research about Ambler’s history of asbestos production and ensuing environmental effects. Performed as a sold-out event at Act II Playhouse, The White Mountainsfeatured six actors, live original music, and a post-show conversation among audience members and project participants. A work of theater, history, and community engagement,The White Mountains is now a model for recording and sharing stories of how a community responds to local environmental issues.
Learn more about it over on the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s website.
Photo by Bill D’Agostino of Act II Playhouse
Walé Oyéjidé and Samuel Hubler’s line of Afrocentric menswear, Ikire Jones, is creating headlines around the fashion world. If the fashion game isn’t your thing, you might also recognize Oyéjidé from his other ventures, such as performing under the name Science Fiction and collaborating with artists like MF Doom.
Their sci-fi inspired 2081 A.D. campaign for the current collection explores the impact of present-day African society on the far future and is on display in the Vitra Design Museum’s Making Africa exhibit in Weil am Rhein, Germany. Learn more about this amazing clothing line on their website.
When Klip Collective first visited Longwood Gardens two years ago, they explored the possibility of using their unique visual lighting effects throughout the gardens at night. Generally, Klip uses buildings or other objects as projection surfaces. In the case of Nightscape at Longwood Gardens, they mapped their visual effects onto living trees and plants in the gardens, creating a whole new visual language and effects.
After two years of experiments and testing, the resulting installation, Nightscape, launched in 2015. Each animation and projection takes layers of textures, colors, and patterns, using the living garden as a canvas to awe and inspire visitors.
You can watch a video of Nightscape over on Longwood Gardens’ official website.
West Philadelphia based Peterson Goodwyn runs DIY Recording Equipment, a website where he lists numerous tutorials on how to make, well, DIY recording gear from makers all around the world. He also created Colour, “a modular harmonics generator that makes real analog coloration cheaper than current high end offerings.”
An upper body exoskeleton, the Titan Arm was created by four students at the University of Pennsylvania as an engineering senior design project for use in physical therapy and occupational lifting. It took eight months of development to prototype, with the resulting arm being able to add 40 pounds to the user’s bicep curl. The arm has been recognized by Popular Science and was the first U.S. winner of the James Dyson Award.
A mobile museum, the Philadelphia History Truck rolled out for the first time in May to tell the oral history of the East Kensington neighborhood. The creator, Erin Bernard, worked with the neighborhood to plan what stories the truck would tell and enlisted their help in sharing the history.