Art Party in Fairmount Park! June 8th

img-3The West Park Arts Fest celebrates its 12th year bringing this family-friendly event to South Concourse Drive in West Fairmount Park on June 8, 2019, from 1pm to 6pm.

“We are excited for the growth of the West Park Arts Fest, a day of arts and culture for every member of the family to enjoy! The participation of our co-presenters along with many arts, cultural, and community partners create a fun and engaging day,” says Betty Lindley, Founding Executive Director of West Park Cultural Center.”

Sounding the opening of the Arts Fest will be the award-winning beats of the West Powelton Drum Squad. Attendees of all ages will enjoy stages of culturally diverse performances by some of the area’s most talented dancers, musicians, and vocalists.

Breakwater (1)The Festival is excited to announce Philadelphia’s first ‘Funkfest at the West Park Arts Fest’ curated by Badd Kitti. The headliner is none other than Philly’s own Breakwater.

“Breakwater is so excited to be headlining the first annual FunkFest. Come Splashdown with us as we lay down the funk at [West Park Arts Fest!]” – Steve Green, Breakwater Band Member. “Funk is an important part of the sound of Philadelphia that deserves to be celebrated.”

Funkfest will captivate audiences with a roster of impressive performances and legendary artists including Badd Kitti, BlaqMel & The Problem, Mixed People, FAWZ, Expansion Project, My Funky Brethren, and others.



“FunkFest is an exciting first for both WPCC and Philadelphia.  We hope this will become a signature event that will bring West Park and surrounding communities together.” Badd Kitti, Funkfest Curator, and Host.


Performances on the dance stage include Take It Away Dance, Swing Two, Penn Chinese Dance Club and more to be announced. The event will engage the young and seasoned in dance, art making, and other activities including narrated historical trolley tours through the Centennial District. Two performance stages, work by local artists, unique art installations, an Art/Craft Market and the offerings of diverse food vendors, make the West Park Arts Fest a must-attend event.


Jane Golden, executive director of Mural Arts Philadelphia, says, “We are thrilled to be partnering with the Fairmount Park Conservancy and West Park Cultural Center to make the West Park Arts Fest exciting, impactful and creative. This festival has become a cornerstone event in Parkside, an area of the city where Mural Arts has long-standing ties. We look forward to dreaming up ways we can together bring art and murals to all who attend.”


Fairmount Park Conservancy and Mural Arts Philadelphia join West Park Cultural Center as presenters advancing the festival’s mission to bring communities together in the park, promote greater awareness of the area’s history and heritage while celebrating the arts and cultural diversity of Philadelphia. The festival is made possible in significant part to the participation of many arts, cultural, and community partners from West Philadelphia and across Philadelphia including The Franklin Institute, Mann Center, The Philadelphia Zoo, Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, and many others.


“Fairmount Park Conservancy is proud to partner with the West Park Cultural Center on the 2019 West Park Arts Fest,” said Ellen Ryan, Senior Director of Strategy and Planning. “The Arts Fest is a wonderful celebration of culture and Fairmount Park. The music, dance, crafts, and food add up to a great afternoon for families. Join us in the beautiful Centennial District.”



For more information please visit:

West Park Arts Fest




Art For Life Philly Honors Jane Golden, Judy Brodsky and James Brantley!

On Saturday, November 3rd,  Danny Simmons, and Rush Arts 

invite you to the inaugural Art For Life Philadelphia!

 Honoring Jane Golden of Mural Arts; artist, printmaker, professor, art activist Judy Brodsky, and artist James Brantley at this years’ Art For Life Philadelphia at The Painted BrideJoin us at #ArtForLifePhilly as we celebrate our honorees; showcase the #ArtForLifePhilly Art Auction featuring works by Derrick AdamsRashid JohnsonShepard Fairey & more; and continue to expand and highlight those central to our Rush Arts Philly mission: the youth & artists that bring our work to life!

Saturday, November 3rd, 2018
The Painted Bride, Philadelphia, PA
6p Arrivals & Cocktails
7p  Program

For additional information or to purchase tickets visit:

Rush Arts Philadelphia (RAP), a project of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation (RPAF), has announced the honorees for the 2018 ART FOR LIFE PHILLY benefit on November 3, 2018 at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia. It is the first time Art for Life is being held in Philadelphia. The honorees are Judith Brodsky, founder of the Brodsky Center which recently relocated to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Art (PAFA) from Rutgers University; Philadelphia figure and portrait painter James Brantley; and Jane Golden, executive director of Mural Arts Philadelphia.

Artist, poet and philanthropist Danny Simmons founded RAP in 2016 after relocating his home to Philadelphia from Brooklyn, NY. Simmons decided to locate RAP in the Logan section of Philadelphia to spur a revitalization of the neighborhood through the arts. Since RAP’s founding the organization has offered visual and performing arts classes to children and adults, including free progressive, multi-week programs, and exhibitions that have provided exposure to emerging artists and curators of color, while also introducing the Logan residents to high-quality fine art. RAP has exhibition and programming partnerships with the Barnes Foundation, Art Sanctuary, PAFA, the African American Museum in Philadelphia (AMMP), and Mural Arts Philadelphia (MAP), among others.

For Art for Life Philly, Danny Simmons hopes to create a new cannot miss event, with a more accessible ticket price starting at $150. Donors can further support the event by purchasing art donated by visual artists for the occasion.

ART FOR LIFE PHILLY’s hosts are Angela and Vanessa Simmons, nieces of Danny Simmons.  Angela and Vanessa were recently elected to the board of RPAF. Manayunk real estate development and entrepreneur, and Angela and Vanessa’s colleague on the PRAF board Lenny Bazemore serves as co-host andJo-Jo Simmons will serve as honorary co-host.

For additional information or to purchase tickets visit:

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4Ward Designs by Ria

Handmade Philly got the chance to interview Maria Chaney, a handmade jewelry designer from Philadelphia.  Maria runs a business called 4Ward Designs by Ria.  4Ward Designs by Ria is a handcrafted beaded jewelry business, which carries handcrafted bracelets for men and women. Maria has been crafting jewelry for many years, however, she launched her business a little over 2 years ago on April 9, 2016. Come with me to take a peek into the creative world of 4Ward Designs by Ria.



When did you first realize you wanted to design jewelry? 

I used to make earrings as gifts for friends and family in my late teens/20s.  My real passion came in my late 30s/early 40s.

What was your biggest fear when going out and starting your own line? 

Would people really want to buy the bracelets?


Where do you go for inspiration when working on new jewelry?

My inspiration comes from different things.  It could be someone’s personality/style; clothes that people wear; colors.

What is your favorite thing about being a jewelry designer?

The pleasure I see when my clients wear my jewelry.

How do you want customers to feel when wearing your jewelry?

I want them to feel satisfied and happy!

What advice would you give to those who may want to start their own business designing or creating jewelry?

Find your niche and go with it.  I started out with so many different designs and types of pieces.  I honed in on what I felt the most passion for.

Should BEADWORK and JEWELRY MAKING be considered ART or CRAFT?

I think it is both an Art and a Craft.  The art is the design and the craft is making the actual piece.


How do you decide what you want to create?

When I do custom pieces, I talk to my client and find out what colors they like…what feel they are looking for and go from there.  When I do random pieces, I just go for what speaks to me.

Anything else you we should know about you?

I love designing and crafting wristart for others…it is my therapy.

You can find 4Ward Designs on Facebook: 4WardDesignsbyRia and on Instagram: @4WardDesignsbyRia.

Be sure to check her out at next month’s West Park Arts Festival’s Handmade Marketplace.  Attendees of all ages will enjoy stages of exciting culturally diverse performances by some of the area’s best dancers, musicians, and vocalists. Some of the talent includes the popular West Philadelphia Orchestra, Badd Kitti, Gretchen Elise Music, Patrice and The Show, The Philly Clicks, Jasmin Yahne Dance Company, and many more. The event will engage attendees in dance, art making, and many other activities including guided historical trolley tours through the Centennial District. Attendees can buy unique items in the Handmade Market, browse other vendors and enjoy the offerings of diverse food vendors. 

To see more about the Arts Fest visit and   For more information
call 215-473-7810 or email



This weekend! Saturday Social at Tulpehocken Exchange

Join us as we open our studio from 12 pm to 6 pm. Stop by or stay all day. Bring a project to work on, or start something new. This is an open studio for artists, crafters and makers. You are welcome to draw, use watercolors, knit, crochet, embroider, weave, sew, or something else? Not sure if your project is a fit? Email us at

Do you play an acoustic instrument? Bring it!

Ages 12 and up. All are welcome.
Light refreshments will be served. BYO beer and wine.

Want to carpool? Join our FB group to coordinate.


Location: 47 East High Street, in Germantown.

Tomorrow! Open House at Tulpehocken Exchange!

espressoHandmade Philly has partnered up with the new maker space, Tulpehocken Exchange in Germantown. Join us as they open their doors from 3-6 pm. Light refreshments will be served. This is a free event.

Address: 47 East High Street, Philadelphia


Tomorrow! Handmade Philly workshop

winter handmade philly classes kirsten ashley v.3.pngEXTERIOR-SIGNAGE_tulpex_flatHoliday Silhouette Portraits for Beginners

Learn the classic art of paper cut silhouette portraiture. Take home a matted silhouette portrait. This makes a great holiday gift!

Handmade Philly member Kirsten Ashley will be kicking off our new workshop series at the Tulpehocken Exchange, a new maker space in Germantown. She will be leading this class tomorrow, Saturday December 2 from noon to 2 pm. Space is still available. To RSVP, email

Fee, which includes supplies is $40. Sliding scale is also available for students and those in need…hope to see you there!

Tulpehocken Exchange is located at 47 East High Street, Philadelphia.




Make a Zine Workshop with Katie Haegele!

Join us for a Handmade Philly workshop led by Katie Haegele on January 13 from 1-4 pm. What better way to spend an afternoon?!

Location: Tulpehocken Exchange, in Germantown.

Tix are $20.

RSVP by emailing


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