Meet the Tire Swingers!

Last month, we opened applications for a new initiative at the Rail Park, the Tire Swing Fund Launched in response to the pandemic, theFund seeks to catalyze neighborhood-driven programs and support Philadelphia cultural producers through microgranting opportunities. 

The past few weeks have brought many changes to our City. Civil unrest has unveiled the hurt and pain that generations of racial injustice have inflicted upon our communities. In that light, it is central to our mission to maintain the Rail Park as a safe, healing space and ensure that our programs continue to center and highlight the diversity of our neighborhoods.

We are excited to announce our first-ever awardees of the Tire Swing Fund.  While we received many oustanding applications, these five projects stood out for their creativity, connectivity to our neighborhoods, and thoughtful approaches to community building.

  • Bahay215:  Filipinx gardeners and cooks Nicky Uy and Omar Buenaventura will highlight Filipinx and Chinatown businesses by hosting “Eat-alongs” and building a planter in the neighborhood for traditional foods.
  • COVID-19 Wayfinding: Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission will produce window decals and signs to direct guests to critical areas of the building for specific services like dine-in versus to-go meals.
  • Porchtraits: Artist Koofreh Umoren aims to capture the strength of communities, households and families during this global pandemic through distanced photoshoot of people quarantined together.
  • The Paint>Initiative: Power of Paint Academy provides art and therapy to families by doorstep services.
  • Voices of the Neighborhood 2: Artist Ali Ruffnerwill follow up on her first sound//art installation by centering the stories of the current moment.

Stay tuned as we report back on the progress of the projects!

The Tire Swing Fund is made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation & 880 Cities through the Emerging City Champions program. To support initiatives like the Tire Swing Fund and continued programming at the Rail Park, consider donating today.