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The Village of Arts and Humanities 1998

Yeh, Lily
Williams, Joseph
Physical description:
1 folder+ 3 35 mm. slides
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia County, Philadelphia
Village of Arts and Humanities (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
With the help of neighborhood children and adults, Lily Yeh, an internationally celebrated artist, and Joseph Williams built the Village, starting with one abandoned lot in 1986 and expanding into an organization and a community. They were joined in 1988 by "Big Man." The first sculpture garden, with an adjacent wall mural, located on a well-traveled street in North Philadelphia, served as the spark for the partners to transform despair and urban blight into beauty, hope, and urban renewal. Guided by Lily Yeh's vision and sensibility, most of the public art in the Village has been created through her collaboration with other artists and community residents. The vision of the Village is "to build a community through innovative arts, education, social and economic development, and construction programs. The Village aims to do justice to the people living in North Philadelphia and in similar urban situations."
The Village enlisted assistance from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's Philadelphia Green program in the late 1980s. Philadelphia Green became a source for technical assistance and workshops as well as garden materials such as plants, soil, and mulch. As other lots and buildings were added to the project and more neighborhood people joined in the effort , the Village grew in size and mission. In addition to the community vegetable garden and other garden space, the Village provides a wide range of youth and adult programs. Children's programming covers ages 6-12; teens from 13 to 18 have separate programs and also maintain all of the garden spaces other than the vegetable garden, which is maintained by a group of community gardeners. The participants come mostly from the surrounding neighborhood, but more and more young people are coming by public transportation as news of the Village and what it offers spreads.
Persons associated with the property include: Lily Yeh (artist) and Joseph Williams.
The folder includes a worksheet and abbreviated garden plan.
Local number:
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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