Once Upon a Time in South Philly…

Billboard design is a project inspired by the Reading Promise campaign.
Located on 9th & Washington Avenue.

In collaboration with @readby4th | @muralarts | @themightyengine

“We need to change this narrative around learning, especially reading. There are many ways to tell a story. There are many ways to communicate outside of writing, outside of reading words in a book.”

Artist Statement:
I’m a daughter of immigrant parents, both my parents went where the work was and I knew that no matter where we went we would find a pocket of Latinx community in each city or town. That’s what happened when I moved to South Philly. This street made me feel comfortable living somewhere new because it felt familiar. I’ve found a beautiful community here in Philly. It was Philly that led me to my path in education. I’ve been teaching and working with the youth ever since. I’m currently in north Philly again I found another pocket of the Latinx community in Philly. This time I work with students who have mixed feelings about reading. As an art teacher, I know art is another way to communicate and tell a story. The reading promise campaign that resonated with me the most was to experiment with reading beyond words. To embrace oral storytelling like my immigrant father would tell me (even though he never finished elementary school), to stop, view, touch, smell, and describe the flowers and plants that reminded my parents of their homeland. Storytelling comes in many forms, I’m lucky to have parents that found a way to share their love for education even when they didn’t have access to it when they were young. I’m grateful to have created a piece for South Philly. I spend a weekend talking to families and to young people from all backgrounds. I took pieces of what they shared and incorporated them into this design. One 5-year-old child told me he loved reading about dinosaurs so I promised I added it to art. Together as one big community, we can create a narrative that shows the impact of storytelling. That it comes in many forms and everyone can participate!