Philly has been unable to shake its notorious distinction as the poorest big city in the U.S. More than a quarter of the city's residents live below the federal poverty line, and a whopping 48 percent of us cannot make ends meet. Today, Billy Penn and 18 other local news organizations are launching BROKE in Philly, an ambitious year-long initiative that will provide in-depth, nuanced and solutions-oriented reporting on the issues of poverty and the push for economic justice in Philadelphia. Here's more about the project and the situation it hopes to address.
Philly nonprofit Art-Reach has a mission to increase participation of disabled people in the arts, and last month, executive director John Orr pulled off one of his most ambitious projects. After nine weeks of rehearsals, a troupe of low vision students at the Overbrook School for the Blind put on a tap dancing extravaganza alongside professionals from Pennsylvania Ballet II. Snow delays and coordination mishaps notwithstanding, the project was an unmitigated success. After the show, both the performers and the audience had tears in their eyes.
Philadelphia is home to literally thousands of nonprofit organizations, working in fields from health to education to environment to housing. But it's not always easy to find one — either when you need help, or when you want to give funds or assist in furthering a mission. Professor Neville Vakharia and a team from Drexel's graduate Arts Admin program pulled IRS data to make an interactive map of Philly's nonprofit scene. Each org's pin on the map also contains info about size, longevity and contact info. Handy resource.
Last year, El Carnaval de Puebla, one of Philly's biggest Latin American festivals, was cancelled at the last minute over fears about the ICE raids that had been sweeping through the city's immigrant communities. Those fears were not unfounded, it appears, when you consider the reports that this region's ICE officers were the most aggressive in the nation. However, the festival is making a triumphant return this year anyway, reports NBC10, and organizers promise it'll be bigger and better than ever.
- Later today, Mónica will join reporters from NBC10/Telemundo62 and Philatinos Radio for a Facebook Live introduction to the BROKE in Philly collaborative reporting project. Look for the bilingual solutions journalism discussion on your feeds around 2:45 or 3 p.m.
- On Saturday, Danya will talk on a panel about the trend toward digital journalism at the Society of Professional Journalists Region 1 Spring Conference. Joining her will be Patrick Kerkstra of Philadelphia Media Network (Inky, Daily News, Philly.com) and Michael Feeley of PA Media Group (The Patriot-News, PennLive).
How are you planning to celebrate the marijuana holiday known as 420? If you're not sure, you can always join the South Philly NORML chapter, which is hosting a pop-up "weed garden" for consumers to "celebrate the freedom" they enjoy.
Where: Third & South streets
When: April 20, 2018 at 4:20 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
How much: Free