Artist seeks messages for Callowhill skywriting project

Skywriting
(Credit: Asian Arts Initiative).

Callowhill – the small neighborhood north of Chinatown between Vine and Spring Garden streets and Broad and Eighth streets – has been going through a lot of changes, from the pending development of the Reading Viaduct to a flood of new residents drawn by a boom in loft renovations.

Artist-in-residence with the Asian Arts Initiative Dave Kyu is attempting to unite the area’s diverse stakeholders and help define their vision for the neighborhood’s future by choosing three messages that will in September be scrawled by skywriting planes over Callowhill’s airspace as a part of his project Write Sky.

Kyu has issued a call for participants to decide what those three messages will be.

Groups of four to 20 Callowhill residents are invited to submit their contact information, plus answers to the four following questions:

  • Why are you interested in this project?
  • Please describe the group you’re applying with.
  • What is your group’s stake in the neighborhood?
  • What, if any, is your prior experience in the arts?

Answers should be emailed to davejkyu@gmail.com, or sent c/o Asian Arts Initiative to 1219 Vine St.; Philadelphia, Pa. 19107. Responses are due May 31.

Three groups will be selected to participate in three one-hour workshops to determine the skywriting messages, with each receiving a $500 honorarium.

One to two representatives of each group must meet at least twice with the other groups involved in an effort to encourage collaboration.

Kyu will hire skywriting planes to spell out the messages during a ceremony in September.

Kyu is participating in the Asian Arts Initiative’s Social Practice Lab, a program introduced last year that supports artists to work on projects that spark dialogue and vocalize the concerns and ideas of a neighborhood that’s facing fast-sweeping economic and social change.


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