Get to know: Germantown Artists Roundtable

With one month of the 2015 nearly over, Germantown Artists Roundtable is prepping up for a year of community engagement, neighborhood renovations, and much more.

 

Germantown holds a rich artistic heritage: Inaugural Philadelphia Poet Laureate Sonia Sanchez is a Germantown resident, and many notable writers and jazz musicians have also come out of the area. Longtime residents of Germantown know there’s a rich artistic community where they live, but there have traditionally been limited outlets for those creative minds to be showcased. This is where Germantown Artists Roundtable comes into play, created in November 2011, the organization serves as a space for artists and those connected to the arts to gather, collaborate and connect to the community and build a network that affords opportunities for artists as well as gives the community access to their talents and skills.

The goal for 2015 is far-reaching and one that many neighborhoods in Philadelphia have taken on recently. Reviving forgotten spaces – “it’s as if the world ended and everyone disappeared,” says one resident describing abandoned spaces where papers and cups still rest in empty building.  While this may be the current image, Germantown Artists Roundtable is determined to make sure it doesn’t become permanent. 

Hidden City organizer Jeremey Beaudry along with Germantown residents came together in late December to not only celebrate the holidays but also to discuss the past, present and future of the neighborhood.

For 2015 they are planning, theWorking Party, an event aimed to meet and engage potential artists and supporters.  The party will include an exhibition completed by many Roundtable members and a resource fair for the community. The date for the event is yet to be determined, but it’s sure to be an all-out showcase for the community.

Paula Paul an organizer of Germantown Artists Roundtable sums up the power of this neighborhood perfectly. “I know how much beauty we have in this community, and the ability of artists to transform and expand what we experience every day as we live here.  I myself am a very visual person, and seeing our gardens and trees as well as being able to see sculpture, murals, paintings and photography in store windows, and interesting public works of art throughout a community, it all transforms a sense of how it feels to walk down a street.  It’s a completely different experience if you pass a vacant lot and there’s a community garden, a mural or a sculpture there than if you pass it and what you see is broken, abandoned and discarded.  Artists and their work bring a tremendous positive spirit to daily life in our neighborhoods.”

If you’re interested in joining the Germantown Artists Roundtable, the group meets on the third Wednesday of every month from 7-9pm at BuildaBridge (205 W. Tulpehocken Street, Germantown, PA).  Email gartistrt@gmail.com for more information.