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What is Philly’s Pop-up Play Organization Working on this Summer?

Pop-up Play is an organization that offers play experiences for young people ranging from one-day leadership events to week-long sessions, to full-on city-wide festivals. Late last year we interviewed co-founder Rebecca Fabiano about this interesting program. This summer, Pop-up Play is piloting a new summer job programs for teens.

For the program, Pop-up Play will train a small group of teens between the ages of 14 and 18 to be Play Captains, or camp counselors, on a small number of “Play Streets” in Kensington. These designated streets will serve primarily as places for young people to get free meals (through the Parks & Recreation Free Summer Food Program) all summer long, but the Play Captains will also host a wide range of play experiences on the designated Play Streets.

The goal is to train teens to deepen those play experiences, and at the end of the summer, the Play Captains will lead Mini-Festivals of Play on their Play Streets.

Later in July, ​​Pop-up Play will be facilitating interactive experiences at City Hall as part of the DNC on July 27.

Pop-up Play was invited by Councilman Bobby Henon’s office, along with dozens of other play-based organizations, to lead play activities during the DNC, says Fabiano. According to her, Councilman Henon wants to showcase all of the amazing and diverse ways Philadelphia plays and to create an opportunity for families visiting during the DNC to experience that.

For the event, Pop-up Play youth and volunteers will be leading a super-hero themed experience. Youth will create their own superheroes and advocate for the causes that they want to champion. Those interested in volunteering for the DNC event can contact Jen Brevoort at

In addition, Pop-up play will lead a giant play day for all of the Parks & Recreation campers (about 2,000 kids) on August 5. While the event isn’t open to the public, Fabiano says they’re looking to partner with performance-based youth programs (dance, singing, drumming, etc.).  If you are a youth, youth program or young adult who wants to volunteer or perform, contact Jen Brevoort at