Check out these 5 Philly projects encouraging a 'joyful' voting culture - Generocity Philly

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Nov. 4, 2016 10:06 am

Check out these 5 Philly projects encouraging a ‘joyful’ voting culture

Next Stop: Democracy!'s "Vote Here" and "Vote Aquí" signs are back for another election, funded by Citizen University's Joy of Voting initiative alongside four other local projects.

City Commissioners Lisa Deeley and Al Schmidt shipping Next Stop: Democracy! posters to polling places.

(Photo by Conrad Benner)

Editor's note: Next Stop: Democracy! Program Director Lansie Sylvia is a Generocity contributor. That relationship is unrelated to this article.
Next Stop: Democracy! debuted during last year’s mayoral election, but its work in brightening local polling places continues.

The Knight Cities Challenge-funded project that birthed artist-designed sandwich board signs reading “Vote Here” and “Vote Aquí” made a repeat showing during this year’s primary elections. On Tuesday, the signs will be displayed at polling sites once again, this time joined by three new posters designed by local artists Amberella, Nate Harris and Monica O.

“Getting to posters from the initial signage was an evolutionary path for us,” Sylvia wrote in an email. “We wanted to see if we could replicate the enthusiasm and high quality from the signage initiative while making the signs easier to use, transport and distribute. Once we considered all the successes and challenges of the signs from the first round of the project, posters were a really natural next step.”

The posters were hand-packed into voter boxes shipped to polling places this week by City Commissioners Al Schmidt, Lisa Deeley and Anthony Clark.

NSD funded this round of the project with $3,600 from Joy of Voting, an initiative of Seattle-based, civic engagement-focused nonprofit Citizen University (CU). Five Philadelphia projects were funded.

“We chose projects that were diverse, creative, innovative, and had the potential to cultivate a joyful, participatory culture of voting,” said CU Program Manager Ben Phillips.

Other local projects funded include:

  • Committee of Seventy and Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians’ “Citizen’s First Vote,” a party held last week in City Hall to celebrate new citizens’ — well, you know
  • Nonprofit and digital marketing consultant Chawnda Blake’s “#JoyOfVoting Group Scavenger Run,” a three-mile run held last week in Old City featuring education about the history of voting in America from costumed actors
  • Muralist Meg Saligman‘s “Our Common Ground,” a participatory art installation hosted at both the Democratic and Republican national conventions
  • The Hopefuls’ “Patriotic Punk Rock Satire Spectacular,” a satirical (duh) musical about the election

The Hopefuls performances will be held Thursday, Nov. 3, through Saturday, Nov. 5, at 1fiftyone in Kensington. Check out more info on Facebook.

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Julie Zeglen

Julie Zeglen is Editor of Generocity. Previous to joining the Technically Media team, she served as managing editor of Star Community Newsweekly, a hyperlocal newspaper focused on Philadelphia’s River Wards. The Temple alumna lives in West Philly.

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