Friday, September 23, 2016

Meet Fast Forward Presenters >> Alex McNeil & Gregory Trainor

What is your Big Idea for Philadelphia?
Philadelphia Community Corps:
Salvaging our past to reimagine the future

Philadelphia has an estimated 50,000 abandoned buildings. These neglected structures lower property values, attract crime, and present dangers such as collapse and fire. Removing these buildings would have a positive impact on the city - this lies at the core of what the Philadelphia Community Corps has set out to do.

Traditionally, building removal has been done by demolition - using heaving machinery to reduce structures to rubble and send them to the landfill. Instead, the PCC utilizes the method of deconstruction to systematically dismantle buildings and salvage the materials for reuse or recycling. Through this process we keep nearly 90% of the “waste” out of the landfill while employing 7 times as many people as a demolition crew. Further, since we are not relying on heavy, pollution causing, machinery to smash the building, we are reducing the amount of dust and toxins (such as lead and asbestos) released into the air.

In addition to blight removal, the utilization of this method can create jobs in the deconstruction industry and other fields around material reuse. Our job training programs work with individuals who face barriers to employment - providing the skills and experiences for meaningful careers in sustainable development and material reuse. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Meet Fast Forward Presenter >> Mira Treatman

What is your Big Idea for Philadelphia?
Selling Out: A Future Art Market for Philadelphians

The notion that an artist who panders to outside (financial) powers is automatically labeled a “sell out” must die. “Selling out” is one nugget of something I dub the performance art “cycle of doom.” Individual artists complete a BFA, or worse a MFA, and start an entrepreneurial journey of self-promotion, but not starting a business. We teach our craft, day-job and generally don’t earn
a livable wage from our artistic practice alone. We do this all while training the next generation to come in and compete with us. We toil away in this cycle towards an outdated model of success: having our own non-profit. The future leaders of dance, theatre and the genres in between are going to eviscerate this unproductive cycle and become a model art market. Philadelphia will house
businesses where product-based, revenue generating performance art will sprout. We will reclaim our oft-feared yet extremely necessary place in the market. After all, what would we choose: the volatility of foundations’ funding or that of the market? We can no longer accept that the value of our art decreases if we “sell out.” With lower rent, geographic proximity to other art markets and really no other precedent for this, Philadelphia is a rare city where this is possible.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Meet Fast Forward Presenter >> Tom Maksymiuk

What is your Big Idea for Philadelphia?
Honoring the Past through Prosperity

How does a nonprofit organization maintain a century old 10,000 square foot building on a 4 acre property? With a lot of love and dedication.

Founded in 1909, the Ukrainian American Citizens’ Association was formed to provide aid to Ukrainian causes and assist in resettling refugees from Ukraine. These efforts helped to create a vibrant Eastern European community in the neighborhoods of Poplar and Northern Liberties. After a failed redevelopment effort by the City of Philadelphia in the 1960’s drove away the core membership of the club, it was necessary to find creative ways of staying afloat.

Having strategically focused on maintaining just portions of the property for years, the club is finally in a position to focus on growth instead of survival.

As a rental facility the grounds play host to fundraisers, weddings, and concerts all while volunteers plan events, make light repairs, clean the trash, and stock a regularly open social club.

Here is how we do what multitudes of other nonprofit clubs are doing across the city, coming together as a community to not just survive but thrive.

Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Definitely.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Meet Fast Forward Presenter >> Jason Kelly

What is your Big Idea for Philadelphia?
Everything but the Space: Filling in the Blank for Philly’s Makers

About a decade ago, a friend and I established a custom woodworking studio called Glueline. We had the skills, the talent, the materials, and the motivation. What we lacked was the space. We searched high and low and came across a good number of vacant spots. Many were owned by the city and all were financially out of our reach. We made some projects we were proud of in a parent’s basement, then we closed after a year and moved on to other things.

The experience opened my eyes to Philly’s vacant space and to its makers in need of a space — two things that should go together but are restricted by the barriers keeping them apart. In the years since, I’ve taken note as other cities such as New York, Detroit, and Reading fill vacant spaces with artists, craftspeople, and small business people. There are a few examples in Philly – but, in my opinion, not enough! What’s next for Philly is to figure out a way to play matchmaker for our growing population of makers and these plentiful spaces, leading to great benefits for the city and maybe even to our renewed reputation as workshop to the world.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Meet Fast Forward Presenter >> Carl Stanton

What is your Big Idea for Philadelphia?
SEPTA is Fine (But it Could be Better): How the Future of Philadelphia will be Determined by its Public Transit.

As Philadelphia continues it renaissance and growth of the past 10 years, the improvement of public transit is crucial to that success. During Philadelphia's last growth period (1920's through 1950's) trolleys ran all over the place, and Passenger rail ran to Places such as Allentown and Reading. The rise of the automobile and Philadelphia manufacturing decline, much of that was lost. As Philadelphia grows again, so too must its public transit. In my presentation I will discuss transit that was lost in Philadelphia, things that were planned by never built, and how those can inform future transit growth. This will include: Planned subway extensions, Discontinued rail service, as well as expansions in the works, such as King of Prussia rail, Bus Rapid Transit on the Boulevard, and Septa Key. In addition I will discuss of other cities that have successfully grown their transit systems, and how their success can help Philadelphia's needed transit expansions succeed.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Don't miss #WhatsNextPHL - Check out the 2015 Presenter Line-up!

Fast Forward is this Friday 10.09.15
Doors open at 5:30pm - the event begins promptly at 6:00 pm.
Philadelphia Center for Architecture | 1218 Arch Street | $5 admission
Hope to see you there!