about the exhibit

on view
public programs


press info

For Immediate Release


The National Constitution Center, in conjunction with the Slought Foundation, will present a series of public programs to complement the Into the Open exhibition and to encourage community activism. These engaging, thought-provoking activities will take place at the Center and at non-traditional, urban settings throughout Philadelphia, with public programming partner the Community Design Collaborative.

Download a Calendar of Public Programs [PDF; 76kb]

Events include:

A Vegetable Party
Friday, August 7, 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

The public is invited to join in a celebration of edible education on Independence Mall. Visitors will learn about the origins of the food Americans consume, and the principles of modern ecology, as the Center showcases the efforts of local urban farmers, chefs, and activists who are working to inform students and the public about what we eat and where it comes from.

This event is inspired by the work of Alice Waters and the Yale Sustainable Food Project. Waters, a renowned chef, created this project in response to the lack of nutritious food served in California public schools. As part of Into the Open, a model garden, located in front of the National Constitution Center, will feature local seasonal vegetables and flowers developed in local partnership with the Pedal Co-op and The Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania, with assistance from Slow Food USA. Additionally, Campers attending the Center's American Adventure Summer Camp help plant and tend to the garden throughout the summer.

Participants in the Vegetable Party include:

Philadelphia Water Department
Metro Farming
PA Dept of Environ. Protection
The Food Trust
The Philadelphia Orchard Project
Infill Philadelphia
Pedal Co-op
Greensgrow Farms
Penn State Master Gardener

Architecture in Conversation:
Jonathan Kirschenfeld and Damon Rich

Friday, August 7, 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
FREE; Posterity Hall

Architecture in Conversation:
Teddy Cruz, Michael Sorkin, and Aaron Levy

Friday, August 7, 6:00 p.m.
FREE; F.M. Kirby Auditorium

Alternative content

Download audio file [mp3 format, 27mb]

As part of "First Friday," visitors can participate in an informal discussion with designers featured in the Into the Open exhibition, including Jonathan Kirschenfeld of Jonathan Kirschenfeld Associates and Damon Rich, founder of the Center for Urban Pedagogy in Brooklyn, NY, who also serves as an urban designer and waterfront planner for the City of Newark, NJ. The conversation will take place in the Center's Posterity Hall alongside the designers' contributions to the exhibition.

Afterwards, participate in a public conversation with architect Teddy Cruz, whose photo narrative of the U.S.-Mexico border will be prominently displayed on the front lawn of the National Constitution Center. The conversation will take place in the Center's Kirby Auditorium and features respected architecture professor and critic Michael Sorkin and will be moderated by Aaron Levy.

Sustainability Tour
Thursday, August 13, 1pm
$35; Leaves from the National Constitution Center

A guided tour with unprecedented access to several sites in urban Philadelphia to illustrate how "We, the People" can play role in all aspects of our environmental stewardship--from development to use and, ultimately, to preservation. Inspired by the work presented in Into the Open, including that of Alice Waters and the Yale Sustainable Food Project, as well as the Center for Land Use Interpretation, the tour makes stops at Blue Mountain Recycling, Mill Creek Farm, and the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center, as it traces the path of waste and sustainability in our city. The tour concludes at the National Constitution Center with a self guided experience of Into the Open.

In Conversation with Deborah Gans
Friday, August 21, 12-1:30pm
FREE, Center for Architecture, 1218 Arch Street

Meet Deborah Gans for a brown bag lunch and informal seminar on social responsibility, community design and opportunities for non-traditional practice. Based in New York City, Gans Studio is devoted to rethinking how architecture can participate in new social forms by focusing on extreme situations that yield insights for the general population. The studio has designed infrastructure and housing for those displaced by environmental and political disaster in Kosovo, New Orleans, and New York City.

Repurpose! A Community Workshop
Saturday, August 22, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
611 North 40th Street, West Philadelphia

In the spirit of the civic activism promoted by the architects and designers featured in the Into the Open exhibition, the National Constitution Center and Slought Foundation present Repurpose!, a one-day community workshop and design competition highlighting the creative possibilities of urban revitalization in the Mantua neighborhood in West Philadelphia. The event will take place on a vacant lot at 611- 627 North 40th Street, currently slated to become the site of new affordable housing units.

The day will begin at 10am with a community workshop titled "What is affordable housing?," led by Rosten Woo of the Center for Urban Pedagogy. Presentations will be made at 12pm by Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell and Gloria Guard, President of the People's Emergency Center. Following their remarks, architects Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss (Normal Architecture Office), Brian Phillips (Interface Studio Architects), and Lindsay Bremner will lead workshops resulting in the creation of temporary structures such as an outdoor movie theater and shelter made from repurposed plastic bottles. The day will culminate with videos from the Precious Places Community History Project, a community oral history initiative produced by Scribe Video Center, beginning at 2pm in the movie theater.

The workshop is organized with support from the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, the City of Philadelphia's Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, and the City of Philadelphia's Office of Sustainability. Videos courtesy of Scribe Video Center. The plastic bottles used in the workshops are courtesy of Blue Mountain Recycling.

Download more information on the event and the Mantua neighborhood [PDF; 140kb]

Website presented by Slought Foundation | Terms of Use