The North Philly neighborhood surrounding Life Do Grow Farm is a community that has seen many changes in the last several decades. North Philadelphia was home to many industries and arts during Philly’s peak industrial era up until the mid 20th century. The space that is now Life Do Grow Farm, for instance, was once a box factory and a refrigerator factory. The Uptown Theater, right around the corner from Life Do Grow on North Broad Street, during its golden era saw historic performances from artists such as Michael Jackson, Patti LaBelle, The Supremes, and more. Many of our residents are long-time property owners who have inherited a family legacy rooted in this history.
Unfortunately, through decades of divestment and factories either shutting own or moving away, the community’s economic stability was threatened and deteriorating. This inevitably hugely impacted the creative scene, causing many of the art communities to suffer as well. This devastation was compounded by racist policies that prevented Black Americans’ ability to invest in wealth and education, resulting in a deprivation of opportunities and resources.
Now, North Philly faces an impending threat of gentrification at the hands of opportunistic developers seeking to buy out multi-generational land owners in the neighborhood.
But North Philadelphia and its residents are resilient and creative in healing and empowering their own communities. Urban Creators is proud to be a member of this network of localized organizations dedicated to rebuilding and revitalizing the neighborhood.
Sanctuary Holistic Arts
University Community Collaborative
Philadelphia Youth Network
TECH Friere Charter School
Uptown Entertainment & Development Corps
African American United Fund
Philly Young Playwrights
City of Philadelphia Office of Civic Engagement & Special Events
Philadelphia Youth Commission
Philly Mural Arts Program
The Food Trust
AmeriCorps VISTA - Hunger Free America
Cooks Who Care
Black Healers Coalition
Norris Square Civic Association
Village of Arts & Humanities
North Philly Health Improvement Collaborative
Earth Island Institute
Cliff Bar Foundation
Ben & Jerry's Foundation
Whole Food's "Whole Kids Foundation"
Ignite Good Millenial Impact Challenge
Patricia King Family Foundation
Bread & Roses Community Fund
City of Philadelphia Cultural Fund
City of Philadelphia Office of Public Safety
Good Company Ventures
Temple University Fox School of Business
Merck Family Foundation
Pierce Family Foundation
Berks Family Foundation