About the Project
Artist Swoon returned to Philadelphia in the spring of 2018 for a trauma-informed, individual-focused project in Kensington. In collaboration with artist and therapist Jessica Radovich and storyteller Heather Box of The Million Person Project, Swoon offered near-daily open-door workshops at the Kensington Storefront in April and May. Visitors to the Storefront learned self-care techniques through narrative and visual art. Weekly harm-reduction workshops connected participants to further resources at the nearby Prevention Point facility, across the street from a shelter where outdoor lighting and seating will renew this public space for all.
Out of the workshops, Swoon was inspired to design Healing Begins Through Connection, a mural that speaks to the strength of the Kensington community, which will be installed at the shelter. Centering the perspective of those marginalized by trauma and addiction, Swoon’s portrait-based design features the faces and stories of workshop participants. The background, designed by Swoon and created by lead muralist Doug Woods, is a bright and colorful geometric pattern that throws the portraits into high relief. The work continues through the fall with a storytelling zine and a behavioral health conference on October 29, featuring renowned speaker and author Dr. Gabor Maté.
City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services
Department of Licenses & Inspections
Drug Enforcement Administration Philadelphia Field Division
National Endowment for the Arts
Patricia Kind Family Foundation
Stavros Niarchos Foundation
TD Charitable Foundation
Prevention Point Philadelphia
New Kensington CDC