Stitching our Futures

Re-Envisioning the City Budget

  • location


  • Neighborhood


  • completion date

    July 01, 2021

About the Project 

City and state budgets are the unsung heroes (or lurking villains) holding our communities together. They can weave a patchwork of individuals and families into a rich network of support and community – or leave a good portion of our citizens out in the cold.

Learn more about Philadelphia’s budget process and create your own quilt square to illustrate what you most want funded in the city budget.

Calls to “defund” and “invest” echo in cities across the United States. Activists and policymakers are demanding cuts to police, debt servicing, and fossil fuels, and reinvestment in social services, financial safety nets, and renewable energy. Services that directly support, instead of harm, those most impacted by crime, poverty and public health issues banding communities together with resources rather than fighting for scraps. Disproportionately, Black, Brown and immigrant communities face a double-edged sword of underfunding, aggressive law enforcement, and environmental conditions that challenge their very survival. While budgets are complex financial documents, they are also a mission statement for the city – a real-world accounting of officials’ priorities. Organizations that advocate for a just budget recognize that building a multi-issue and multi-racial coalition is necessary towards providing for all Philadelphians.

Stitching our Futures is a participatory art project that brings Philadelphians together to learn about the city’s budgetary process and imagine the possibilities of re-allocating funds towards community investment on their own terms. Participants were invited to attend a series of online Teach-Ins hosted by artist Phoebe Bachman with grassroots advocates and city representatives speaking about their priorities for the upcoming budget cycle. Working through a materially-specific process rooted in the American tradition of quilt-making, these quilted squares will be pieced together to form powerful quilts; a patchwork vision of Philadelphian’s stories of community investment and the place of each individual in the fabric of our city. The quilts will be publicly displayed to foster conversations about the city budget and citizen-led priorities.

Over 240 Quilt Kits were requested and mailed out to Philadelphia residents! Though it’s too late to request a kit, you can still make your own Quilt 10×10” square at home using your own supplies and downloading the Instructions and One-sheet below:

Download “Stitching Our Futures Instructional Activity Booklet”
Download “Stitching Our Futures One-sheet”

Return your Quilt square by April 11th.
Register your quilt square through this form and mail it back to us at:
“Stitching Our Futures”
Mural Arts Philadelphia
1727-29 Mt. Vernon St.
Philadelphia, PA 19130

If you have any questions about this return or would like us to send you a return postage label to print, please email

Stay tuned for our Advocacy Days in April and June 2021.


City of Philadelphia


City of Philadelphia Budget Office, Social Justice Sewing Academy, Philadelphia Modern Quilt Guild