Nov 10

"The arts can bring people together in peace": The John Bartram Jawn Concert

by: Carly Rapaport-Stein

In October, Mural Arts and Bartrams Garden hosted a one-day-only event: the John Bartram Jawn Concert. The concert, built from the grassroots up, blossomed out of the collaborative work happening in and around the garden, and featured performers rooted in Southwest Philadelphia.

The sunny day and warm performers drew quite a crowd to the gardens. The audience laughed, clapped, and swayed with the music, but the fun, light atmosphere had a serious undertone: this concert was special to the community itself.

This concert meant a lot to Southwest. It took the time to highlight and bring a sense of pride and acknowledgement to a community that often feels isolated, alienated, and forgotten. It was dope that Bartram’s Garden opened their invisible gates to allow the space to be used in a way that seemed relevant to its surrounding community.”

– Sophia Poe, Hip-Hop Artist/Organizer

“That concert brought the love that’s buried by the community’s burdens to the surface. That day of unity showed us how much the arts can bring people together in peace.  It reminded us of the beauty within. Smiles were super glued to children’s faces. That kind of joy was contagious, and the adults soon followed suit.”

– Kyle JR Morris: Host of the Concert, and spoken word artist

“It means a lot to bring awareness to the garden. We need to keep the spotlight on the garden–the world needs to know about it.”

-LaMont Brown, Stage Manager

It’s something that should occur all over the city. I would like to see Bartram’s Garden be the catalyst of art inspiring change around the city. We all know we need it.

– Sharon Payne, community resident

Last updated: Dec 15, 2016

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