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.

At the Bartram's Jawn Concert. Photo by Steve Weinik.

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

Photo by Steve Weinik.

“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

At the Bartram's Jawn Concert. Photo by Steve Weinik.

“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

At the Bartram's Jawn Concert. Photo by Steve Weinik.

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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reynald williams says

I was glad to be apart of this as a artists and to sit on the planning board. The support from the community as a turn out of all ages was amazing.To bring everyone together kids experiencing hay rides and open safe space.I can ask for the harvest fest and concert to stay on the same day as to bring more out and give more options to the community .Or as separate events it gives the multiple reasons to come back.Reynald Williams poets,mentor and community activist.