For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development

Free Library Announces Call for Entries to Philadelphia Artists

Made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Library is seeking proposals for artistic designs to be installed at neighborhood libraries

PHILADELPHIA, March 11, 2014—The Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation is asking local artists to submit proposals to produce fully-developed artistic designs at five neighborhood libraries, as part of the Free Library’s 21st Century Libraries Initiative.

The proposed artistic designs should inspire community members to engage with questions such as: “Who are we?” “How do we define our community?” and “What is the role of the Library in our daily lives?” Selected artists will work with James Moustafellos from The Center for Design+Innovation, renovation architect James Keller, and the library communities to develop creative concepts for art in the new facilities. Each selected artist will receive an honorarium of $7,500. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is funding the effort.

The application form—which requires a résumé, relevant art samples, and a proposal summary and narrative—is available online at

Through the 21st Century Libraries Initiative, the Free Library is working with the community to redefine these branches to better meet local needs. The following Free Library locations will receive art installations as part of the initiative: Lillian Marrero Library, 601 West Lehigh Avenue; Logan Library, 1333 Wagner Avenue; Lovett Library, 6945 Germantown Avenue; South Philadelphia Library, 1700 South Broad Street (slated for reopening in the winter of 2016); and Tacony Library, 6742 Torresdale Avenue.

"As libraries continue to reinvent themselves in the digital age, they have become spaces that are more about creation than collection," said Donna Frisby-Greenwood, Philadelphia program director for Knight Foundation. "We're excited by the Free Library’s efforts to strengthen their branches as true centers of community engagement, and look forward to the role they will play in bringing the arts into people's everyday lives."

Applicants must currently reside in the City of Philadelphia and may not be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program during the span of the project. Selected artists must attend a full day workshop on Friday, April 11 and must also be available to spend time in the months subsequent to the workshop working with community members, Free Library staff, and others at neighborhood libraries to develop and finalize their designs. Finally, selected artists must be available to present their final designs at community meetings at each of the neighborhood libraries in December 2014. During this time the Free Library Foundation will seek funding for implementation of the final designs.

For more information, please contact Theresa Ramos, Program Development Coordinator, at

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About the Free Library of Philadelphia
The 54-location Free Library of Philadelphia system advances literacy, guides learning, and inspires curiosity with millions of digital and physical materials; 25,000 yearly programs and workshops; free public computers and extensive Wi-Fi; and rich special collections, including those at Parkway Central Library and at The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation. The combined holdings of these renowned collections—which include hundreds of thousands of rare books, manuscripts, and ephemera—inspire unique exhibitions and programs throughout the year. With more than 6 million in-person and 9 million online visits annually, the Free Library and The Rosenbach are among the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia and boast a worldwide impact.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit


Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850