School and Community Partnerships

PAFA provides supplemental educational programming to support student learning, parental engagement, and visual literacy initiatives for predominantly bilingual audiences in the Feltonville and Kensington neighborhoods of Philadelphia.

During the academic year, every student at every school receives in-class lessons, opportunities to visit the museum, and a chance to contribute to an Art Island project, which is a multi-week collaborative project that allows members of the community to contribute to a permanent art project that will live at the school. Teachers at all grade levels and subjects receive professional development workshops, parents receive free family workshops to help support creativity at home and PAFA partners with other organizations throughout the year to present a number of arts festivals and celebrations for families in the neighborhood.

During the Covid-19 crisis, in alignment with the School District guidelines for the school year 2020-2021, School and Community Partners Program has transitioned to a synchronous and asynchronous virtual system. We continue to deliver high quality learning experiences through, now virtual, field trips, parents’ workshops, teacher professional development as well as through our art lessons plans, and video demonstrations.Virtual Lesson with Alicia Mino

About the Program

PAFA has lots of ways to learn, laugh and enjoy art activities, while staying home. Please check out the PAFA At Home resources CLICK HERE

PAFA is committed to a deep investment with the Kensington and Feltonville communities over many years, working alongside partner teachers, principals, parents and community leaders to use the arts to support critical needs in literacy skills for a largely bilingual community. These programs do not replace the need for qualified art teachers in elementary schools, but work alongside committed professionals to support student learning, parental engagement and visual literacy for all members of the community.

Piloted in 2013-14 with Isaac A. Sheppard Elementary, and now including  Feltonville Intermediate and Philip H. Sheridan Elementary, our newest partner, PAFA's School and Community Partnership brings all aspects of PAFA’s educational programs for students and families to the Kensington and Feltonville Community.

PAFA is also committed to building and strengthening partnerships through the arts and is always interested in hearing from organizations and schools that are interested in joining this effort.

2019-2020 Partners

  • The Free Library of Philadelphia: Local branches of the city's library system work with PAFA staff to provide community-based art lessons during out of school time to participating students, families and community members. Workshops are held during after-school hours using a drop in model, with no registration required providing out-of-school settings for families to create together.  
  • Taller Puertorriqueño: This wonderful community arts partner works with PAFA on professional development opportunities for art educators working in the neighborhood, hosts family workshops and collaborates on a big end of year arts festival for participating schools and families.
  • Providence Center: Committed to North Philadelphia’s Fairhill community since 1993, Providence Center offers education programming for children, youth, and adults. PAFA partners with them through their after-school program providing art workshops to participating students and families.
  • Episcopal Communtiy Services: This great Out of School Time Program provides after-school and summer camp services to elementary and middle school students in the diverse Feltonville neighborhood. PAFA partners with them through their after-school and summer program providing art workshops to participating students and families.
  • COMHAR HOPE: A comprehensive human services organization that implements community centers, community living arrangements, co-occurring behavioral health, addiction and treatment programs for members of the community. PAFA partners with COMHAR's Latino Treatment Program as well as their Allegheny Center. PAFA provides monthly guided Museum Tours as well as art-workshops on-site to participating members.
  • Mann Older Adult Center: This great city center provides congregate meals, recreation, education, health service, transportation and counseling for older adults in the Fairhill community. PAFA provides Mann's members with art-workshops on-site as well as guided Museum Tours for members and their families.
  • Baker Industries: A social enterprise, Baker Industries blends a unique mix of hard-to-employ adults into a nonprofit work program.

Art Island

Art Island is a collaborative art-making experience that brings a resident Philadelphia artist into the partner school for several weeks to work intensively with students, parents and teachers on a collaborative, permanent project.

art island 2019

Spring 2019: Philip H. Sheridan School

In response to the school’s request to have a project that would beautify the schools entrance as well as the first floor, artist Matt McKnight worked with students creating personal paper mosaic tiles that were then assembled as a whole and permanently installed creating a colorful and bright greeting into the school.

art island 2016

Fall 2016: Feltonville Intermediate School

In response to the school’s request to have a project that would beautify the schools entrance hall—a space frequented by the entire student body as well as all who walk into the school—artist Wayne Kleppe worked with students creating personal flags that were then permanently installed creating a visual unified banner of flags.

art island 2016

Spring 2016: Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences

In response to the school’s request to have a project that responded to their outdoor yard, an area that is frequented by the entire school in the morning, during lunch time and during dismissal; artist Mia Rosenthal, a PAFA alumni, worked with students creating personal symbols, prompted by questions that made students think of their own identity. The symbols were vinyl printed and installed in the schools windows that face the outdoor yard.

art island 2015

Spring 2015: Julia de Burgos School

In response to the school’s request to have a project that addressed their lack of library resources, artists Mark Strandquist and Courtney Bowles, part of the People’s Paper Coop artist collective,  worked with students to transform discarded materials into blank handmade books for students to fill with their art, writing, and photography creating “Julia de Burgos Own People's Library.”

art island sheppard

Fall 2014: Isaac A. Sheppard Elementary School

In response to the school’s request to have a project that would enhace their entrance and halls, artist Sandra Gonzalez worked with students creating personal tessellations which were then turned into a large-scale indoor mural transforming the way the school physicaly presents itself to students and visitors.

Contact Us

PAFA offers programs for artists and art lovers of all ages and skill levels who want to learn about and make art.