Philadelphia Alumnae Steps Up Its “Selfie Game”

Submitted by Emilee J. Taylor and Crystal Clark

On Dec. 17, 2022, the Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter (PAC) Arts and Letters Committee, along with the PAC Delta Academy and Delta Gems program, participated in an art activity titled “The Selfie Mural Portrait Project.” The event was made possible through the collaboration with the Germantown ArtHaus, a Philadelphia Community Art Institution founded and directed by African-American artist and teacher, Keisha Whatley.

The Germantown ArtHaus, located in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, is an arts center in the making. As part of the renovation and development of the ArtHaus building, community participants have been invited to create “Selfie Portraits,’’ that will later become a part of a collective mural that will spell out “HOPE” of which will be located on the outside of the building. The mural will measure more than 1,200 square feet and will represent how the arts will lead to the “Gateway of HOPE.” This project is one of many activities taking place as part of the renovation of the art center building which includes the development of an arts café and gallery, arts education classes, and artists’ studios. Ms. Whatley felt a need for such a center to fill the void of nonexistent community arts programs in this section of Philadelphia.

After a successful virtual arts collaboration with Arts & Letters, Delta Academy and Delta Gems during the 2021-2022 sorority year, the committees continued the collaboration to further emphasize the message of creativity and the healing properties of the arts for young people, by arranging for their participation is this enlightening project. Keisha Whatley planned the special workshop for the Youth Group participants, where 25 young ladies were actively engaged throughout the workshop as they created their “Selfies.” Many of them were pleasantly surprised with their results!

The committees were fortunate to have access to the art room of the Philadelphia School where the Delta Academy and Delta Gems meet once a month, to conduct the workshop. Dr. Penny Sparks Nixon, Chapter President; Committee Co-Chairs; committee members from Arts & Letters, Delta Academy and Delta Gems and parent volunteers were in attendance for the workshop. A few of the parents joined in and created their own selfie portraits.

The morning proved to be enjoyable and productive for the young ladies, as they talked with pride about their work with their parents and the committee members. They expressed their excitement of looking forward to seeing their portraits and other completed paintings as part

of the permanent collective community mural.

The committees were also excited about the participation of the Delta Academy and Delta Gems and look forward to future collaborations.

2 thoughts on “Philadelphia Alumnae Steps Up Its “Selfie Game””

  1. Wow, This is awesome! I love what they’re experiencing with self-expression! My neice Akofa I’m sure is fortunate to be a part of it all! Can’t wait to visit snd see that portrait up close!

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