Spiral Q's Peoplehood newspaper 2008

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Parade at 1PM

Pageant around 2:30PM

WELCOME TO PEOPLEHOOD hood, my Welcome to People ay! Philadelphia holid

That fall, after the Republican National Convention when many of us had gotten arrested, we were tired. Puppets had been built and destroyed, and I was coming into myself, leaving the life of artist cleaning lady and entering the world of community art and protest. But fall had arrived, and with fall came Spiral Q’s annual culminating giant puppet parade and pageant. It was the parade of all parades. The parade that had begun as a Day of the Dead celebration on South Street, Philly’s boardwalk moved to West Philadelphia. With the move came questions about the appropriative nature of a group of mostly white artists hosting a Latina procession ritual around death and mourning.


or, like re for the first time Whether you are he your view Peoplehood as to e m co ve ha e, m to a holiday, we want favorite Philadelphi in the e ak invite you to part welcome you and rticipate... e many ways to pa festivities. There ar , volunhbors in the parade ig ne ur yo ith w k wal er with eer for the day, gath teer to be a puppet Park, rk on the slope in Cla friends and family and/or dance in the park w, ne ne eo m so t ee m s all urces and ideas. It’ so re e, tim e m so donate about d thinking together about being here an tive ways. city in new and crea r ou d an ld or w e th s and d share your dream So please join in an derful, on w le in this crazy, inspirations as peop lehood! op timately possible Pe challenging and ul

Images from Peoplehood 2007

Origins of a Philly Parade

Christina Cantrill ir and Spiral Q Board Cha ipant since 2000 Peoplehood partic

Every year, a tremendous coalition of people, resources, spirit, artistry, imagination and PUPPETS come together to create the Peoplehood parade and pageant. Ever wondered what it takes to pull all that together in just a few short months? • One beautiful vision of our community’s creative potential • 2 yellow trucks from our Penske friends



Peoplehood 2000

By Beth Pulcinella

There are times when I have seen in myself the pulse of determination that pulls me to moments of clarity and wisdom. Peoplehood is one of these manifestations. I came to know, volunteer and work with Spiral Q in April of 2000. The building at 13th and Sansom that was home to the Q was magic. I had grown up in Baltimore in the 80s and 90s and urban ruins, shards of old architecture, seemed to hold all the possibilities one could dream. We cooked lunch and papiermache on a propane stove and worked at makeshift desks in the middle of a forest of houseplants. It was cold and dim; extension cords ran from the third floor to the fifth floor studio. I remember those days with such joy. I felt belonging, and felt closer to understanding how artists can work in conjunction with activists.

• 3 parade permits reminding us of our right to assemble • 4 drill teams, bands, and choirs • A dozen trips to the printer • 20 community partners who host Q workshops, march in the parade, and perform in the pageant • 25 gallons of house paint

• 30 steaming pots of papier-mache • 40 plus artists to mache through the night • 70 Rapid 31 staple pliers (if you don’t know this one, ask somebody...) •250+ dedicated volunteers and friends who contributed ideas, built puppets, spread the word, set it up, broke it down, marched the march, sang the songs and danced the dance

Still, it felt important to host the parade, but there were changes that had to be made. There we were, a group of brainstormers wondering how to give our parade a new name, a new spirit. It had gotten dark early. Through the lush houseplant jungle, the city streetlights glowed. We were in a circle of chairs, 15 people or so. I remember my excitement and nervousness, a dusky magical glow and faces emerging and receding from the shadows, lots of dialogue. The list that we generated that evening for a new parade title was embarrassing. I think we even voted on a new name, marketing the parade had to start immediately. I can’t remember that name, but I do viscerally recall a deep dissatisfaction and a determination to find a better word or phrase. I asked if we could hold off until the morning for our final decision. The bike ride home was a giant brain scan. I was searching the buildings, the crevices of my mind for something better. We needed something short, something catchy, something simple and honest, a name we could grow into and around, a word that communicated the vast possibilities and expanses, something that celebrated the glory and complications of living as a human in the 21st century, and we needed something fun. I remember opening my front door and walking to my studio, my desk, my dictionary. There was a time when the pages of Webster’s Dictionary, a tattered book that my mom had bought me before I left for college, held all the inspiration and answers. I started flipping through the pages, there was a magnetic fervor in the still late night studio, the El rumbled by, two cats fought out back. I am pretty sure I did not start at “A” but I very well might have. I can taste that night and the feeling of complete certainty, when it leapt at me from the dictionary pages:

“Peoplehood, n 1. the quality or state of constituting a people 2. the awareness of the underlying unity that makes the individual part of a people.”

• Hundreds of puppets and props • 3,000+ square feet of recycled cardboard • 5,000 square feet of studio space • 7,920 feet of open road • 10,000 square feet of public space • a whole grove of bamboo (practically) • AND YOU!



Education Works at Gray’s Ferry Beacon, Peoplehood 2006

Powelton Steppers, Peoplehood 2007

The Community Partners Who Made Peoplehood! Spiral Q’s

Board of Directors Neighborhood Bike Works, Peoplehood 2007

Tracy Broyles, Executive Director Liza Goodell, Production Manager Ted Enoch, Program Director Becca Jones, Communications Coordinator Angie Arahood, Pageant Artist Jonathan Ashton, Pageant Artist Rose Levine, Pageant Artist* Beth Nixon, Pageant Artist Kestrel Plump, Pageant Artist Beth Pulcinella, Pageant Artist Jamie Lynn Schilling, Pageant Artist* Jennifer Turnbull, Pageant Artist* Brian Adams Morgan Andrews Nita Algarin** Shayne Bargman** Karen Barker Breanna Barton Katy Beckmann Joanne Buda MaryBeth Campoli Georgette Chalker Roxanne Cromwell** Annie Daley** Jimmy Dunn Joanna Grimm Jesse Harding** Robin Hernandez** David Hilbert Christianne Kapps Brett Keyser James LaMarre Victoria Lockerman** Erica Mandell** Dominique Mitchell** Curtis Nouchi** Meg O’Donnell** Michelle Posadas Leslie Rogers Natalie Roy** Rory Sykes Chloe Tucker Pablo Virgo Virginia Warwick** Karyl Weber Most Photos by: Pablo Virgo Poster Design: Liza Goodell *Spiral Q Teaching Artist Design Intern: James LaMarre **Spiral Q Intern

Peoplehood Team, 2007

The Peoplehood Team

Christina Cantrill, Chair Melissa DeShields, Vice Chair Pamela Leland, Treasurer Dustin Kidd, Secretary Regina Bynum Morgen Cheshire J. Martin Futrell Robert Goodman Keith Ragone Christy Schneider Michelle Schmitt

The Paul Robeson House West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance Clark Park EducationWorks at Gray’s Ferry Girard Medical Center Malcolm X Park Marching Thunder Neighborhood Bike Works New Jerualem New Life Consumer Center Shepherd Recreation Center Southwest Community Enrichment Center The Garden at Pearl & Conestoga The West Powelton Steppers Urban Tree Connection

Paul Robeson House, Peoplehood 2007

Girard Medical Center, Peoplehood 2007



“I am consistently frustrated by the prevalence of the binary system in our society, whether it be republican/democrat, gay/straight, black/white, etc. I wanted this scene to capture some of that frustration. The many animals represent the diversity in our communities, and the literal masks the figurative “masks” we are encouraged to wear, that rarely are a perfect fit.” - Angie Arahood, Peoplehood Artist



For this year’s Peoplehood we set out to create a pageant about the electoral process, American dreams, and democracy. At the heart of Spiral Q’s work is a belief that the collaborative creative act is in itself an exercise in democracy, that through this process we practice participatory democracy, as we exercise our right to free speech and our right to assemble. We often think and speak of our democratic rights as things that just exist, but really they are more like the potential of an athlete, which will only be activated through practice. So we wanted to find a way to get as many people as possible involved in a kind of democratic “spring training.” First, we held open sessions at Clark Park and at Spiral Q , to listen, to try to understand what elements of the creation process worked well in previous years, to speak of dreams about how it might also be done differently, to identify missed opportunities, to imagine who else might be involved, and how we might invite their participation. Then, we went back to the drawing board and took the concept of the “open studios” that had for years been the forum for creating Peoplehood and turned them inside out. Rather than simply opening Spiral Q’s studio to the community, we would invert the process, and take the studio to the people. We invited all who were interested in assuming responsibility for creating the pageant to identify a public space in which they would work. We then assembled this team of community artists and held a brainstorming session at Spiral Q to explore this unique moment in history, this here and now of the state of elections in this country. The team wound its way around democracy, inclusion, exclusion, American dreams, community organizing, disenchantment, abuse of power…again and again, the conversation returned to the who, to the understanding that our experience of democracy is very different depending on who we are, on how we do or don’t fit into the system, on how we, the people, have been represented or misrepresented or not represented at all. This pageant only scrapes the surface of the many thoughts of the many participants that have spiraled in and out in the creation process. So back to the process…we realized that if we were going to create work under the auspices of “Peoplehood”—especially a work about democracy—we needed to be more successful in involving who is telling that story. So this team of artists spun out into public spaces throughout West Philadelphia to find out what would come of using this process as an opportunity to talk about the democratic process, to get us working together on expressing what is important to us. We walked through neighborhoods, going door to door talking, listening, asking questions. We worked with groups to explore the same questions, and what you see in this year’s Peoplehood is an amalgamation of all of these shared experiences… artists working in public spaces, leading workshops with groups, walking and talking with neighbors, with the goal ever in mind to seek out more voices, to use the experience to expand our understanding, to push beyond our individual experience. The team returned to the Q again and again to bring these voices and images together and then the team spun out again, brining stories from one to another and slowly it developed.



1776 – Declaration of Independence… all men (!) are created equal… Governments… deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. 1787 – Constitution. We the People… each State shall appoint… a Number of Electors. 1870 – 15th Amendment. (83 years later) The right of citizens… to vote shall not be denied or abridged…

on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. (Except by literacy tests, poll taxes, and violence or the threat of it, made possible by the following…)

1877 – Compromise of 1877. This unwritten agreement between Republicans and Southern Democrats allowed Rutherford B. Hayes, the Republican candidate who had lost the popular vote of 1876, to assume the Presidency in exchange for the removal of all federal troops from the Confederate South, effectively abandoning the South to white supremacist rule. 1920 – 19th Amendment. (133 years later) The right of citizens to vote shall not be denied or abridged on account of sex.

1961 – 23rd Amendment. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint… a number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State. (DC citizens elect one delegate to Congress with partial voting rights, and two shadow senators and a shadow representative who cannot vote, but lobby for DC issues—that only seems fair, right?) 1964 – Civil Rights Act. To enforce the constitutional right to vote… All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of…without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.

1964– 24th Amendment. The right of

citizens of the United States to vote…shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

It was an imperfect process, flawed, just like our democracy. Our ideals don’t always match our practice, hindsight points the way to new and improved, to next year—or the next four—but we are in this now, and we have done our humble best to include, to represent, to call on strangers, friends, and neighbors to join us in this exploration of what we can see. We hope you enjoy what Peoplehood brings to the open air of Philadelphia. We hope to continue digging deeper each year with more of you involved in the process. The day of the Peoplehood parade and pageant is a colorful marker, a celebration of its own process of creation. It turns our product-oriented society on its head, because although we all work for weeks and months focusing our energy on this big day of community celebration, what we have really done is to set this date of celebration so that we can all have a reason to work together. It’s really all about the working together. It’s about practicing how to work together. So we practice, not to be perfect, but to get better at our practicing…art, life, democracy ...to say what we see. -Tracy Broyles

1965– Voting Rights Act of 1965.

(178 years later) No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or applied by any State or political subdivision to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color. (No, really, this time we mean it.)

1971– 26th Amendment (184 years later) The right of

citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

2000 – George W. Bush, et al., Petitioners v. Albert Gore, Jr., et al. We reverse the judgment of preme Court of Florida ordering a recount to proceed. (Setting a new precedent for judicial power.)

the Su-

2007 – On May 15th, over 13,300 registered Philadelphians successfully voted in Philly’s Ballot Box, the first Philadelphian citizens’ election. 293 volunteers worked to make sure every Philadelphian had an opportunity to have their say about casinos in our city DESPITE the removal of this issue from the official ballot.

NOTE: Following the legislative record omits those issues yet to be addressed

including but not limited to the rights of those living in the U.S. Territories, the rights of those who are incarcerated or convicted felons, the definition of citizenry, and the votes of those in the armed services who are deployed after absentee ballot deadlines have passed.

OH SAY CAN Q SEE Who is Spiral Q, anyway?

Spiral Q Puppet Theater lives at the intersection of the arts and social justice communities. Spiral Q is committed to creating a more perfect society, one that values listening as highly as it values speaking, values diversity as highly as it values unity, and believes that nurturing creativity in all will ensure that thinking outside the (cardboard) box will happen for years to come. Spiral Q works are created with recycled and reused Spiral Q’s Living Loft Museum materials with techniques that are readily accessible to individuals of all ages. With these values and dreams in mind, Spiral Q seeks to

mobilize communities, empower people and illuminate the victories, frustrations, and possibilities of living in Philadelphia and similar urban settings the construction of full-scale giant puppet parades, toy theater and pageantry.

What does Spiral Q do all day? Spiral Q is a busy place, full of different initiatives and projects and always bustling with energy and creativity. Below, you can read the nitty-gritty on how we spend our time...or you can just come visit us and find out! You can find us online at www.spiralq.org or at 3114 Spring Garden St. right here in West Philly.

What Programs Does the Q Offer? • Neighborhood Parades & Pageants are at the very heart of Spiral Q’s work and are perhaps what we are best known for. Spiral Q produces five to six community parades every year, some right in your neighborhood. Our parades bring together people from varying perspectives and locales to create giant street productions that boldly illustrate the dreams and concerns of our communities and neighbors. This spring join us for the Norris Square Neighborhood Parade or the Feltonville Intermediate Parade or contact us about building a parade tradition in your community.

• Education Initiatives connect Spiral Q teaching artists (and our valuable assistants) with schools and community-based organizations to transform classrooms and adult group work into a process


of visionary investigation that yields performance and demonstration of our participants’ ideals, hopes and dreams, all the while teaching participants a range of art skills and techniques. Our curriculum is designed to inspire collaborative problem solving and to provide accessible artistic and intellectual tools to participants of all ages to develop new forms of expression and civic leadership.

generation of leaders. Our Justice Works services support local activists and actions—for free— through a program that loans puppets and provides studio space, artistic guidance, and creative tools to community groups working for change. Contact us to discuss ways that Spiral Q can support your own community mobilizing efforts.

• The Living Loft Museum, at our home base on 31st and Spring Garden, is one of Philadelphia’s hidden treasures. A rich cultural resource, the museum not only documents the artistic work and stories of our neighbors and neighborhoods, but it serves as a near magical gathering of the extraordinary giant puppets made by Spiral Q artists and community members through Spiral Q programs. The Living Loft Museum can also come to you! We provide traveling tours, puppet storybook sessions for little ones, assemblies and puppet appearances at community events.

• Community Mobilization At the core of our work and in the expression of our values is our commitment to action and engagement. Spiral Q has a thriving internship program that attracts students from all of the region’s colleges and universities, providing hands on training in our work and building community among Philadephia’s next

For More Infomation about Spiral Q’s Programs call Ted at 215.222.6979 or e-mail him at tedenoch@spiralq.org!


We care about our communities.

801 Christian St Philadelphia, PA 19147 215-351-4580

A Big thank you to our sponsors!!

Spiral Q thanks

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Happy Peoplehood!


Parade begins at the Paul Robeson House


Parade Route!

We here at the Q love to see anyone and everyone involved in the work we do! Getting involved with Spiral Q is easy, fun, and something that

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• Join Spiral Q as a Program Assistant where you will work collaboratively with experienced community and non-profit leaders and gain invaluable experience in our studio, office and in the community with our programs. • Become a Teaching Assistant where you will support our teaching artists and students in creative and interesting learning environments. • Raise money or make contributions to support our work. Some have said that it is important to their vision of Philadelphia that Spiral Q is here and flourishing. Spiral Q needs every bit of support for this to stay a reality. • Bring Spiral Q to your school or community center. • Host a house party or other fundraiser for Spiral Q. • Volunteer for a specific event. • Call or visit and find out what is needed now.

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Here are just a few of the ways you can participate throughout the year:

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Plus it’s fun!

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We have many types of volunteer and internship opportunities. Some people get involved to support a specific production or event and volunteer just for that event. Others get involved with Spiral Q in a more committed, long-term way. And others get involved in important and creative ways like organizing a fundraiser or house party for the Q , or collecting materials for our education programs, or donating special talents like sewing or carpentry. There are numerous ways to connect and help.

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hundreds of people do every year. Spiral Q is a busy organization with many opportunities to contribute. But one of the important dimensions related to getting involved with Spiral Q , or “The Q”, as some affectionately call us, is that by getting involved, you are joining a community. You are joining a community that is committed to action and expression. You are joining a community that values the voices and safety of all of its members. You are joining a community that is willing to work hard in order to live up to all of our ideals.

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Oh Say Can You See All the Ways to be a Part of Spiral Q Puppet Theater?

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Don't forget to vote! Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 4th! • • • •

If you are a US resident over the age of 18 and you have registered, you are eligible to vote. Know your rights: To find your polling place, visit the website of the Committee of Seventy at www.seventy.org or call them at (215) 557-3600. You only have to present ID at the polls if you are voting at your location for the first time. Valid forms of ID include passports, licenses, student or government IDs, and even utility bills or bank statements. If you’re unable or unwilling to present ID, you still have the right to vote using a paper ballot. In the state of Pennsylvania, you are eligible to vote even if you are: under house arrest, imprisoned or formerly imprisoned for a misdemeanor charge, on probation or parole, or a convicted felon, provided that you have been released by Election Day. If you have ANY PROBLEMS on Election Day, please call 1-866-OUR-VOTE. Many thanks to the Committee of Seventy for their extensive research and advocacy work on behalf of voters everywhere!





215.222.6979 www.spiralq.org

Support Peoplehood!

Every year Spiral Q brings people from all over the city together to celebrate this special day. In order for Peoplehood to continue we need your support! You can make contributions at the information table, or after the pageant you will see volunteers with donation buckets. Please make a generous a gift as you are able. You can always donate to Spiral Q online at www.spiralq.org/DonateHome.

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