The After School Community Arts Project

Parents & children, Please join us for The After School Community Arts Project at the Mt. Airy Playground 7001 Germantown Avenue

You’ll learn basic drawing & painting skills; applying them to painting outside murals in Mt. Airy. All children ages 10 -14 welcome. Free of charge and all art supplies will be furnished.

Classes Start January 15th and run til May 2019 every Tuesday & Thursday 3:30 – 5:30 PM.

This project is jointly sponsored by the Mt. Airy Playground, the Mt. Airy Art Garage, and the generous sponsorship of the Drumcliff Foundation.

Mt. Airy Art Garage Announces Season-Long Partnership With Philadelphia Theatre Company

The Mt. Airy Art Garage (MAAG) is thrilled to announce our partnership with Philadelphia Theatre Company (PTC) for the 2018-2019 Season! You will have three opportunities to experience both theatre and fine art under one roof at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre (480 S. Broad)! So stay tuned for our city-wide call for artists!

PTC’s line up includes Pulitzer Prize-winner Sweat by Lynn Nottage, a World Premiere production from the Kilroys’ List with How To Catch Creation by Christina Anderson, and the Tony Award-winning musical The Bridges of Madison County. These complex and beautifully crafted stories from three award-winning female voices center around women and their experience — their relationships, their untold stories, their triumphs and their power. The accompanying fine art and handcraft exhibitions will build upon these themes.

America Undone will be the first MAAG show, accompanying Sweat, and will run Oct. 12 – Nov. 4, 2018. Sweat tells the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets, and laughs while working together on a factory floor in Reading, PA. However, when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in a heart-wrenching fight to stay afloat. “One of the hardest jobs anyone can have is the job of being poor,” said Lynn Nottage. “To survive from day to day is an epic struggle to find a way to feed yourself, clothe yourself, put a roof over your head. It is the most Herculean path when you have nothing.”

The season will continue with the Philadelphia premiere of The Bridges of Madison County, with the accompanying photography exhibition of The Road Not Taken. The show will run from Feb. 8 – March 3, 2019. In this soaring romance, Francesca Johnson, a beautiful Italian woman who married an American soldier to flee war-ravaged Italy, looks forward to a rare four days alone on her Iowa farm in 1965. However, her quiet escape is upended when ruggedly handsome National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid pulls into her driveway seeking directions. What happens next in those four days may very well alter the course of Francesca’s life.

The conclusion of the season will feature the world premiere of How to Catch Creation, an inspirational story running March 22 – April 14, 2019.  In the mid-1960s, a black, queer, feminist writer’s life is changed when her girlfriend tells her some unexpected news. Fifty years later, the reverberations of that moment still echo in the lives of four individuals in the rapidly changing city of San Francisco. Christina Anderson’s stunning and complex examination of the universal act of creation—creation of life, of family, of art—spans space and time to inspire a new generation of makers and lovers. So it only makes sense that our final MAAG exhibition for the season is Makers and Lovers.

Stay tuned to our website, on FB, Twitter, and Instagram as we share more information on MAAGs Open Call for Artists — or just stop by our gallery at 6622 Germantown Ave.


Past, Present, Future

A Message From Arleen Olshan

I had a difficult experience last night. For the first time in a year, Linda and I walked together on Mt. Airy Avenue past our former building for the Mt. Airy Art Garage. We witnessed the lights being on, our logo being removed from the glass front and people working in the space.

As I looked at the walls that were the gallery, the pod that our architect designed for the bathrooms, the studio walls that were 1/2 rippled plastic, seeing the light and openness of the space with the fans turning, I realized how my heart was broken when this lovely creation was taken from us. The move probably affected all the artists, art-loving neighbors, and supporters who helped us build out the location too. The six years we celebrated the arts in that space was beyond all of our dreams and expectations. We have moved forward and are rebuilding, but neither of us expected the emotion that poured out when seeing the property once again.

So, where are we now? How have we been doing during this period of transition? The Mt. Airy Art Garage is currently operating a fine art and handcraft gallery at 6622 Germantown Avenue, in partnership with Mt. Airy USA. We are waiting for the promised buildout of our new space (across the street) at 6651– 59 Germantown Ave. with the current proposal for completion being Fall 2018. This new location will be transformed into a multi-use space for MAAG with new apartments above our digs.

We have been very active this year in local public schools, working with children on murals, partnering in a variety of artistic endeavors and businesses in our area. We have partnered with Philadelphia Theater Company and will deepen that partnership in 2018. We continue to work with artists of all disciplines, spreading creativity into Pleasant Playground, showing work in City Hall, and, of course, highlighting the work of Northwest artists, from emerging to professional.

Next week, Saturday, August 26th, we will be hosting our first fundraiser at Summit Presbyterian Church with Never Gonna Give You Up (particularly appropriate today) 80s Dance Party with DJ Robert Drake. We have reduced the ticket price to $20 to make it more affordable for everyone. It will be a great night of dancing, making new friends, and enjoying donations from local businesses like Earth, Bread, and Brewery, McMennamins, Night Kitchen, High Point, and more. Remember, in supporting MAAG, you are supporting community artists — your friends, neighbors and family members.

Visit us at the Gift Shop. We are open Wednesday–Saturday, from 12–6 PM. All are welcome. Artists, continue to bring your work. We will make space to show and market your creations. And tell your friends.

See you this Saturday night where we’ll all come together for the 80s and for MAAG and “Rock The Casbah.”

— Arleen Olshan




Kids Make Amazing Murals Too! Community of Pride Project Gets Ready For Mural Dedications

Friday, June 2 at 10 am, Eleanor C. Emlen School, 6501 Chew Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19119

Young Emlen artist points to his work with teacher Denise Veronick proudly looking on.

The Mt. Airy Art Garage (MAAG) has spent the last school year as artists in residence at Henry Houston and Eleanor C. Emlen public schools asking participating children in the Community of Pride (COP) Mural Project “What Makes You Proud?” Our goal has been to deepen a sense of community spirit and pride, using art as a means of communication among the children. It is with great pride and pleasure that we invite you to join us as we dedicate these murals, and celebrate the personally expressive imagery, all created by the children, that have been incorporated into the large scale on site murals.

Main mural dedication:

Eleanor Emlen School, Friday, June 2 @ 10 am, guests meet in Conference Room 110

6501 Chew Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19119

We plan to celebrate with the entire Emlen school at an auditorium celebration. Plus you’ll then get be part of the actual mural dedication including framed drawings by participating student artists. Individual drawings from both schools will then move on to City Hall for a summer exhibition.

There will also be a smaller scale mural dedication at Houston School, Wed., May 31 @ 11 am, 7300 Rural Lane, Phila., PA 19119. Please check at the entrance for the meeting room.

Thanks to Jon Laidacker and Mural Arts for your support in helping us get these murals hung!

We have built a culture of goodwill that cuts across political or cultural differences and even embraces them. This project is about enriching children’s lives, offering inclusive opportunities and sharing the positive rewards of making art together. We sincerely hope you can join us a we honor these amazing kids. Admission for the exhibition and opening is free.

We thank everyone who has donated and supported us  for Phase 1 of the COP Project. We especially appreciate all the ongoing support we have received from East Mt. Airy Neighbors Community Fund (Philadelphia Foundation) — we couldn’t have done it without you! Stay tuned for Phase 2 as we introduce the Community of Pride Art & Literacy Project.

Support provided in part by:

It’s A New Era For the Mt. Airy Art Garage

Community and creativity are truly an antidote to these challenging times. We, at the Mt. Airy Art Garage (MAAG), have had our own unique challenges. We’ve done some grieving, some assessing, some growing. We’ve started a strategic plan (thank you Dragonfly Partners!). We’ve also been quietly busy — new partnerships such as those with Philadelphia Theatre Company for “Having Our Say.” (Stay tuned as that partnership deepens.) We especially want you to know we are alive and well, we are moving forward, you’ll be hearing a lot more from us, and we want to hear from you.

Our Community of Pride Mural Project is forging ahead as children at both Houston and Emlen Schools are now working on their murals which explore the question “What Makes You Proud?” As this project continues, the next phase will add a literacy component!

Plus, our new flagship location and display space at 6622 Germantown Ave. (right next to Little Jimmie’s Bake Shop), is a joy to behold! Filled with unique handcrafts and fine art, all work is original and created by local artists. Some 30 artists, in a myriad of mediums, are showing and offering their goods for sale. Do come and visit.

We especially want to thank some key partners who have helped us make it through this difficult transition:

· The City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Cultural Fund — your support for the last two years has allowed us the breathing room we so badly needed. We are grateful.

· Mt. Airy USA (MAUSA)— we’re so proud to have you as a partner. When we did not know what our next steps would be this past August, MAUSA stepped up. You have provided us with meeting and event space at the Hub; you provided our flagship location where we now reside; and a future home. We urge all our supporters to “show your love” by attending their upcoming fundraiser on Sat., April 1. As MAAG supporters you’ll even get a 50% discount. Just hit the link directly below and make sure you use the promo code MAAG!

We at MAAG intend to keep the momentum going. We want you to know we are back and moving forward with our eyes planted firmly on the future.

So come on by. Ask questions. Share your ideas. Stay tuned for community meetings we host. Grow your creative soul with us. We are back.



The Northwest Sanctuary Project

Sunday, Dec. 11, 1 pm – 5 pm

The Immigrant Innovation Hub

6700 Germantown Ave. (Entrance on Westview) 

Free Admission



The Northwest Sanctuary Project is a free creative arts event for community members of all ages taking place this Sunday, December 11th from 1-5 p.m. This four-hour semi-structured event provides a forum where community members, artists, storytellers, writers and musicians can join together to promote positive messages of peace, inclusivity, and love for our community and all of its members through the creation of art, written pieces, stories, and poetry. This event is in response to the recent rise of incidents of hate speech in our nation. The project is sponsored by Mt. Airy Art Garage, Mt. Airy USA, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Al Bustan Seeds of Culture, Patchwork: A Storytelling Guild, the Philadelphia Children’s March, and Friends of Germantown-Northwest.

The Northwest Sanctuary Project consists of ten varied activities and workshops for people of all ages, including opportunities for participants to express themselves through watercolor painting, sign construction, writing activities, our very own “Post-It Note” wall, creating and telling stories, collaborative poetry construction, and more! Young children and adults alike can make paper cranes for peace, create a watercolor painting, make a sign, or decorate their own “safety cape” to wear. Workshop leaders include artists, writers, school psychologists, community arts organization leaders and storytellers. Music and spoken word poetry will be provided as well. For a list of times and teachers on Sunday, click this link for details.

Participants are welcome to attend workshops, or to observe and partake in whatever is of interest to them. Drop-ins welcome! Refreshments will be served and Peacekeepers will attend the event to ensure safe speech during the event.

The scope of this project is not to fight negativity with negativity, but to create sanctuary and unify the community.  The heart of the project is to facilitate healing and connection in the community through artistic expression and dialogue, and the aim is to foster and cultivate a safe space for everyone in the community through love and support expressed visually through artistic expression. Eventually the project hopes to display the artistic creations made by participants in local business window fronts, or as local exhibition. For more information or if you have questions, email Sarah Napolitan at or Linda Slodki  at



Mt. Airy Art Garage Launches The Community Of Pride Mural Project

cop_logo_finalMt. Airy Art Garage (MAAG) is proud to be launching our Community of Pride Mural Project in two local elementary schools this week!


MAAG Teachers + Emlen and Houston Teachers = The Dream Team

The Community of Pride Mural Project begins with a conversation. We are asking students at Eleanor C. Emlen and Henry Houston public schools “What makes you proud?” Answers range from friends and family members, to more abstract ideas, to personal collections or achievements. Over the next four months, through weekly art classes lead by MAAG professional artist teachers, the children will develop and fully realize their ideas and images. MAAG artists will design a unique mural for each school consisting of these original drawings. The murals will be painted by the students and publicly installed in each school, so the children can see their work every day, honoring their collaborative effort while simultaneously providing a source of personal pride. When asked why they wanted to create a mural, one 5th grader from Houston said “Teamwork makes the dream work!” It is precisely that spirit we embrace in this project.

img_5407webThe goal of the project is to deepen a sense of community spirit and pride, using art as a means of communication among the children. The project will aid in building a culture of goodwill that cuts across political or cultural differences and even embraces them. This project is about enriching children’s lives, offering inclusive opportunities, and sharing the positive rewards of making art together.

The participating schools lack art programs or funding for more creative programming. MAAG artists will be guiding the students in making personally expressive imagery that will become incorporated into the larger collaborative images. The transformative power of authentic art experiences, especially in the lives of children who are disadvantaged, cannot be underestimated. Being surrounded by one’s own artistic renditions and sharing them with peers builds communication skills, confidence, and self-esteem. As a community arts organization, it is critical for us to support the schools and children in our community.img_5394web

img_5372For more information and to learn how you can help, or to track the project’s progress, follow Mt. Airy Art Garage on Facebook and Instagram, or visit You can also track #MAAGPopsUp on social media platforms.

We also want to thank our growing list of community sponsors who are making the Community of Pride Project possible:













MAAG In Action! The Beginning of A New Era


You may not have heard much about the goings on at MAAG lately. We’ve been quietly busy – very busy. As our August 31st move date approaches, and we get ready to launch #MAAGPopsUp mode, we’re thrilled to share some incredible news!

We have solid commitments that will ensure our continued success while anticipating the completion of our new space on the 6600 Block of Germantown Ave. Let’s just say, we couldn’t have done this without Mt. Airy USA as our community partner. Stay tuned for details on where MAAG will be popping up this Fall:


1. We will be opening our handcraft gift shop on Germantown Ave. You’ll know where to find us, any day of the week, by following the hashtag #MAAGPopsUp on social media.

2. We have confirmed a location for both Philadelphia Open Studio Tour (POST) AND our Holiday Art Market! Thanks to Lutheran Theological Seminary, we will be hosting a big, beautiful, AND handicapped accessible series of events (with parking) right in Mt. Airy.

3. As artists in residence, we will be moving into Houston and Emlen Schools in October 2016 as we launch the Community of Pride Mural Project.

4. We will be hosting all of our monthly artist group meetings, classes, and figure drawing at confirmed locations starting in Sept. 2016.

5. We are deepening our partnerships with other arts organizations for some outstanding member exhibitions both indoor and outdoor in 2016-7.

So what can you do to help? For starters, you can become a member or rejoin. It’s so easy! You can make a donation to the MAAG in Action Fund. Your money will help us pay for movers, put our things into storage, and position us to be even more visible than ever before. We’re excited to begin a new era, but we can’t do it without you!

Be sure to follow MAAG on social media for details on our classes, workshops, exhibitions, and updates on our move, with the hashtag #MAAGPopsUp!





It’s Been A Roller Coaster Of A Year

We’ve explored gender with students at Moore College of Art in our International Women’s Day Celebration. We were honored to have the first citywide showing of My Son Matters! — a photo exhibition by Denise Allen that explored stereotypes and racism with positive imagery. We touched our community to make it a better place for children and elders with the Make Art Grow Food Project. More collaborations, more exhibitions, a small dream growing.


(c) Michael Albany

Then we were faced with the dilemma of needing to find a new home. Unexpected challenges, momentary detours. We want to tell you, with smiles on our faces, that the Mt. Airy Art Garage will continue to grow in Mt. Airy.
We hope to have an exciting announcement next month about new partnerships and new beginnings. We know in our hearts that none of this would have happened  without your support.MAAG_Wall_Mural-001
We’re more experienced this time around. We’ve had successes beyond our wildest expectations. Each challenge has strengthened us and shown us that not only do we have community support, but there is a real need to continue this work.

(c) Van Williams

Thank you for your continued support and confidence in our work, and all the appreciation you show.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year.
Linda Slodki & Arleen Olshan

(c) Lydia Nobles



Make Art, Grow Food Mural Dedication This Week. Join us!

Mural Dedication this Wednesday, Sept. 9, 11 am at the Mt. Airy Art Garage (rear).


Mural Design (c) Daisy Langston Juarez. Photo (c) Michael Albany.

What an amazing intergenerational collaboration between children at Henry Houston Elementary School and elders at Homelink making their own kind of special magic. All drawings in the mural are original and created solely by the participants. The teacher artists of the Mt. Airy Art Garage compiled the images.

Now we are ready to celebrate! Join us this Wed., Sept 9, @ 11 am in the rear garden of the Mt. Airy Art Garage. We’ll be joined by all the artists in the project, both young and old, plus a host of sponsors who made this project possible.  Earth, Bread, and Brewery will concoct some tasty garden treats for all to enjoy.

So, let’s celebrate and keep on dreaming!