First Saturdays: MAAG Salon Artist Talks

Countdown To The First Ever Family Pride Picnic and Arts Festival In Mt Airy

The event is ON! Saturday, June 23, 11 am – 5 pm, Lovett Library Park, 6945 Germantown Ave., 19119. Admission is free. The festival is alcohol and smoke-free.

In celebration of Philadelphia’s 30th Anniversary of Pride, the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, Philadelphia Family Pride, and the Mt. Airy Art Garage are partnering to hold the first ever Philly Family Pride Picnic & Arts Festival.

The event will be held at the newly renovated Lovett Library Park in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia on Sat. June 23 with a rain date of Sat. June 30, 2018. The event will run from 11 am – 5 pm at 6945 Germantown Avenue.  Admission is free and open to all ages, families, and community members.

Photography by Bob Bruhin

Slated to attend the picnic are Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Director of the Office of LGBT Affairs Amber Hikes, members of Philadelphia City Council, and a host of well-known personalities to join us in the festivities.

There will be family-friendly entertainment including jugglers, face painters and craft tables. Music brought to you by Anna Crusis Choir. Drumming brought to you (bring your drums!) by Jan Jeffries and Music Over Matter (MOM). There will be resource tables from a variety of organizations and nonprofits that provide services and support to LGBTQ parents and youth including William Way Center, The Mayor’s Office, ACLU of PA, PFLAG, FSP Against Bullying, HRC, Sisterspace, Action Wellness, LGBT Elder Initiative, and of course Philly Family Pride and the Mt. Airy Art Garage.

Soaps by Alana

Art by Jennifer Lynn

The Arts Festival portion will feature unique, one-of-a-kind work by local artists including handmade leather goods and buckles, fine art, photography, handmade soaps, handblown glass, delightful bird houses for your garden, woodwork, and more. Artists include:

Angelique Benrahou, Denise Benrahou, Bob Bruhin, Karen Bruhin, Katherine Cheetham, Gretel DeRuiter, Roz Dutton, Tina Grello, Itzik Lorant, Jennifer Lynne, Arleen Olshan, Patricia Smith, Soaps by Alana, and Nicki Toizer.

And, of course, what would the day be without entertainment by Anna Crusis Women’s Choir and the drums of Jan Jeffries and Music Over Movement (MOM)! Plus Island Spot and 2StreetSammies will have their food trucks there to make the day perfect!

Photography by Nicki Toizer

“Bring your questions, talk to your peers, support local artists, and just come on out for an incredible day,” said event organizer Linda Slodki from Mt. Airy Art Garage.

“You won’t want to miss this Family Pride event in Mt. Airy celebrating the diverse, beautiful, and extraordinary LGBTQ families and artists here in Philadelphia. This will be a day for celebration, for arts and creativity, for information gathering, and just plain fun. Hope to see you there!” added Philadelphia Family Pride Executive Director Stephanie Haynes.

Katherine Cheetham glass

Mt. Airy Art Garage (MAAG) connects and supports multidisciplined artists and art lovers in Northwest Philadelphia by using creativity to build a thriving, safer community. As a force for change, MAAG continues to build local and city-wide partnerships to bring art and creativity to people who currently have little or no access to them.

Philadelphia Family Pride’s (PFP) mission is to build community for LGBTQ+ parents, prospective parents, grandparents and our kids of all ages – including adults, youth, kids, toddlers and infants. We support our families in the greater Philadelphia region through advocacy, education and family-centered events.

Handcrafted leather by Arleen Olshan

The Office of LGBT Affairs works to foster equal working and living conditions for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people and to advocate for LGBTQ issues in all areas of City government. Created in 2008 by mayoral executive order, the Office of LGBT Affairs became a permanent part of the City’s charter in 2015. The office aims to:

· Develop City policy regarding civil rights issues affecting LGBTQ people.

· Help enact policies and programs to meet the City’s diversity and equality goals.

· Coordinate among City departments, agencies, and offices to improve LGBTQ access to services, and to promote equality and safety for LGBTQ people.

· Support the growth and development of the City’s LGBTQ communities and serve as liaison between the area’s LGBTQ communities and the City.

· Provide education about the needs of the LGBTQ community.

COP Mural Is Complete! Now Let’s Celebrate Our Young Artists At Lovett Library

Lovett Library, Saturday, June 9, Noon till 2 pm, 6945 Germantown Ave., Phila., PA 19119

The Community of Pride (COP) Mural and Literacy Project continues to unfold at Eleanor C. Emlen public school. Children’s minds open up to interests and skills they did not know they had—opening doors to their hearts, souls, and precious creativity. Now it’s time to celebrate this year’s young Emlen artists.

We invite you to join us at their first ever reception and exhibition at Lovett Library, Saturday, June 9th at Noon. This project is about enriching children’s lives, offering inclusive opportunities and sharing the positive rewards of making and studying art together. We sincerely hope you can join us a we honor these amazing kids. All artwork will be for sale with proceeds going to the young artists. Plus tasty treats are being provided by High Point Cafe, Frosted Fox, and Night Kitchen. Admission is free.










Help Paint The COP Mural At Emlen!

There is a story to be told, and it’s unfolding at East Mt. Airy’s Eleanor C. Emlen School, a public school with lack of access to art education. A public school where the children are guaranteed one meal a day, where many kids walk to school. But dreams are happening and endless possibilities are being introduced as the children immerse themselves in the creativity of the visual arts and related language arts.

Once a week, during the last two periods on Fridays, a 4th to 5th grade classroom gathers to work diligently on art and literacy. Focused energy abounds, as excitement about their projects grows each week. These students, with their teachers from the Mt. Airy Art Garage (MAAG), work together building artistic skills and a working arts-related vocabulary. Building vocabulary is a great way to build comprehension and expressive language.

The ultimate outcome is a mural that will become a legacy of their work, permanently affixed to an interior school wall. The process includes learning to observe, think, draw and speak with depth, meaning and expression.  Each child has his or her own “quilt block” on this large mural, filled with imagery they have developed over the course of this year’s lessons. The pictures are about their community and themselves. Some are literal; some are metaphorical (and they know the meanings of such words). They know how to explain the foreground, background, focal points, proportions and perspectives of their images, and much more. Using their own work as references, as well as literary sources, they learn in context, the language of art and artists.

Using author and artist Faith Ringgold’s classic illustrated family story, Tar Beach, students are engaged in learning to interpret the book’s meaning. Teacher-guided discussion and subsequent drawing assignments tie into the main visual and verbal content of the book. The students at Emlen Elementary are all African American. Faith Ringgold is a highly successful African American artist — a valuable role model for these students.

Students engage in their creative work through a structured experiential, collaborative process that incorporates making art, critical thinking, vocabulary development, story telling, and interaction with teaching artists and visiting artists. They are thrilled when Mikel Elam, artist and manager of the Artist and Craftsman Supply, in Chestnut Hill, comes to visit. He brings his wealth of experience as an African American artist, his own art to share with students; and he always brings wonderful supplies to stimulate imaginations and enrich imagery.

The Community of Pride Mural and Literacy Project has opened these children’s minds to interests and skills many did not know they had. It has opened doors for them, doors to their hearts and souls; doors to their precious creativity.

Be part of the magic at Emlen and help us paint the mural. You can contact the Mt. Airy Art Garage at or call 267.240.3302. Even better, come visit us at our gallery at 6622 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19119. 

                — Ruth Joray, Curriculum Designer/Artist 



Where would we be without the support of our sponsors. We thank you!


“Drawing From Live Models” Twice Every Month @ Mt. Airy Playground Rec. Center

Two sessions every month on the 2nd and 4th Thursday.

Mt. Airy Playground Recreational Center, 7001 Germantown Ave., 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
$10 per session

Mt. Airy Art Garage is pleased to announce our new partnership with Mt. Airy Playground Recreation Center. The main house has a marvelous space perfect for “Drawing From Live Models.”  

We are so excited to be relaunching these artist sessions — it’s been too long! These are monitored drawing sessions for intermediate to advanced-level artists. We will be working with clothed models. Bring your drawing supplies, paper, canvas, pen and ink, watercolor, clay, easels, etc. Let your creativity fly!

All adults are welcome. Young adults, 16-18 years old are invited to participate, with signed parental consent. 

To RSVP or find out more, contact Arleen Olshan at


It’s Almost Time! Shop & Celebrate At Our 8th Annual Holiday Art Market

Music Brooch (c) Paula Rosenwinkel

Saturday, Dec. 16 and Sunday, Dec. 17 from Noon – 6 pm. 7165 Germantown Ave. (off the corner of Mt. Airy Ave.) Free admission.

Plan that special surprise with some last minute shopping (you know you’ve got it) — all original, unique, handmade crafted goods, keepsakes, and fine art by local Northwest artists that include:

Jane Alpern, Denise Benrahou, Bright Star, Sheila & Deborah Brown, Celeste Caruso, Mary Ann Domanska, Judi Eastburn, Christian Johnson, Bettie Joyner Kleckley, Alise Lauren, Ellen Marcus, Sara Mosley, Lucille Norella, Arleen Olshan, Roberto Rashid, Alana Ratliff-Johnson, Mauricio Riano, Paula Rosenwinkel, Merle Slyhoff, Madeline Rile Smith, Patricia Cousins Smith, Nicki Toizer, and Keisha Whatley.

Bettie Joyner Kleckley

Scarves by Roberto Rashid

This two-day curated art fair will fill you with holiday spirit while searching for that extra special gift for yourself, friends, and family. You’ll find jewelry, photography, handmade leather goods, fine art, ceramics, fiber art, botanical art, handblown glass, soaps, lotions and cachets, greeting cards, and more. You’ll even have authors signing their newly released children’s books! All while dancing to live music and savoring tasty bites from Little Jimmies while you shop (or just hang out!). It just doesn’t get any better.

Ceramics by Jane Alpern

Denise Benrahu

So join us, bring your family, as the Mt. Airy Art Garage brings this all together in the best of all possible places. Remember, this isn’t just an art market…it’s a celebration of our local Northwest arts community.

Solar Eclipse by Nicki Toizer

Woodwork paintings by Ellen Marcus

Never Gonna Give You Up! An 80’s Dance Party With Philadelphia’s Own DJ Robert Drake

Save the Date! Saturday, August 26 from 8 – 11 PM. Summit Presbyterian Church at 6757 Greene Street, Side Entrance (handicapped accessible). Tickets are now $20!

Do you love the nightlife? Do you love to boogie? Do you love the 80’s? Do you like to work up a dance sweat and then savor goodies and beverage from Night Kitchen, Earth, Bread & Brewery, High Point Cafe, Iron Hill Brewery, McMennamins, Acme, Giant, and more?

Well, turn around bright eyes! Join us for a wacky evening of big hairstyles, neon décor, and a celebration including the best music of the 80’s!

We’re throwing an 80’s dance party you’ll never forget hosted by legendary DJ Robert Drake — Peabody Award Winner, voted Philadelphia Magazine’s BEST DJ IN PHILLY, currently the Philly A-List’s Best Radio Personality!

This party kicks off Mt. Airy Art Garage’s fundraising campaign to finally pay our hardworking staff.

So walk like an Egyptian down to Summit Presbyterian Church at 6757 Greene Street on Saturday, August 26 from 8 – 11 PM. Join us for a total eclipse of the arts and dance the night away! 

Tickets $20 at the door. Yes, it’s true, we lowered the price so no excuses! Best $20 time ever!

For more information call 215.242.5074.

And now for more about Robert Drake! Are we lucky or what!

Everything old is good again.

I began spinning the new wave sounds when they were NEW wave sounds, working in various underground clubs in Philadelphia during the gritty era of 1981-1990. From off-radar spots like The Love Club to commanding nights at Philly’s premier alternative hotspots The Kennel Club, Omni’s and a few special nights at Danceteria in NYC, the Rock of the 80s became my passion.

Professionally, I was General Manager and Co-Founder of Au Courant Newsmagazine, Philadelphia’s gay arts & culture paper, back in 1982.

In 1988, I began a wonderful journey at WXPN-FM, where I have worn dozens of various hats over the past 28 years — including producing Kids Corner, America’s longest-running daily radio show for kids. In 1995, I took over the reigns of XPN’s gay programming and have hosted Q’zine, a queer audio magazine, ever since.

Since 2003, I’ve shaped Philly’s nightlife scene by introducing the genre to a whole new generation of ears with my monthly Sex Dwarf party every second Friday at Club Mousai to hosting Land Of The Lost, a 4-hour block of the Rock of the 80s on WXPN, to bringing authentic 80s bands back to the city for live concerts. It’s all about the music!

And all that love and all that work have rewards: I was named “Best DJ in Philadelphia” and Sex Dwarf the “Best Dance Party in Philly” by the readers of the Philadelphia City Paper. In the August 2014 issue of Philadelphia Magazine I was named BEST DJ IN PHILLY! 

Additionally, I’ve had the honor to share my unique new wave mix live as the opening act for such icons as The Psychedelic Furs, Gang Of Four, The B-52s, The Go-Go’s, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, The Buzzcocks, Berlin, Peter Murphy and A Flock Of Seagulls!

A recent highlight was being named BEST RADIO PERSONALITY IN PHILADELPHIA for 2016 by Philly A-List! But the best reward continues to be the fact that I am blessed to have a life where I enjoy what I do and am surrounded by people who enjoy it just as much!

~ Robert!


Fabric Collage Workshop — Your Time to Shine!

Fabric Collage Workshop
No-Sew, Fusible Web Applique
Saturday, June 3rd, 1 – 4 pm, 6700 Germantown Ave., Lower Level
Class Fee $40

These gorgeous fabric collages look stunning when framed in shadow boxes, and make excellent wall hangings. Make one for yourself or as a handmade gift which will charm anyone who receives it. They are made from beautiful 100% cotton batiks, then matted and framed. In 3 hours you can leave the class with a fully- framed work of art.

Materials: You can bring your own collection of fusible web-prepared fabric, or you can purchase a fabric kit of first-quality batik fabrics. You will need a 8.5” x 10.5” background fabric, and coordinating fabrics for the vase and flowers. Fabric kits will be available for $10. Students must bring good scissors and inspiration.

Students who purchase fabric kits will be given the base fabric and the vase and flower fabrics for this no-sew project. They will create their own flower vase collages. Then they will have the option of purchasing a $10 8” x 10” shadow box frame for immediate finishing of their project. Students will be given detailed instructions so they can create more projects on their own. Students will receive a materials list and details upon registration.

Karoline WallaceKaroline Wallace: A Mt. Airy resident and MAAG member, Karoline is an art quilt maker with 18 years experience. She has taught fabric collage and quilt classes for the past 7 years.

Jazz On The Sidewalk…A Great Way to Spend A Summer Day

Saturday, June 17 (rain date June 24) from 3 till 6 pm

What happens when you bring live jazz, fine art, and great food to the “South Side” of Mt. Airy? Why you get Jazz On The Sidewalk where area businesses are turning it out to greet you on the 6600 – 6700 Blocks of Germantown Ave.

For Jazz on the Sidewalk, MAAG is featuring local fiber artist Denise Benrahu. Check out her glorious jazz pillows!

On Saturday, June 17 (rain date June 24) from 3 till 6 pm expect a host of activities. Just to give you flavor of what’s happening, you’ll hear live jazz in front of the Mt. Airy Art Garage (MAAG) brought to you by Tank Keitt and friends from Passage Jazz Band. Are you an emerging or professional artist that wants to join in?  Then “bring your ax baby!” Looking for original fine art and handcraft? You’ll find MAAG members, all local artists, both outdoors on the block and and indoors in our fine art and handcraft gallery.

Our favorite local eateries Little Jimmie’s Bakery and Café and Malelani will turn it out with delicious, mouthwatering foods. Expect more businesses to join us! Plus there’s live music to be had at Malelani too. And, you didn’t hear if from me, but there’s going to be mouth-watering barbecue to lure your senses. So why not dive into all our local businesses have to offer and stroll down the avenue on a beautiful summer Juneteenth day!

If you’ve run your errands, gone to the gym, gone to the Juneteenth festival, or just plain newly moved into the neighborhood, what better time to stop by the 6600 – 6700 blocks of Germantown Ave. before your Saturday night begins. It’s time to take your late afternoon stroll on the South Side of Mt. Airy. You’ll be glad you did, and you’ll be supporting your local businesses as well.

For more information, call 215.242.5074 or

New Partnerships! Opening Reception For “Having Our Say” Exhibition — See The Play AND The Exhibition

Opening Reception Saturday, February 4, 4-8 pm

Show and Exhibition Run Till Feb. 19, 2017

@ Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 South Broad St.

In these trying times, now more than ever, we need to feed our spirits with joy and artistic experiences that lift our spirits, teach critical history (in this case, trailblazing African-American women), and fill us with hope and inspiration.

Opening Night for “Having Our Say”

Our partnership with Philadelphia Theatre Company (PTC) does just that! We have seen the play about the Delany sisters, and it’s a winner! Plus, we have an array of fine art brought to you by artists of the Mt. Airy Art Garage (MAAG) that speaks to their personal interpretation of “Having Our Say.” At the opening night of the show, we found theatregoers spending time truly absorbing what they see, talking to the artists, sharing thoughts and conversation. This show will be in Center City, at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, through Feb. 19. We are excited to exhibit work reaching new audiences in a truly new and inspiring theatre!

We are also thrilled that PTC is providing tickets AND a bus for the children of MAAG’s Community of Pride Mural Project at Emlen and Houston schools to see the play and exhibition. We’re not sure who is more excited — the kids or the teachers.

“Comfort” by Carol Wisker

We especially hope you will attend today’s opening. We are intentionally nestled between both matinee and evening performances. The exhibition is free. And if you attend the performance you will get $10 off your ticket if you use the code MAAG. But, if I were you, I would bring my friends and family and make a day of it. We’ve done precisely that, and it’s a winner! It’s an amazing way to spend an afternoon or evening, and guaranteed to lift your spirits, teach (as you learn more about the Delany sisters), and feed your soul.

The Mt. Airy Art Garage continues to deepen our involvement with new and exciting partners. That’s part of #MAAGPopsUp and our new way of thinking while we await the buildout of our new 2018 space.

You can visit our flagship location at 6622 Germantown Ave.— our exciting new handcraft gift shop. You can also reach us at 215.242.5074 or Stay tuned as MAAG moves forward!