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Arts & Artists Outdoors (A2O)


In 2011, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program launched a cutting edge partnership and environmental artist residency program called Arts & Artists Outdoors (A2O). A2O brings together youth and rising environmental artists at a local recreation facility to create permanent or temporary artwork that highlights the nearby green space.

As a part of our Art Education Program, A2O artists lead participants in engaging, hands-on arts activities that incorporate the natural resources of the environment. Youth ages 10-14 attend twice weekly workshops at each recreation facility. The workshops are thematically related to or work towards the creation of a final site-specific project, which is housed at the facility.

A2O provides a platform for emerging artists who want to create work that pushes beyond the traditional notion of muralism, while employing an environmental lens. A2O prides itself on cultivating a unique mix of artists whose work ranges from paper-making to photography, social practice to silk-screening, providing a rich experience to participants every session.

As David Sobel urges in his article, Beyond Ecophobia, if students are given the opportunity to explore their local natural community, then they will be better equipped with the passion and the tools to protect and preserve the environment. Through its collaborative artistic exploration of a recreation facility's green space, A2O works to develop these tools for environmental awareness and sustainability in its community, creating an impact that lasts long beyond the residency.

For applications and workshop dates, visit:


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: United States

Each residency is located at a different Recreation facility across Philadelphia. Each artist is provided with small amount of storage space, and will travel bi-weekly to the space to run programming at a designated classroom in the Rec center. Some Recreation facilities have green space nearby, but a majority are highly urban.

Contact Information

1729 Mount Vernon
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130
United States