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Social Practice Lab

Now in its second residency cycle, Social Practice Lab artist-residency series commissions and supports the work of creative individuals and organizations in the highly diverse, rapidly changing neighborhood of Chinatown North in Philadelphia. The goal of Social Practice Lab is to allow for experimentation with processes that combine artistic excellence and innovation with building relationships and effecting positive change within the community. We are especially interested in creative projects that address the issue of equity and access to power within Chinatown North and that foster opportunities for access and equitable development.

Starting in January 2014, we embarked on a residency with artist and co-founder of Houston’s Project Row Houses Rick Lowe that focuses on the social dynamics of Pearl Street, the alleyway that spans four blocks of our neighborhood. The multi-year residency with Lowe and the focus on Pearl Street are part of the larger vision of Social Practice Lab.

2014-2015 Artists in Residence

Scott Kip & Dave Kyu
Meei Ling Ng
Rick Lowe, Pearl Street Project

2014-2015 Documentarians

Anula Shetty and Michael Kuetemeyer

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Asian Arts Initiative’s 2014-2015 Social Practice Lab is made possible with support from The Surdna Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional funding for Rick Lowe’s residency provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

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2012 – 2013 Artists in Residence

For the inaugural 2012-2013 year, we invited seven artists and artist-teams in residence to develop and propose public art projects and initiatives that engage with and enliven our community. They were supported by a National Advisory Committee of socially-engaged arts practitioners and scholars and a Local Resource Team of neighborhood representatives.

Anula Shetty and Michael Kuetemeyer
Ben Volta
Colette Fu
Dave Kyu
Laura Deutch, Lee Tusman, Kathryn Sclavi, Katya Gorker
Steve Parker
Yowei Shaw

Asian Arts Initiative’s 2012-2013 Social Practice Lab was made possible with dedicated support from the Nathan Cummings Foundation ( and ArtPlace (

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