Public Art: Help RAIR reach their Kickstarter goal and upgrade from a pilot program

With a little less than a week to go in their Kickstarter campaign, RAIR (Recycled Artist in Residency) is nearing its $15,000 goal. But the program, which has been providing artists access to materials at Revolution Recovery, a construction waste recycling center in the northeast, still needs your help!

RAIR was started in early 2010 when artist/musician Billy Dufala was on a hunt for skyscraper glass and discovered Revolution Recovery. At the same time, Fern Gookin—now director of sustainability at Revolution Recovery—was working on her master’s in sustainable design at Philadelphia University and wanted to establish an artist-in-residency program for her thesis project. When Dufala and Gookin crossed paths with Revolution Recovery’s co-owner Avi Golen, the project was born.

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DesignPhiladelphia takes over the city this weekend

This weekend, the 2011 Community Arts Festival (CAFe) comes together to promote local artists and the importance of environmental sustainability. Featuring organizations from all over the city, there are plenty of diverse passions to discover: ceramics with Old City’s Clay Studios; Arabic calligraphy with Albustan Seeds of Culture, a local nonprofit that teaches Arabic language, arts and culture; or sustainable art with Recycled Artist-In-Residency, Philadelphia-based artists that use salvaged materials to create art pieces (and featured in GRID’s October 2011 issue, p. 26).

While part of the larger DesignPhiladelphia, a festival program featuring design innovations, CAFe is unique. The event will showcase Philly’s cultural diversity, bringing together artists and local businesses to share their unique ethnic programs as well as their commitment to environmental education.

Another DesignPhiladelphia happening this weekend is the kickoff to Better Blocks Philly. Inspired by a similar movement in Dallas, Better Blocks Philly is working to make streets and neighborhoods safer for pedestrians and bikers through creative community design. The opening celebration is this Friday, but runs from October 13-23 and features events like a movie night, punk yoga and mural painting.

To join this weekend’s fun and learn more about DesignPhiladelphia and its almost 150 events, visit their website.

CAFe, Oct. 16, 12-4 p.m., Crane Arts Building, 14 N. American St.

Better Blocks Philly Opening Celebration, Oct. 14, 6-9 p.m., 1702 Christian St.