Our Town

City of Reading

Reading, Pennsylvania

$25,000

2012

The Ricktown Arts District of Reading, Pennsylvania, is home to the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, a former goggle factory transformed into an arts center in the urban core of the city in 2005.

The City of Reading is partnering with GoggleWorks and Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Berks on a community public arts initiative in the minority majority neighborhood of Ricktown as part of a broader strategy for Reading's revival. With 43 percent of Reading's population living below the poverty level, the city has identified the arts as a revitalization and economic development strategy. The public art initiative will build upon momentum generated from the recently completed Ricktown Arts District Master Plan, the launch of an artist attraction micro-loan program funded by the state, and additional federal funding to develop artist live/work housing.

The project will employ two artists and four students to work with an estimated 150 members from the Ricktown neighborhood, resulting in the fabrication of as many as three public artworks that reflect the physical, social, and cultural character of the community.