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Philly’s First ArtBeat: Making it to Music


Artists and musicians enjoy their personal, creative space designed to inspire them, whether that be a room filled with instruments or a cozy nook with boxes of crafty materials. Although the members of Handmade Philly, “an independent, member-run arts collective dedicated to furthering the local handmade movement,” have organized ArtBeat, an event that encourages creative individuals of all ages and skill levels to leave that space for a night, and share their work with the Philadelphia handmade community while listening to live music (open mic style of course).

ArtBeatHandmade Philly poses these questions to the Philadelphia creative community, in hopes that they will encourage any individual with an artistic passion to come and experience a night of creativity and music: “Have you been slacking off on that project you started months ago? Maybe you’ve been trying to stitch together that creature you crocheted…? How’s that collection of embroidered coasters coming along? Are you still sketching out ideas for that book you want to illustrate?” If you find yourself answering “yes,” you should consider breaking free from your creative comfort zone and stepping into Studio 34 on August 15th from 6-11pm. So pack up your art project, gather supplies to swap and bring your friend that plays the drums, but don’t forget a folding chair or even a blanket welcoming other crafters to sit and chat while you both work on projects.

Beyond providing an inspiring space to work on individual projects, ArtBeat will also offer a chance to creatively collaborate and learn from crafty peers with various workshops. If you’re a upcycle enthusiast, you might just fall in love with the Upcycled Pamphlet Journal workshop, where Traci Nelson of Tremundo will teach you how to stitch the paper contents found in your recycling bin into a journal. Other workshops explore and teach the basics of knitting, advanced knitting, basics of drawing, paper piece technique of quilting and one even addresses the international ArtMoney movement (“original art that works as a global alternative ‘currency’ or barter object.”). And if you’re looking for a craft that colors outside the lines of tradition, you should consider stopping by the Flavor Savor Pins table, where Melissa McCullough of KenzoKid will teach you how to make a charming little mustache pin. Although no need to have a craft panic attack about gathering all of the supplies for these workshops, as most will provide every bit of crafty material needed. 

Ruth Schanbacher, a member of Handmade Philly and ArtBeat coordinator, expressed her hopes that “people will come out and try something new, gain new skills, get to know a little more about Handmade Philly and the handmade movement.” She also has higher hopes for the possible outcome of the event, adding “if we could help people reach a point where they are able to sustain themselves with skills they learn, that would be great.” Such an accomplishment will definitely be in reach if artists collaborate and support one another through organizations such as Handmade Philly and events like ArtBeat. Echoing this sentiment, Melissa Frueh (another member of Handmade Philly and the designer behind the ArtBeat website), noted, “Artists tend to hide out by themselves and focus on their work as opposed to say musicians who need each other to express their work. This is a way to bring the artists together to create together." Creative collaboration will definitely be the theme of the night and the driving force of the handmade movement in Philadelphia.

In an effort to sustain creative collaboration after the clock strikes 11pm, the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership will receive 20% of the proceeds gained from the $5 admission, a small price to pay for a night of expression and inspiration. Need some extra motivation to get there early? The first 50 people will be awarded with free cookies from Sheila and Sharon's Cookies. Just consider it a little creative fuel.



$5 admission.

August 15th, 6 to 11pm.

Studio 34 4522 Baltimore Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19143

For more information about ArtBeat, workshop specifics and directions, visit http://phillyartbeat.com/