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In 2020, The Clay Studio will relocate to its new home on N. American Street between Master and Jefferson Streets. In preparation for our move, we want to engage you in conversation around the future of the neighborhood through a series of free community workshops.

Artists Roberto Lugo​ and Jennie Shanker​ will lead ceramic art activities and conversation around the theme “Making Place Matter.” We want to know your thoughts and feelings about the neighborhood and its changes, your memories, and your hopes for the future. Each session will include a fun art-making activity, food from local restaurants, and the chance to have meaningful conversations with your neighbors, local artists, and folks from The Clay Studio (your future neighbors).

These sessions will take place between May and June 2018 at the following locations:

  • Saturday, May 5 (FULL)    •  2 pm to 4 pm at Las Parcelas Farm 2248 N Palethorp St (Rain Location Norris Square Neighborhood Project, 2141 N Howard St)
  • Saturday, May 26 (FULL)  •  1 pm to 3 pm at InLiquid Gallery (Crane Arts Building), 1400 N American St
  • Thursday, June 21  (FULL)  •  4 pm to 6 pm at Taller Puertorriqueno, 2600 N 5th St
  • Saturday, June 30 (FULL)  •  1 pm to 5 pm at Al-Aqsa Islamic Society, 1501 N Germantown Avenue

Childcare and food will be provided. Participants will be compensated $75 per session for their time. Participants are also encouraged to attend all 4 sessions if possible, but any amount of participation is welcome. To register, learn more, or make specific requests around dietary or childcare needs, please contact Farrah at or 267-209-0839.

Look for The Clay Studio at many local festivals this summer as well.  Click here for more information about Maker Days.

Project Team

Farrah Rahaman, Community Organizer |, 267-209-0839
• Tim Gibbon, Community Organizer |, 267-209-0839

Jennifer Zwilling, Curator of Artistic Programs |, 215-925-3453 x18

Josie Bockelman, Director of Education & Community Engagement |, 215-925-3453 x23

Clay & Conversation workshops are supported by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.


En 2020 The Clay Studio se va a reubicar a su nuevo hogar en N. American St entre Master y Jefferson. En anticipación de esta mudanza, queremos involucrarlos en plática sobre el futuro del barrio a través de una serie de eventos y talleres gratis de cerámica para la comunidad.

Los artistas Roberto Lugo​ y Jennie Shanker van a dirigir talleres y conversaciones sobre el tema: “Haciendo Importar los Lugares“ (Making Place Matter). Queremos conocer sus opiniones y sentimientos sobre su barrio y sus cambios, sus memorias y sus esperanzas para el futuro. Cada sesión se compone de una divertida actividad artística, comida de restaurantes locales, y la oportunidad de conversaciones importantes con sus vecinos, artistas locales, y gente de The Clay Studio (sus futuros vecinos).

Tendremos cuatro sesiones entre Mayo y Junio 2018 en los siguientes locales:

  • Saturday, May 5   (cerrado)   •  2 pm to 5 pm at Norris Square Neighborhood Project, 2141 N Howard St
  • Saturday, May 26  (cerrado)  1 pm to 3 pm at InLiquid Gallery (Crane Arts Building), 1400 N American St
  • Thursday, June 21  (cerrado)   •  4 pm to 6 pm at Taller Puertorriqueno, 2600 N 5th St
  • Saturday, June 30 (cerrado)   •  1 pm to 5 pm at Al-Aqsa Islamic Society, 1501 N Germantown Avenue

Para facilitar su participación, se ofrecerá el cuidado de niños y comida de restaurantes locales. Además, su participación y su tiempo será compensado con $75 por sesión. Si es posible, preferimos que los participantes asistan a las 4 sesiones, aunque le agradecemos cualquier nivel de participación. Para registrarse, aprender más o si tiene necesidades especiales sobre el cuidado de niños o la comida por favor contactar a Farrah ( o 267-209-0839)

In the News

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June 27, 2018

The Clay Studio invites community to help mold its future

The Clay Studio will leave its longtime home in Old City in 2020 to open a brand new ceramic arts center in South Kensington — and it’s looking to community members in that neighborhood to help them shape what the center and programming itself will look like. “We want to come in and be respectful and ask the neighbors to welcome us, and also make sure that once we open our doors, they feel welcome to come in, feel agency of the space and feel like it’s really their space as well,” said Jennifer Zwilling, curator of artistic programs at the Clay Studio.

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Originally from New York, Jennie Shanker has lived and worked as an artist in Philadelphia since 1982. She has served as an exhibition consultant for Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, worked on multiple community revitalization projects in North Philadelphia with Mural Arts, and was a founding member of Philadelphia’s Vox Populi Gallery. She currently teaches at Tyler School of Art and the University of the Arts. Shanker is interested in generating space for access, information, dialogue, and understanding.

Jennie Shanker

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Roberto Lugo is a American potter, social activist, spoken word poet, and educator. Lugo's work draws together hip-hop, history and politics into formal ceramics and 2D works. Born in Kensington, Philadelphia to Puerto Rican parents, Lugo began his career as a graffiti artist before discovering ceramics. “There are a lot of different ways that people historically have activated conversations; one of them is through protest,” says Lugo. “I’d like to think that art also brings the physical activity into the world, and it also complicates the conversation in a unique way—it hits people in a place that they don’t see coming.”

Roberto Lugo



Wheel Throwing Pop-up in Norris Square Park

To kick off our Clay & Conversation events, Roberto Lugo led a pop-up wheel throwing demonstration and hands-on event on April 22, 2018 in Norris Square Park.

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Jennie Shanker Norris Homes Mural Project

Jennie Shanker created a mural that serves as a marker to remind people of the soon-to-be-demolished Norris Homes in North Philadelphia. This mural is part of the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.

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Thank you!

This program has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.