Love + Grit beautifies empty storefronts and boosts business owners of color
Philadelphia's empty storefronts serve as a reminder of our slow recovery from the pandemic's economic toll.
- The city is now working to beautify those spaces.
What's happening: Visit Philadelphia's Love + Grit Storefronts Project unveiled 24 artworks, inspired by businesses owned by people of color, across the city this week.
Details: Twelve LGBTQ+ artists of color were each assigned to two businesses affected by the pandemic.
- They workshopped the art together until they reached the final products, which are being showcased in empty storefronts.
Zoom in: Black and Mobile, an online food delivery service for Black restaurants, was among the Philly businesses to be featured in the art project.
- Owner David Cabello told Axios his favorite part about the artwork is the representation of diverse backgrounds.
- "Because when people see Black and Mobile, they think we're just trying to target Black people," he said. "Regardless of where you come from, you can support a Black-owned restaurant."
Illkya Acosta, the artist behind the work, said she chose to feature people of different ethnicities "because we're a diverse city."
- She added that she made the piece "a little bit fun and cool instead of being serious because everybody eats."
Visit: You can see Acosta's art at 8123 Germantown Avenue.
Of note: The project is part of the Shop Black Business Friday initiative that began last year under City Councilmember Cherelle Parker.
- For the entire month of December, Philadelphians are encouraged to shop at Black businesses every Friday.
What's ahead: All of the artwork will be displayed through the holidays, although individual storefront owners can choose to keep it up permanently if they'd like.
- Also, there's a sweepstakes to win one a $2,000 prize package of more than 20 gifts curated by business owners of color, some of which are featured in the campaign. You can enter online.
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