Block leaders on Amber and Auburn Streets in Kensington have been improving their neighborhood for years. They have completed leadership courses through NeighborWorks America and Philadelphia LISC, and meet regularly with staff at New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC) to hone their organizing skills, find city and business resources for the neighborhood, and learn "asset mapping”—a way to discover skills already in the neighborhood and find the best way for everyone to work together.
For more than a year, Kensington neighbors also have been working with Maria Möller, a Philadelphia artist funded by the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations (PACDC). Möller has been teaching creative placemaking techniques and building relationships with residents as part of an ongoing artwork called “Tell Me Something Good.”
In June, three blocks of Amber Street were closed to traffic for a celebration that was part block party, part art opening, and part dedication of a new community garden space.