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Kensington news: Garden tea party, jobs, Mexican Independence, open mics, youth programs, and services

Shawnick Rodriguez, a local artist, poses for a photo in front of her booth at La Feria del Barrio on September 10, 2023. (Photo by Siani Colón)

Hello, Kensington! We’re back on schedule this week with our free, weekly newsletter. 

Each week, we share local news and updates to increase your access to community information in Kensington. We publish a monthly roundup in our print newspaper, too.

In case you missed these during the last few weeks, we wrote about: 

We’re also running a coloring contest in our print newspaper featuring a coloring page illustrated by Zerbe Artz. Submit your finished coloring page by Sept. 30 for a chance to win a $25 gift card. Click here to learn where you can find our September issue.

Now, here’s what’s happening around the neighborhood this week.


Due to ongoing construction, motorists still can’t access Allegheny Avenue between Richmond Street and the I-95 or the southbound on-off ramps. The ramps are scheduled to reopen on Sept. 22, 2023. 

Activities & Events 

Sept. 11-15 
Philly HEALs is organizing a traveling art show and open mic night that will stop from 9/11 to 9/15 at West Kensington Ministry. 

The art show will be open to the public from 4-8 PM on Monday through Friday and end in an open mic night on Friday from 5-8 PM. They're also still accepting entries for the show. 

Visit for more information.

Sept. 14
Jefferson-Einstein Medical Center is leading a ‘Stop the Bleed’ workshop at the Kensington Library for teens and adults on Thursday, Sept. 14 from 3:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. Learn how to save someone with a severe injury. 

Forin Cafe is kicking off a 3-part wellness series ‘Forward Motion’ on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. Participants will be walking or jogging from Forin’s location on Coral Street to its second location on Frankford Avenue, followed by a social hour. 

Sept. 15
Enrollment is now open for Norris Square Neighborhood Project’s youth program for high school students. Contact Evelyn at for more information. The first day of the program is Sept. 15 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

Venture into Wonderland by partying at the Open Kitchen Sculpture Garden’s Night at the Garden on Friday, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. Enjoy drinks and fire spinning while wearing your most magical clothing. Costumes are not required but encouraged. Theme is Very Merry Unbirthday/Mad Hatter tea party. The $10 donation will support maintenance of the space. 

Taller Puertorriqueño is hosting an opening reception for its new exhibit, ‘Aracana: Neocolonial Retablos inspired by Tarot’ on Sept. 15 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Register here

Show off your artistic chops or enjoy the show by attending Creative Becoming’s open mic on Sept. 15. The performances will take place at Perch Studio at 2321 Emerald St. at 7 p.m. September’s theme is creative journeys. 

Cantina La Martina will be hosting a ‘Grito de Independencia’, marking the spark for the war for Mexico’s independence. The event will take place on Sept. 15 from 9:30 p.m. to midnight.  

Sept. 16
The Philadelphia Chapter of the Black Women’s Educational Alliance, Inc. is hosting a general membership meeting on Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter School. Register here.

Avenues of Change is closing out the season with an end-of-summer bash on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 2 p.m. at 1998 E. Sergeant St. To RSVP, contact Matt at 267-826-6740.

Thursdays through Oct. 5
Esperanza’s donation-based farm stand is running every Thursday from now through Oct. 5. Fresh produce will be distributed in Fairhill from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. outside 2940 N. 5th St. and in Kensington between 2 to 3:30 p.m. at 3222 H St. 

Norris Square Neighborhood Project’s farm stand operates every Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Raíces Garden located at 2217 N. 2nd St. 

Experience tranquility by participating in a free yoga lesson at The Simple Way’s garden every Wednesday at 1 p.m. Register here

The Norris Square Senior Center offers free daily activities for adults 60 years old and older on Mondays through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Activities include art, exercise, games, and socializing. Meals are also provided – $1.25 for breakfast, $1 for lunch.  

Galaei has several programs coming up for Philly’s Black and Brown LGBTQ+ community including a book club, transgender support group, sexual health discussions, and more. Keep up on Galaei’s Instagram

To browse upcoming programs at Kensington, McPherson Square, and Lillian Marrero libraries, visit

Funding Opportunities

Applications are open for Feet First Philly’s Public Space Enhancement Mini-Grant.  The program awards $500 to $2,000 for projects that improve walkability in neighborhoods. The deadline to apply is Oct. 9, 2023. 

Does your business need extra security? Click here to apply for the City’s Business Security Camera Program. 

General Election 2023

You can register to vote online, by mail, or in person at the Voter Registration Office at 520 N. Columbus Blvd., 5th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19123. You can also call the office at 215-686-1590 to request voter registration applications by mail.


Norris Square Neighborhood Project
Norris Square Neighborhood Project is looking for a new executive director. Salary ranges from $65,000 to $75,000 based on experience. Application closes Sept. 19. Apply here.

Philly Community Wireless
Philly Community Wireless is hiring a technician. Duties will include carrying out internet installation, network maintenance, and community engagement. Pay is $24 per hour. Application closes Oct. 1. Apply here

City of Philadelphia
The City is hiring school crossing guards. The part-time seasonal position pays $68.18-$70.80 per day. Deadline to apply is Oct. 6. Apply here

Free Library of Philadelphia
The Free Library of Philadelphia is hiring part-time library facility guards for custodial and security duties at branches throughout the city. The position will be for nine months and pay is $18 per hour. 

Providence Center
The Providence Center is hiring 2-4 high school students for a teen leadership internship. Interns would work 5 days for 11.5 hours per week. Pay is $12 per hour. Apply here

Esperanza Health Center
Esperanza Health Center has several job openings available. View listings and apply here.

New Kensington Community Development Community 
NKCDC is hiring for several full-time positions. View listings here


City of Philadelphia
The City is hosting mobile sites for Philadelphians to obtain a PHL City ID. Mother of Mercy House will be a pop-up site on Tuesday, Sept. 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Register here

Norris Square Senior Center
The Norris Square Senior Center will be offering COVID-19, flu, and shingles vaccines from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m on Sept. 12. Walk in for an appointment. 

Kensington Library
The Kensington Library has COVID-19 rapid tests and hand sanitizer available free for community members.  

Philadelphia Water Department
The Philadelphia Water Department is running virtual water bill assistance clinics every Wednesday from now until Sept. 27, 2023. For more information, click here

Homebound Services
If you’re homebound or a caregiver of a homebound individual, you may be eligible for the Free Library’s Homebound Services. Books and other materials can be delivered to your home and returned for free. To apply for a Homebound Services Library Card, click here.


Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services 
The Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) offers free training for those interested in earning a Mental Health First Aid certification. The training is facilitated weekly. Register here.

Providence Center
The Providence Center is teaching a 12 week English class, with morning or evening sessions available. Registration is $30 and book fee is $30. Applications close Sept. 16. Register here

Philadelphia Department of Public Health
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health hosts an overdose prevention and reversal training virtually twice a month. The next training is on Sept. 20. Register here.

Volunteer Opportunities

Sunday Love Project
Sunday Love Project
is looking for volunteers at their Greater Goods grocery in Kensington. If you’re interested in acting as a personal shopper, helping pack bulk items, or stocking shelves, email

Philly Community Wireless
Philly Community Wireless needs tech and outreach volunteers. Learn more here

Please send any news or press releases to