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Kensington news: Frankford Ave's new Philly sports mural, La Puerta Abierta party, fall festivals & more

A group plays basketball at Heitzman Recreation Center on Oct. 11, 2023. (Photo by Khysir Carter)

It’s only Monday, but it’s been a busy week so far, folks. 

On deck over the next few days, you’ll hear about a new street cleaning pilot program targeting sanitation issues on Kensington Avenue and a Harrowgate non-profit that quietly serves up to 500 people a week. Also, ex-Kensington police officer Patrick Heron will be back in court

Plus, tonight — go, Phils. If you haven’t seen it already, local artist Jose “Busta” Bustamonte – on Instagram at – painted a new Philly sports mural outside Chuckles Bar and Grille on Frankford Ave. 

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A post shared by John C. Zerbe (@jczerbe89)

And in case you missed it, here’s a story about Centro de Nueva Creación’s after-school program, which serves about 60 kids at William Cramp Elementary. 

The key is to have resilience,” said Maribel Lozada, the executive director of Centro. “And also tackle the family so they can be resilient too, and survive and bounce back when they’re in difficult situations.”

Click here to read more

Our upcoming programs 

We’re hosting a few of our own programs at our newsroom at Allegheny & Amber Street: 

Mural Art Mondayz (Youth Voices) 
Mondays from 3:30 to 5:30 PM

Students in grades six through 12 are invited to this free workshop series, where they will develop a mural design at Kensington Voice with community artist John C. Zerbe ( 

Students can drop in for one workshop, a few, or all! But youth participants who attend at least half (5) of the workshops will receive a $75 gift card at the final event in December.

Click here for more info, including registration. 

Creative Writing Corner (Youth Voices) 
Tuesdays from 3:30 to 5:30 PM 

Students in grades six through 12 are invited to join our Creative Writing Corner with Khysir Carter, a writing workshop dedicated to building creative writing skills with peers and writing professionals. 

Students can drop in at any time. However, youth participants who work with us to publish their writing in our newspaper, website, or other media will receive a gift card ranging from $75 to $150 for their work. 

Click here for more info, including registration. 

Lastly, this newsletter and our stories are free to read because we believe it’s important to make local news accessible. If you’d like to help support this work, please consider becoming a paid member

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


The Amber Owls cheer team has limited spaces left for youth between the ages of five to nine years old. This week will be the last chance to enroll your kids for this season as sign-ups close this Friday. Sign-ups will reopen in February for their short season. Contact Coach Mimi Martinez by calling 267-597-2446 or emailing for more information.

Activities & Events 

Oct. 16
H&H Books is hosting an author talk for Melissa Lozada-Oliva’s book “Candelaria”. Join the author for a discussion about her work with Sadie Dupois. The event will take place from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.  

Oct. 17
The Please Touch Museum is hosting a Children’s Mayoral Conversation with mayoral Candidates David Oh and Cherelle Parker during which 100 students from the museum’s surrounding community will be invited to speak with both candidates about issues most important to them. The event will begin at 10:30 a.m. and will be streamed live on the Please Touch Museum’s YouTube channel. Click here to watch.

Prevention Point Philadelphia is hosting a screening of the Art of Survival, a documentary about The Kensington Storefront, at the Love Lot at Monmouth & Ruth Streets from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.

Oct. 18
Community organizer Wanda Johnson is hosting a food giveaway on Wednesday at 9 a.m. on the 1800 block of Atlantic and Stoutin Streets. Attendees are encouraged to bring a cart or a bag for their groceries.  

The Greater Philadelphia Diaper Bank is distributing free diapers and menstrual products on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at 3525 I St. along the Venango Avenue side of the building. 

H&H Books is hosting part 6 of its Bricks Reading series, an event centering transcultural conversations on literature and aesthetics, at 7 p.m. in the bookstore. This event will feature authors Minda Honey, Isle McElroy, and Camille Acker. 

Oct. 19
Join Fab Youth Philly to learn about codes of ethics for youth workers. The workshop for youth development professionals will take place on Thursday, Oct. 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at 2400 N. Howard St. Register here

Brightside Academy is offering a virtual tour of its location on Kensington and Allegheny Avenues. The 30-minute tour takes place every Thursday at 2 p.m. 

Vision Zero PHL is hosting a community workshop on safety improvements to Aramingo Avenue. The meeting will take place at Heitzman Recreation Center from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. To learn more about the project, click here. To share your thoughts in a survey, click here

Asociación de Puertorriqueños en Marcha is hosting a parent cafe on resilience and knowledge of parenting and child development. The meeting will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Zoom. For more information, contact Yaniere at 267-507-1343 or Danyelle at 215-5264499.

In collaboration with the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival, Taller Puertorriqueño is hosting a film screening of “Perfume de Gardenias” from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The film follows the story of an elderly Puerto Rican woman finding solace in designing idiosyncratic funerals after the death of her husband. A panel discussion will follow

Oct. 20-22
B the Pen, a local writer and artist, is performing a one-man play over the weekend with multiple showtimes. The play will take place at 3525 I St. Tickets are $30. 

Oct. 21
By Faith Health and Healing is hosting a fall festival at the Community Center at Visitation. Families can enjoy food, arts & crafts, and music. The event will take place from noon to 2 p.m. at 2646 Kensington Ave.

La Puerta Abierta, which provides pro-bono bilingual mental health services for immigrant communities, is celebrating years of its work with a public party at Las Parcelas. The event will take place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Mariposas Galacticas will perform cumbia and klezmer sounds. Register before Oct. 18.

Photography Without Borders is hosting a book launch for a new collection featuring the work of its student participants. The event will take place at Taller Puertorriqueño from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Register here

Oct. 22 
Hart Lane Farm is partnering with Mural Arts to host art activities using natural and thrifted materials. The workshops will take place every Sunday until Nov. 5 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at 514 Hart Lane. 

November 1-5
Cook, meet other youth, and get paid for it! Philly Bridge & Jawn and Nourish will be hosting workshops for youth to learn how to cook and network with local organizations and each other. Teens between the ages of 12 to 19 years old can participate and earn a stipend of $20 each day. The pilot program will run through the first week of November from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 2001 E. Allegheny Ave. Register here

Tuesdays & Thursdays
NKCDC is hosting a record clearing clinic at its Kensington Empowerment Hub on 2771 Ruth St., Suite 2. From 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Participants can walk in or schedule an appointment by calling 215-427-350. 

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. 

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

Does your business need extra security? Click here to apply for the City’s Business Security Camera Program. If your business is looking for additional upgrades, check out the Storefront Improvement Program.

General Election 2023

Voter Guide
The General Election is on Nov. 7, 2023. Check out the Committee of Seventy’s free, interactive voter guide here

Voter Registration
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. The deadline to register before the General Election is Oct. 23. 

Upcoming Forums 
Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts is hosting a virtual forum for Pennsylvania’s appellate courts on Oct. 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

The Urban Affairs Coalition is hosting a mayoral candidate forum on Oct. 26 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Temple University’s Liacouras Center on 1776 N. Broad St. Philadelphians can submit questions when registering. Register here


Resolve Philly, in partnership with City Bureau, is looking to train and hire community members to attend public meetings and take notes to share with the wider community. Pay is $17 per hour per assignment. Learn more 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. 

Kensington Food Company
Kensington Food Company is hiring a warehouse team member. Tasks would include receiving shipments, packing orders, and delivery. Pay is $18 per hour for 30 hours per week. Apply here

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


Department of Health and Human Services
Every U.S. household can now order four COVID-19 rapid tests for free through the U.S. government. Click here to order tests.

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

Congreso’s ELECT 
Congreso’s ELECT program serves pregnant and parenting teens under the age of 22 years old working to complete high school or obtain a GED by offering academic support, career planning, home visits, help accessing childcare and more. Click here to sign up. 

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.

Philadelphia Department of Public Health
The health department is providing free air purifiers for early childhood centers and K-12 schools. If you’re an educator with an eligible classroom, click here to request a purifier. 


Philadelphia 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 virtual training is facilitated weekly. 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 Oct. 18. Register here.

Volunteer Opportunities

Avenues of Change
Avenues of Change is looking for volunteers to assist with its afterschool programming for Kensington students. Volunteers must have a background check, fingerprinting, and child abuse clearances to participate. If interested, contact executive director Matt Nocho by calling 267-826-6740 or emailing 

Kensington Soccer Club
Kensington Soccer Club is hosting a food drive from now until Nov. 21. Donors can drop off canned and non-perishable food items between Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 3400 J St., G4. Contact Brianna Banks at 267-972-9077 for more information. 

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

Richard and Friends United in the Community
In addition to volunteers to help distribute food and other goods, Richard and Friends is searching for a web designer to offer pro-bono or sliding scale-priced services. They are looking to create a website with an event calendar and a button where people can click to donate. If interested, call 267- 679-0884 for more information. 

Safe-Hub Philadelphia
Safe-Hub is looking for volunteers to participate in its Tent-or-Treat event at Scanlon Rec Center on Oct. 28 from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. To volunteer, sign up here

Savage Sisters
Savage Sisters
is looking for volunteers to help with their outreach efforts, including the distribution of clothing, harm reduction kits, hot meals, toiletries, and more. To get involved, contact Liddy at or 215-954-6199. 

St. Francis Inn
St. Francis Inn is accepting volunteers to work with them for a year. If interested, apply here

The soup kitchen’s free community wardrobe, Marie’s Closet, is in need of donations of blankets (twin size or larger) and men’s pants, hoodies, and long-sleeved shirts of any size. Drop-offs can be made Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 2441 Kensington Ave. 

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

Have something you’d like us to share in our Monday newsletter? Please send any news or press releases to

Story edited by Jill Bauer-Reese & Khysir Carter