Philadelphia’s Spiral Q lives at the intersection of arts and social justice. Established in 1996, Spiral Q uses popular arts (parades, print, pageantry, puppets) to build an urban arts democracy rooted in principles of accessibility, inclusion, self-determination, collaboration, sustainability, and life long learning. Spiral Q works with reclaimed and recycled materials, teaches in schools and community organizations throughout the city, leads collaborative planning of giant public art projects, and supports creative community organizing. Spiral Q’s work is nationally recognized for its originality, its capacity to inspire individuals of all ages and backgrounds, and its ability to creatively revitalize communities throughout Philadelphia.
The organization has been honored with the 2010 George Bartol Arts Education Award from the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation, three consecutive years of highly competitive funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Philadelphia Foundation’s Good Governance Award in 2006, the Peace Award from the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in 2002, and the Bread and Roses Community Fund’s Community Empowerment Award in 2001. The organization was also voted Philly’s Best of 2008 with Casino Free Philly in City Paper’s annual Philly Madness contest. In testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee in 2010 regarding funding for arts and culture, Mayor Michael Nutter cited Spiral Q as a prime example of the "highly regarded and successful" art organizations that form an important part of Philadelphia's economy.