We listen. We learn. We create. We do it again. And we do it together.
Spiral Q is rooted in principles of accessibility, inclusion, self-determination, collaboration, sustainability and life-long learning. In all of our work, we explore the stories behind the community experience and believe in the power of art to express what’s most important. We value community conversations and hands-on creation – and the deep understanding that can come from the combination of the two.
We get our hands dirty. We work with reclaimed and recycled materials and we tackle large-scale projects to show what’s possible when a group of creative and dedicated people set out to make something wonderful.
We tap into our intellectual and our creative spirits. We teach in public schools and around a table, making the connection between understanding, new ideas and hands-on making. And every time we teach, we learn something new that adds to the story. That’s why the “Q” is more than an organization. It’s a community of creative people who have this experience and activate it across issues and disciplines. We know that this learning is what brings us together as an ever-expanding community and helps us make things better in our neighborhoods.
Spiral Q is an approach and a community. We are teachers, makers, organizers, leaders, students, advocates, dancers, performers and everything in between. We combine creativity and know-how to fulfill the vision of creative civic leadership. From volunteers to staff to our board, the people of Spiral Q are the heart of our work.
Girls Rock Philly is a volunteer-based non-profit music and mentoring organization dedicated to empowering girls and young women from the greater Philadelphia region through music education and activities that foster leadership skills, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration.
Social Impact Studios is a creative hub for promoting important social issues. With a focus on public communications, creative activists design action plans, messaging, visuals and moving grassroots experiences to call attention to the work of good causes and pro-active social change movements.
The Philadelphia Youth Media Collaborative strengthens, connects, and promotes organizations that engage youth in the creation, analysis, and distribution of media. PYMC’s network of youth media educators and producers supports youth in becoming creative media makers, critical thinkers, and engaged global citizens.
Little Chair Printing opened in 2010 in the basement of Hope Rovelto’s house, and has since grown to include a Kensington community-based screenprint and education shop, and a mobile bicycle screenprinting outfit. Little Chair makes screenprinting as accessible as possible to folks who have something to say to the world, and empowers them with the tools to make/say it.
“Spiral Q has been an amazing resource, community partner, and safe space for me in my work as a transgender/gender non-conforming activist. Prior to showing up at Spiral Q for the first time, I had not been in a studio for years. I immediately felt really empowered and welcome to use my rusty creative skill set to collaborate on banners and signs which were proudly carried by R.A.G.E. members (Riders Against Gender Exclusion) and Philly Trans* Marchers during direct actions, the Philly Trans* March, and Peoplehood.
Many folks who identify as I do, as queer, trans, brown, female-bodied, small, LMI, often face a lot of (systematic) oppression and invisibility. It feels good to be in the Spiral Q community of artists, figure-outers, speak-uppers, justice-seekers, ruckus-makers, attention-getters, cardboard-manipulators, and identity-expressers where who we are and what we are experiencing become magnified and vibrantly visible. My Spiral Q stands for VISIBILITY.”
“Spiral Q, to me, stands for LEADING WITH THE HEART. So many of the folks I got to work with through the Q have, like most of us, been told too many times that their dreams aren’t worthwhile, aren’t practical, not monetizable. That their communities and we’re/their values are value-less, and therefor not worthy of investment.
So we start to rearrange our thinking and submit our dreams to what is “practical,” “valuable,” “worthwhile.” The Q is that spiral we need to shake up our thinking and our souls, to re-imagine value and, in the process, renegotiate what might actually be possible. Anything is possible when you lead with the heart – I learned that at Spiral Q and alongside the dozens of communities we impacted while I was there.”
“My Spiral Q stands for MAGNIFY. I remember Spiral Q from when I was a teen coming out in Philadelphia through the Attic Youth Center. The Q helped us make large puppets so we could be seen as we marched through Center City to Take Back the Night. Years later Spiral Q was there when the city tried to close down 11 of our libraries and my students wanted to protest. It’s not that Spiral Q gave us a voice. We have our own voices. But Spiral Q magnified our voices, like a megaphone for social justice. It’s easy for people to ignore teens, children, and everyday citizens. The Q gave us tools so that our voices could be heard, paid attention to, and remembered.”