Last month, the folks who run things behind the scenes here at The Soapbox went on a retreat. For some this was a brand-new experience, and for the more experienced members, it was a lovely way to check in again after a year and talk about how far we’ve come—and where we plan to go.
We left the city on a Friday evening for our destination, a guesthouse on a working farm. Our companions there were a field full of lowing cows and a few playful barn cats. We spotted swallows flying overhead and pointed out as many flowers as we could identify. We breathed in the sweet air and enjoyed each other’s company, preparing for a weekend filled with conversations and plans.
We’re happy to report that we feel proud of the progress we’ve made over the last year — and over the 6 years that The Soapbox has been in existence. As we reviewed how far we’ve come, we recalled that, at last year’s retreat, moving our studio space to 4700 Kingessing Street was only an idea. Now it’s about to become a reality. Though the timeline for beginning operations in this new space has extended further than we ever expected it to, plans and construction are in motion. We’ve moved several presses into place, and have marked out space for our growing zine library, complete with a seating area where visitors can research and read in comfort.
Other milestones have included working with our generous funders at the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy, and our partnerships with a variety of wonderful groups around the city to put on unique programming in the areas of zine-making, paper-making, letterpress, writing, and more. We are thankful to the Philadelphia Science Festival, the Asian Arts Initiative, the People’s Paper Co-op, Moore College of Art & Design, Taller Puertorriqueño, and AIGA Philadelphia for making these connections with us. We’re working, too, on developing our creative and organizational knowledge bases, to enhance what we are able to offer our Philadelphia community.
Looking to the future feels more exciting now than ever. We have plans to develop our collection of zines and artists’ books with more intentionality, diversity, and inclusion. We’ve got a full line-up of interesting programs in the works for the coming fall. And work on our new space continues, which we’ll inform you of each step of the way.
If the idea of working with our group on projects like these interests you, please know that we are currently seeking applications for two new board members. Send us an email for more information, and let’s talk!