Philadelphia Federal Credit Union (PFCU) announced today it has chosen to sponsor the Workshop School to build and operate a sculpture for this year’s PFCU Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby and Arts Festival on May 20.
The Workshop School, a public high school in West Philadelphia that enlists a project-based teaching model to educate students from across the city, was one of several schools to respond to PFCU’s call for entries issued in early March. In its application, the Workshop School outlined its approach to split 30 ninth-grade students into two teams that will each construct a sculpture within PFCU’s budget guidelines. One team will build a wooden vehicle on a go-kart frame outfitted with the school’s logo, and the other team will build a steel-based sculpture from scratch.
“Over the past three years, we’ve watched the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby grow beyond the geographical borders of the Fishtown and East Kensington neighborhood and attract people from neighborhoods all across the city and even into the suburbs,” said James McAneney, President/CEO of Philadelphia Federal Credit Union. “We couldn’t be prouder to sponsor not one, but two teams from the Workshop School who will represent the burgeoning creativity of Philadelphians across the region.”
As the team sponsor, PFCU will provide the Workshop School with $4,000 to support the building costs of both derby sculptures. The selected teams will spend the majority of their fourth quarter working on this project, which has been woven into their school day now through the May 20 event.
“We pride ourselves in creative thinking and strive to connect our high school students with real-world design and build challenges,” said Jared Lauterbach, a ninth-grade advisor, special education teacher and math teacher at the Workshop School. “Our students have been exposed to welding, woodworking techniques, and digital fabrication. As ninth graders, they have just begun to scratch the surface of what is possible within each of these fields, and the PFCU sponsorship allows them to be at the helm of designing, building and solving problems at a larger scale. We are grateful to PFCU for this opportunity to apply classroom-based knowledge to a community project.”
As part of its entry, the Workshop School outlined a proposed budget breakdown detailing the estimated costs to complete the two sculptures. The proposal will be reviewed by PFCU’s financial educator, Erin Ellis, who will host a budgeting session with the teams to help fine-tune their estimated costs and create and adhere to a more detailed financial plan. PFCU is also offering the public a behind-the-scenes look at the build process by enlisting local videographer Nic Justice to produce a documentary highlighting major milestones within the teams’ sculpture-making experience.
The combined derby and arts festival – which, for the past three years, has been a joint effort of the New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC) and East Kensington Neighbors Association (EKNA) – was established to draw residents and visitors to the burgeoning Frankford Avenue Arts Corridor and foster neighborhood revitalization in Kensington. The sculpture derby is a design competition and parade of human-powered vehicle floats striving for an array of awards, and the arts festival, held on Trenton Avenue from Norris Street to Dauphin Street, consists ofmore than200 local arts and food truck vendors, along with live arts demonstrations and performances.
“This is an exciting time for NKCDC as the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby and Arts Festival grows beyond the borders of the Riverwards, and we couldn’t have gotten here without PFCU’s continued generosity as a derby sponsor over the past three years,” said Felix Torres-Colon, the newly appointed Executive Director of NKCDC. “PFCU’s commitment to supporting people from all across our ‘City of Neighborhoods’ has enabled us to reach a greater number of Philadelphians interested in celebrating their community pride.”
To view PFCU’s derby sponsorship updates, visit pfcu.com/derbyteam. For the latest announcements on this year’s Philadelphia Federal Credit Union Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby and Arts Festival, please visit kensingtonkineticarts.org and connect with them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
About Philadelphia Federal Credit Union
Founded in 1951, PFCU is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial institution serving Philadelphia and Columbia County, Pa. PFCU is among the top five credit unions in the Greater Philadelphia area, with 11 branch locations, more than $1 billion in assets, 114,000 members, and more than 400 Select Employee Groups (SEGs). PFCU returns its profits to members in the form of higher dividend rates, lower loan rates, better services, and investment in the community. For more information, visit www.pfcu.com and connect with PFCU on Facebook and Twitter.
About New Kensington Community Development Corporation
NKCDC's mission is to strengthen the physical, social, and economic fabric of the community by being a catalyst for sustainable development and community building. For more information, visit www.nkcdc.org and connect with NKCDC on Facebook and Twitter.
About East Kensington Neighbors Association
EKNA was founded in 2004 with help from the community organizing arm of the NKCDC. EKNA’s mission is to organize the voice, concerns, and actions of East Kensington residents. Geographically, East Kensington is bound by Norris Street to the south, Frankford and Trenton avenues to the east, Lehigh Avenue to the north, and Front Street/Kensington Avenue to the west. For more information, visit www.ekna.org.