Blog Archives

Leonardo Dreams of his Flying Machine


Spiral Q performs with Singing City Choir
Sunday May 4th – at 3PM
Steps off at 36th and Pearl St.

After nearly ten years in retirement, Leonardo returns for another performance of Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine in collaboration with Singing City as part of their 66th Anniversary Concert Wit and Whimsy. For more information and tickets, go here.

The Spiral Q collection and you!
Leonardo is just one of many puppets from the past two decades who spends his days lounging around our puppet workshop. Show the puppets some love and invite them to your event, or foster a puppet to bring joy and purpose to your office, lobby, or other space. Consult Tracy at with questions about puppet fostering and puppet rental opportunities.


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April 27, 2014 · 3:32 pm

Announcing QLICIOUS 2014: The Qarnival of Carnival


The Qarnival of Carnival

Your favorite party is back!
With Live Performances, the Q Awards,
a Dance Party with DJ Half-breed, Mask-Making, Gala Games, an Art Auction, Desserts, Drinks and more…

Saturday February 15th, 2014 • 8:00-11:00PM
at the Ethical Society Building • 1906 Rittenhouse Square

Sliding Scale* $35-$75
Limited quantity lower priced tickets
Sliding scale available until Friday 2/7/14

Buy on Brown Paper Tickets – here

Fluff up your favorite frocks, feathers, and fancy pants! We love to see the Q in you!
From your Rhinestones with your Ready to Wear to Extravagant Ephemera.
Mask, hats and feather boas optional.


The West Powelton Steppers
People’s Petticoat Pageant
The Rude Mechanical Orchestra
(Radical Marching Band and Dance Troupe, NYC)
and a stage of more!


Presented by celebrity hosts:
Gretchen Elise and Valerie Gay

Asian Americans United
El Sawyer
The Leeway Foundation
Michael Norris
Philadelphia Folklore Project


QLICIOUS is Spiral Q’s annual celebration of arts and activism; a coming together of queens, divas, daredevils, and do-gooders like you whose collective effort sets the world aright. Please join us in recognizing and celebrating a very special group of individuals and organizations who have committed their time, energies, creativity, spirit, and sweat to putting joy in justice, challenging discrimination, overcoming oppressions, and building strong and equitable communities.

All proceeds from QLICIOUS help Spiral Q make more art with more communities for more justice!

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February 3, 2014 · 5:02 pm



“I saw kids use art to cry out against the school budget cuts.”

Just a few short months ago, Philadelphia was astounded by the chants of its youth as they rallied for equity in education.

Children as young as 6 years old marched alongside cardboard warriors they had crafted with their own hands and expressed the hopes that Spiral Q helped them envision for their own futures.

They showed Philadelphia that children from its urban communities have conviction, confidence, and courage. They can be strong advocates for themselves and their communities, showing city council members that they deserve better. When others believe in them, they believe in themselves.

Parents called to thank Spiral Q for believing in their children and helping them animate their own beliefs.

“I’ve never seen my children be so independent, so proud and articulate. They were clearly empowered to speak up for their schools and to represent their community.”

This is just one inspiring example of Spiral Q’s impact, which is deep, broad, long-lasting and extraordinary – and you’re an important part of it. There is no Q without you…

Real change is possible when we come together to support what we believe in.pose_with_puppetThe Q believes:

  • Our public school students deserve art.
  • Our communities need changemakers who know how to support them as they give voice to their convictions.
  • Our transformational approach can help others create the same rippling change in their own cities.
If you believe these things to be true, and I think you do, please contribute today.
Your contribution will help catalyze change for
more than 3,500 people, half of them children.

Your contribution will directly support:

  • Spiral Q’s public school partnership programs by placing a team of artists and organizers in residence in our neighborhood school. Spiral Q provides intensive arts instruction for every student at all grade levels, works closely with faculty, staff and families to invigorate the school climate, and strengthens the fabric of the school and neighborhood communities through the production of festival and parade.womensworldcourt

  • Amplifying students’ visions and voices. Spiral Q helps youth set the stage for their futures through arts and advocacy projects, printmaking, shadow puppetry, and multimedia theater during critical after school hours at schools, recreation centers, and public housing sites throughout the city.
  • Spiral Q performing once again this spring with a leader in the civil rights movement, Singing City, founded as an integrated choir in 1948 on the belief that differences between races, religions, and cultures could be bridged by ordinary people coming together in shared activities.
  • Intensive hands-on leadership training for 20 emerging community arts changemakers in high schools and colleges throughout the Philadelphia area.phood_parade13

  • Peoplehood, Philadelphia’s most beloved pageant, which parades the joy of justice through West Philadelphia and University City each fall.
  • Our Arts Emergency Response System, with space, supplies and sass so communities can rally for stronger schools, safer streets, environmental advocacy, and good jobs for everyone. No one else funds this work. The resource is only available when people like you show their support.
With joy and justice,Tracy Broyles
Executive Director

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December 20, 2013 · 3:54 pm

Fall festivals this weekend and beyond


The 18th Annual Mid-Autumn Festival
Saturday, September 14th, 2013 from 12:45 to 6:00 pm
at the China Friendship Gate at 10th and Arch Streets


2014 Q Awardee, Asian American United’s annual celebration is a testament to the strength, wealth, and self-determination of the Chinatown community. This tradition highlights the power of community organized cultural festivals to bring people together and claim authorship of their lives. Sitting directly at the intersection of arts and activism, the Mid-Autumn Festival has played a pivotal role in affirming and celebrating cultural strength and diversity, strengthening and building community organizing skills across generations, and promoting pride in the Chinese culture and community. Take inspiration from the vitality and vigor of the Chinatown community, who has successfully determined the course of development in its community again and again, challenging the forces of discrimination and oppression, and standing proudly to brings its priorities to life and to light. We’re gonna go! Hope to see you there! More info here

Burlington County Art in the Park
Sunday September 15th from 11am-4PM
At Historic Smithville Park- 803 Smithville Rd, Easthampton, NJ

Celebrate music, theater, fine arts and crafts at this annual event. Join in the fun with Spiral Q as we play with puppets and make masks out of recycled materials, culminating in a puppet parade through the festival at 3pm!

Sunday October 6th 11am-5pm
Clark Park – 44th St. and Chester Ave.Image

Look for Spiral Q and our puppet fun as we prepare for Peoplehood at this free day-long collaborative art project in Clark Park.

figment 2
Save the Date – New Date
The Peoplehood Parade

Sunday November 3rd
Paul Robeson House (50th and Walnut) to Clark Park
ImageJoin the parade or find a street side spot to celebrate the 13th Peoplehood Parade! Contact if you’d like to register your group, volunteer, help spread the word, or find out other ways you can get involved. So excited to be marching the streets of West Philly again!
peoplehood_2 2
Meet Quinn Spiral Q
ImageIn an effort to better connect with our friends and allies on a daily basis (and avoid restrictions and low visibility on our page’s content – more info on this phenonmenon here) the Q has introduced Quinn to our social media presence.Search for Quinn Spiralq and friend us today! ❤ ❤ ❤

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September 13, 2013 · 8:38 pm

Announcing Spiral Q’s Annual Arts and Activism Awards Show


Announcing Spiral Q’s Annual Arts & Activism Award Show!

Spiral Q and celebrity hosts
Tracy Broyles, Michelle Ortiz, Michael Norris and Valerie Gae
welcome you to join on us on this momentous occasion

Come celebrate these remarkable artists and organizations for their
courage and creative contributions to making the world a better place.

SATURDAY, MAY 18th, 2013 • 8PM – Midnight
1400 N. American Street, Philadelphia

Early-bird tickets: $65 each.
Tickets & Sponsorship Opportunities here (

Join us for this star studded evening
with Philadelphia’s finest cardboard connoisseurs.
No show like it on earth…
Glitter! Glory! Glamour! Grit! Guts!
Where else in the world can you break out your most fabulous self?
Dance with a drill team, laugh, cry,
and rejoice in the glory of these amazing artists.

The 2013 Q Award Honorees are:
Dito Van Reigersberg                        Zoe Strauss
The Leeway Foundation                     Anna Whitehead
buildOn Philadelphia                         El Sawyer
Philadelphia Folklore Project              Asian Americans United

With guest performances by
The West Powelton Steppers Drill Team and
The Lion Dancers of Cheung’s Hung Gar Kung Fu Academy

RECEPTION & DANCEPARTY with DJ Half-Breed to follow
Savory and sweet treats and open bar

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May 3, 2013 · 5:36 pm