New events, new life on Frankford Ave!

In February, Circle of Hope started off 2016’s First Friday events with artist Eric Van Nielsen. Eric got connected through his friend Jason, who plays baseball with Joshua Grace. Eric is an abstract oil painter who spends his free time working at Trader Joe’s and playing music. It was a really, really great event. Eric is selling prints of his work from $25 to $90. You can contact him at

The March First Friday event with Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture‘s teaching program (pictured above)​ and Moffett Elementary was amazing. We packed the house with students and parents from Moff​e​tt, and the kids performed amazingly skilled drum sets and the choir was beautiful. The art in our gallery space is also from the students in the program, who were taught by Lisa Volta. ​It was a great example of working more with the community and reaching out to people. Al-Bustan is already expressing interest in another event​ for the 2016-2017 school year!

circle of hope, philadelphia, south jersey, jesus, love, God, dorothy day, benefit, phillySaturday night​, March 5th, was the Dorothy Day Robinson​ Benefit show. That event was put together by DJ & Jill Robinson, and it was absolutely great.​ The events team stepped up where they could: Eric Rivera was on sound with Joseph Mahoney, our resident sound guru; Lauren Stichter organized the raffle and ran it with the help of Jess Stichter and Jess Barragan; Kristen Snow, Greg Fuguet, and Brittany Phillips managed the door and collected the money; Ana Bosak and Amanda Capasso did their best to be present and help keep the space in ord​er, clean up after, and be a general presence there to support DJ and Jill and direct people.

circle of hope, south jersey, philadelphia, philly, churches, church, God, Jesus, loveSo many people came in and out throughout the night, from families to a host of friends jamming to the amazing line-up of bands: Dolores, Soporus, and Oldermost. The gallery space was also jam packed ​from people trying to buy Dorothy Day shirts Ben Wildflower made for the event, to getting their raffle tickets into as many jars as they could! Lauren​ and Jess are raffle masters! The event raised an additional $4,700 on top of what they raised via their Facebook Event notice and PayPal.

The Events team is not done for March, and hopes to be able to continue the momentum and involve more people in the Circle of Hope community. March 12th we are hosting a music event, with Eric Van Nielsen, Usti Waya and The Tea Club–two out of the three artists are members of Circle of Hope. March 12th we are also hosting Taino Cultural Worship Series. The following weekend, March 18th, we’ve got a Games Night and on Saturday March 19th there are two Baby and Kids Goods Exchanges happening: one on Frankford Ave and one in New Jersey.

We’re also hosting artist Lena Moffett on April 1st for First Friday, and we’ve just booked a table at the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival. We are always looking for more people to join the team and to host more events for the community. If you’d like to have an event at our location, just shoot us a message at [email protected]. If you already have an event scheduled, and just need help promoting, and an extra pair of hands during your event, let us know! We’ll do our best to help spread the word and have someone there to assist.

-Amanda Capasso, reporting

​Amanda Capasso recently became the team leader for the gallery and events team at 2007 Frankford Ave. (Thanks Amanda!) By day she is a legal assistant, by night a photography student. She’s been a part of the Circle of Hope community for nearly three years. 

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