Vare Studio

Vare Studio is an arts and community engagement project for the Vare Rebuild initiative. During Summer 2019, Vare Studio operated as a photo and history studio to collect, preserve, and share a living history of the Vare Recreation Center. As a partnership between the Make the World Better Foundation, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, and Monument Lab, the studio was staffed by teaching artists who specialize in photography, history and sound archiving. Community members are encouraged to visit the studio and bring old photographs to be scanned and preserved; take free photographic portraits with family and friends; and share memories of Vare through the generations in oral history interviews. 

The materials gathered at the studio will be used to give to the organizers and architects of the Vare Rebuild project, and made available for future use in a Vare History Library. All participants will receive a complimentary Yearbook at the end of the project in Fall 2020.


Monument Lab Team: Paul Farber, Kristen Giannantonio, Justin Geller, and William Hodgson

Teaching Artists: Shasta Bady, Naomieh Jovin, Heather Raquel Phillips, and Fred Schmidt-Arenales

Partners: Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Make the World Better, The City of Philadelphia’s Rebuild Initiative