Visit Philly shines spotlight on minority-owned business this holiday season

Nazeer Sabree – Yowie

Recently, Visit Philadelphia announced a new initiative driven towards casting a spotlight on minority-owned business with a spotlight on work by 12 QBIPOC (queer, Black, Indigenous, people of color) artists, all while beautifying and reinvigorating the city’s empty storefronts—a meaningful project to say the least.

This latest doing by the organization is going to be placed in 24 Black-and Brown-owned businesses adversely affected by COVID-19, and is an extension of of Visit Philadelphia’s Love + Grit Podcast. This particular showcase of exhibitions officially titled the Love + Grits Storefronts Project offers more than what meets the eye as well—a chance for fans of art to win nearly $2,000 in prizes from these vital businesses.

As the release states, this integrated marketing initiative is part of Visit Philadelphia’s continuing efforts to support Black-and Brown-owned businesses and supplement the City of Philadelphia’s commitment to cultivating and growing small, diverse businesses. It is funded in part by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. On view through the holidays, the art appears in 14 storefronts in multiple neighborhoods —from Chinatown and Roxborough to Northern Liberties and Northwest Philly. Curated by photographer Conrad Brenner (of the popular photo blog Streets Dept) and curator Ginger Rudolph, the installation features works by Fabiola Laura, Tash Billington and Nazeer Sabree, to name a few. Each artist collaborated with two businesses that served as the inspiration for their custom-made digital artwork.

Illkya Acosta – Grant BlvdProvided

“We’re ecstatic that the Love + Grit Storefronts Project is beautifying the city, building civic pride, shining a light on local QBIPOC artists and supporting the Black-and Brown-owned businesses that are so vital to our neighborhoods,” said Rachel Ferguson, chief innovation & global diversity officer of Visit Philadelphia in a statement. “The love and grit, creativity and resilience of Philadelphia’s artists and entrepreneurs are the soul of this city, and the campaign demonstrates what Philly does best: Turn loss into inspiration and empty spaces into opportunity.”

To enter the sweepstakes, Philadelphians can enter at at or through the QR code featured on each of the 24 pieces of art. Prizes range from beauty and wellness products from A Man’s Cave and Ursula’s About Phace Rittenhouse Makeup Studio, clothes from The Modern Republic and Harriett’s Bookshop, and homewares from YOWIE and Roberto Lugo Studio.

On top of the artful installations, there will be weekly opportunities to shop. The release also states, in addition to beautifying the city, this project encourages Philadelphians to shop Black-and Brown-owned businesses during the holiday season and beyond—an effort that will be reinforced by the City of Philadelphia through the second year of its Shop Black Business Friday initiative, taking place each Friday in December of this year.

El MerkuryProvided

“It should come as no surprise that the holiday season isa make-or-break time for most retail businesses, and Uncle Bobbie’s is no different. We do everything we can to make the end of the year a huge success,” said Justin Moore, general manager in a statement. “That’s why we’re excited to be working with Visit Philadelphia on this initiative and we’re hoping that having this platform will introduce us to future customers who will think of us when it’s time to buy gifts for their friends and family.”

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