Journeys South: Planning Project Interviews

by City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and The Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Journeys South — a project of the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program in partnership with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania — was a multi-disciplinary public art project that drew inspiration from both oral and archival historical sources to trace the history of South Philadelphia as reflected in the legacies of immigration.

Journeys South: Planning Project Interviews

With support from a planning grant from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage through the Heritage Philadelphia Program, the development of Journeys South began with research and discussion. The Mural Arts Program convened a group of advisors—artists, business people, community organizers and residents. Over the course of several months, this group would explore the territory and help develop an approach both to history in South Philadelphia and to what it meant to make sense the community’s long and often invisible changes.

As part of this process, interviews were conducted with South Philadelphia residents and community leaders.

David Seng is a Cambodian refugee and leader in South Philadelphia’s Cambodian community. He works in human services and directs the Beacon Program at Bok High School. Mr. Seng is from a farming family in Battambang Province, and fled the Khmer Rouge as a child. He came to the United States in 1985.

Full Interview with David Seng

Dominic Pacitti was born in South Philadelphia and lived there until he was a teenager. As a senior citizen, he and his wife have returned to the old neighborhood to live near to his son, who is the pastor at Annunciation Church.

Full Interview with Dominic Pacitti

Dorothy Allen’s parents were from Florida and the Carolinas, but she was born and raised in South Philadelphia. Now in her late 80s, she is the founder of the Barrett Education Center in Point Breeze. Tiphanie White is Ms. Allen’s granddaughter. She has taken over the running of the center.

Full Interview with Dorothy Allen and Tiphanie White

Eleonora Barbieri is an Italian teacher at Filitalia, an Italian language and cultural center on East Passyunk Avenue. She is originally from Rome.

Full Interview with Eleonora Barbieri

Frank Olivieri, Jr. is the owner of the first cheesesteak business, Pat’s King of Steaks. Pat’s was founded by his great-uncle and his grandfather in 1930.

Full Interview with Frank Olivieri, Jr.

Gloria Endres is an Italian-American who was born and raised in South Philadelphia. She was a member of the first graduating class of Saint Maria Goretti High School in 1958 and went on to become a schoolteacher in both public and parochial schools.

Full Interview with Gloria Endres

Joshua Colón is an employee at Pat’s Steaks. Born and rasied in South Philly. He is 22 years old and is of Puerto Rican and Italian descent.

Full Interview with Joshua Colón

Julie Gattone is an employee of the St. Jude Shop, a store on East Passyunk Avenue selling Catholic items. She was born and raised on 5th Street in South Philadelphia.

Full Interview with Julie Gattone

Peter Bloom is the director and one of the founders of Juntos, the first formal organization formed in South Philadelphia to aid and organize the growing Mexican immigrant community. Mr. Bloom became involved with the Mexican community while in his early 20s, and has since become one of its leading advocates.

Full Interview with Peter Bloom

This project has been funded by The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage through the Heritage Philadelphia Program.

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