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Philadelphia Stories Collection

In 2023, the Philadelphia Museum of Art invited Truelove Seeds to take part in their Community Spotlight initiative. We in turn invited four Philadelphia-based community gardens and farms be a part of a storytelling project featuring their beloved food crops. 

With the support of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Truelove Seeds, each group selected and collaborated with artists from within their community to help visually tell the stories of their ancestral crops and why they are so important. At an unveiling event in La Villa Africana Colobó, we gathered to unveil the art (now featured on our Truelove Seeds packets), share food, stories, music, and tour the beautiful gardens.

Below are the seed keepers, their artists, and the seed stories they told. Scroll further for links to their posters and seeds. 

 Iris Brown presenting art by Celso González

Iris Brown (center) of Villa Africana Colobó presents Recao, Gandules, and Ají Dulce as depicted by Puerto Rican artist Celso González. In the image, she is holding a pot of Arroz con Gandules, beside her mother and grandmother. Owen Taylor of Truelove Seeds and Shivon Love of Philadelphia Museum of Art are holding the posters.

Minh Tran, Thao Tran, and Amanda Chan of VietLead presenting Bitter Melon

Minh Tran, Thao Tran, and Amanda Chan of VietLead with Smooth Bitter Melon, which was hand-carved and printed by Thao. 

Omar Buenaventura, Maria Dumlao, Bitter Kalli, and Nicky Uy with Siling Labuyo Pepper

Nicky Uy and Omar Buenaventura of Bahay215 invited seed grower Bitter Kalli of Star Apple Farm (center right) and artist Maria Dumlao (holding poster) to illustrate the importance and joy of Siling Labuyo pepper from the Philippines.

Naw Doh, Shira Walinsky, and Eh Nay with Chin Baung

Naw Doh of Novick Urban Farm with artists Eh Nay Htoo and Shira Walinsky lifted up the story of Chin Baung (Burmese Roselle). 

 For other community projects we are involved with, see our Community Work page. Learn more about the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Community Spotlight Initiative here.

Posters and Seeds from the Philadelphia Museum of Art Community Spotlight Initiative: