"It would be great if we could build more useful and creative things around our city to make it a better and happier place."
-D'Ashay, a 17 year old Tiny WPA participant
Philadelphia has 40,000 vacant lots, 20,000 under-loved bus stops, as well as crumbling parks, playgrounds and schools. Throughout the city there are also scores of young adults who need jobs, seek more hands-on experience to make school and learning more meaningful, and deeply want to make their communities better places to live. We believe that incredible things can happen when we connect youth with the needs of our city and empower them to design and build innovative solutions to address these challenges.
To this end we created Tiny WPA.
Originally conceived as a program of Public Workshop, Tiny WPA has since expanded in response to the overwhelming enthusiasm of teens, the growing interests in creative place-based change, and the need to connect and grow a field of community design leaders. Today, Tiny WPA is a nonprofit organization that places youth and adults at the forefront of stimulating community engagement and civic innovation in Philadelphia (and elsewhere) by empowering them to design and build improvements to the public spaces, schools and micro-infrastructure in their neighborhoods.
Tiny WPA grows out of the desire by many young adults to make a transformative contribution to their school, neighborhood or city.
Projects are developed in response to communities' specific challenge(s). Each project is built by the community for the community.
Initiated in Philadelphia, Tiny WPA is working with cities across the country.