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Matthew Mitchell: Glimpse into the life of a re- cipient of the Pew Fellowship in the Arts

By Nicole Contosta Staff Reporter


hen part-time musi- cians consider mak- ing the leap to full-

time professional, the public at-large generally cautions, “Don’t quit your day job.” And yet that’s exactly what center city resident Matthew Mitchell did. Mitchell, one of the thirteen winners of this year’s Pew Fellowship in the Arts for $60,000, left his full-time gig working at the University of the Arts Library to pursue a career as a pianist and a composer. The year was 2009. But Mitchell didn’t abruptly leave his job in the blind hope that all of his mu-

sical aspirations would magi- cally come to fruition. “I went to school for mu- sic,” Mitchell explained during an over the phone interview. During that inter- view, Mitchell was en route to NYC to stay the night before traveling to perform at the Rhode Island Jazz Festival the following day. “After I fi nished grad school in 1998, I played gigs for a while. And it’s tough for musicians to be discriminatory about the kind of music they play.” Some of those gigs included wed- dings. “It’s not like I thought I was above it. But I didn’t like it so I checked out for a while to get a low stakes day job,” Mitchell explained.

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Matt Mitchell.

“I never stopped being a musician. I just stopped do- ing gigs that I didn’t want to play.” In 2009, after nine years of playing on the side while he worked the nine

to fi ve grind, Mitchell had fi nally achieved enough no- tice to quit and become self- employed.

Others describe Mitchell’s continued on page 5 AUGust 08, 2012




Community revitalizes a much-needed pocket park at 22nd

& Catherine Streets

By Nicole Contosta Staff Reporter


ucked between South Street West and Point Breeze, lies a neighbor-

hood on the rebound. Repre- sented by the South of South Street Neighborhood Associa- tion (SOSNA), this area boasts hip destination spots like the Side Car Bar and Grille at 22nd and Christian Streets as well as the up and coming Ultimo Coff ee at 22nd

and Catherine

Streets. Cattycorner to the cof- fee shop rests is the soon to be opened Catherine Park. Currently under construc- tion, the park will represent a welcome addition to a neighborhood that lacks open spaces. Notably, the new park, where a row home stood de- cades before, was already des-

Rendering of pocket-garden at 22nd & Catherine Streets. Residents Chris Fanelli, Manie Ray and members of SOSNA all banded together to make the park a reality.

ignated as a public space in the 1970’s. According to research conducted by Andrew Dalzell, SOSNA’s Program Coordina- tor, the park was created dur-

ing the Rizzo Administration in preparation for the Bicen- tennial. But until recently, the park remained bound with a chain link fence and kept un-

der lock and key.

Chris Fanelli, a nearby homeowner, became one of the few key holders with access to continued on page 2

Generation Northeast Corridor (Nex Gen NEC) planning

By Scott Maits H

igh Speed rail (HSR) trains are proven to work best in higher den- sity corridors of less then 100 to over 600 miles (depending on top speeds) with a lot less envi- ronmental impacts than high- ways and airplanes. High speed rail is now being recognized as the most cost eff ective way to untie congestion on other modes of transportation with- out negative impacts. While the U.S. has several rail corridors that would be suitable and cost eff ective to develop HSR train service, it has largely been rec- ognized by planners that build- ing a Next Generation North- east Corridor (NEC) is the very best place to build a new line. The trains should be built for international design standards of 220mph or 354kph trains to

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