Rachel Payne Karasick

Grant-Funded Projects

Free Library of Philadelphia


Grants: Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), NBC
Project Synopsis: MakerJawn: An Intergenerational Library STEAM Initiative is a project designed to create on-the-floor Makerspaces in libraries in underserved neighborhoods in North Philadelphia. These spaces will enable local residents of all ages to gain access to technology and participatory education, and will encourage creative applications and collaborative projects.

Get Hype Philly!

Grant: GSK
Project Synopsis: Get HYPE Philly! is a high energy, youth-focused collective impact initiative in lead by  to prevent obesity and promote health in Philadelphia. A Collective of ten non-profit organizations throughout Philadelphia, including Free Library Neighborhood Libraries, will leverage citywide assets developed through the Get Healthy Philly initiative to engage youth as leaders to increase access to healthy food and physical activity in underserved neighborhoods.

READ! By 4th

Grant: Lenfest Foundation
Project Synopsis: Read by 4th is a citywide effort of over 90 organizations, public and private, large and small, convened and managed by the Free Library of Philadelphia, aiming to significantly increase the number of students in Philadelphia entering the 4th grade at reading level by 2020.

Framing Fraktur

Grants: Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Virginia Cretella Mars Foundation
Project Synopsis: The Free Library of Philadelphia will present two simultaneous exhibitions: one on Pennsylvania German Fraktur works from its collection, and one featuring the work of contemporary artists, called Framing Fraktur. The contemporary exhibition will be curated by Judith Tannenbaum and will include an installation by the Romanian-born Tobias brothers, as well as works by Marian Bantjes, Anthony Campuzano, Imran Qureshi, Elaine Reichek, and Bob and Roberta Smith. The Free Library seeks to use contemporary art to engage audiences with our collections, as well as to advance our vision to become a nationally recognized center for the arts and humanities.

Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Monster Within

Grant: Pew Center for Arts & Heritage
Project Synopsis: In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein, the Rosenbach will create an exhibition and public programs exploring the genesis of Mary Shelley’s monster alongside Bram Stoker’s Dracula for 2017-2018. Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Monster Within will provide interactive access to the literary, scientific, medical, and philosophical sources that Shelley and Stoker used to mold their creatures and will engage visitors with in-gallery and programmatic opportunities to respond to the ethical and social implications surrounding these monsters.

College Prep Program

Grants: Lindback Foundation, Dolfinger McMahon Foundation
Project Synopsis: The Free Library’s College Prep Program provides at-risk Philadelphia high school students with free training workshops and personalized coaching to equip them to apply for and gain admittance to college. The Library offers a comprehensive, evaluation-driven model of college preparatory programming.

The Literacy Enrichment After-school Program (LEAP)

Grants: Merck Foundation, DowGives, Thomas Skelton Harrison Foundation, Bank of America
Project Synopsis: The Literacy Enrichment After-school Program (LEAP) provides homework assistance, computer literacy, and library skills for students in grades K–12, and daily literacy enrichment activities for elementary school students. LEAP activities and programs promote traditional literacy as well as literacy in science, technology, and cultural arts.

Jobseeker Services

Grants: Citizens Bank Foundation, IMLS planning grant
Project Synopsis: Based on Parkway Central’s successful model of job fairs, fairs hosted at additional locations will draw from both neighborhood-specific businesses and larger area employers to attract local jobseekers of all ability and educational levels. To expand the reach of the Citizens Bank Foundation’s Job Fairs throughout the community, neighborhood libraries will reorient library time and space to host a “day of opportunity.” These Job Fairs will increase public awareness of employment opportunities and support jobseeking efforts. In addition, each location will host career specialists to assist with résumé writing and critique, online applications, and interview tips.

Corvallis Youth House Garden / Corvallis Environmental Center

  • Youth Gardener Workforce Development Training
    Grants: OYEI, Trust Management Corporation
  • Supper at SAGE
    Sponsorships: Stahlbush Island Farms, Slow Food Corvallis, Ten Rivers Food Web
  • Cooped Up in Corvallis
    Sponsorships: Habitat Humanity ReStore, Robnett’s Hardware, Denson’s Feed and Seed, Garland Nursery