Friends Center is hiring a substitute desk clerk

Updated 12/13/2017
Friends Center is recruiting 1-2 new on-call, substitute desk clerks to make sure we have the ongoing coverage we need.

The on-call desk clerk fills in when the regular day, evening, or weekend receptionist is not available.

On weekdays, the desk clerk is responsible for all of the functions of the lobby including greeting visitors and staff, answering phones, and fielding requests for service from tenants.

If called in for evening or weekend work, the receptionist provides coverage for the front desk, opens the building in the morning and closes it at night, monitors the physical plant for problems, and serves as the gracious face of Friends Center for all visitors.

JOB DESCRIPTION: Click to download.

Interested people should send a cover letter and resume to Chris Mohr. (No phone calls, please.)

The position will be open until filled. Friends Center is an equal opportunity employer.

Tenant News: March 2017

NEWS FROM THE DIRECTOR

Is spring here or not? The vast fluctuations in our winter weather remind us that climate has already changed. Fortunately, you are already part of the solution by choosing Friends Center! Our geothermal heating and cooling system, clean energy choices, and other green building features are reducing our carbon footprint. Thank you for being mindful to turn off lights, computers, and other equipment when not needed. And do open the windows on a nice day!

In other news, please check out the Uprooted exhibit, which ends March 9. More info is below. Photos of life in Japanese American farm labor camps remind us of our history and serve as a reminder never to repeat that history with any other group today.

Chris Mohr, Executive Director

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER

Masonry Work

REMINDER: Friends Center has hired a masonry contractor to rebuild the front wall and repoint portions of the Meetinghouse and 1520 Race Street buildings. Stay tuned for the latest information from our staff.

Traffic Pattern Changes on Cherry St.

REMINDER: The contractor rebuilding the Love Park Garage has requested temporary changes in traffic patterns for our block of Cherry Street during the morning rush hour through March. The plans keep evolving, but if you have any questions, please contact the office.

Catering Discount: The Living Room Café

During the month of March, one of our approved caterers, The Living Room Café, is offering a special discount on all catering orders. Any orders placed in March are subject a 10% discount.  If you mention Morris Animal Shelter, you will receive a 5% discount on your order, and the animal shelter will receive the other 5%.

Founded in 1874 by Elizabeth Morris, the Morris Animal Refuge is America’s first animal shelter.  Located at 1242 Lombard Street, they are committed to adoption, education and high-quality care. As an open-admission shelter, they have never turned away an animal in need. In 2016 the Refuge cared for 1,300 animals of all sizes and species and helped over 1,000 community pets get spayed or neutered to reduce pet overpopulation in Philadelphia.

The Mobile CPR Project: RESCHEDULED

The Mobile CPR Project is conducting a free, 30-minute, non-certification class on March 22nd at 12:30pm in the Martin Luther King Room. Space is limited, if you are interested in attending this or a future class, please contact Courtney.

Uprooted Exhibit

The Uprooted Exhibit, brought to us by the Japanese American Citizens League, is on display through March 9th in the Cherry Street Room. If you have not seen the exhibit, which focuses on the Japanese American Farm Labor Camps during WWII, we encourage you to do so before it closes.  For more information, or to schedule a guided tour, please contact Teresa Maebori.

I watched an older Japanese woman get out of a taxi, in front of Friends Center. She stood fully erect, staring at the building, before taking a deep sigh and proceeding into Friends Center. It suddenly hit me; the monumental impact of this event, on the people who survived it, and their descendants who grew up in its shadow.

– Joe Kalil, Friends Center staff


NEWS OF OUR PARTNERS AND TENANTS

American Friends Service Committee

AFSC celebrates its centennial this year and invites you to participate with them.

Waging Peace Summit, April 20-23:
Registration is free for day guests:
https://www.afsc.org/summit

Waging Peace Exhibition, through April 23
at the African American Museum of Philadelphia
http://exhibit.afsc.org/

Art-Reach

Executive Director John Orr is the 2017 Designing Leadership Alumni Award recipient for Art + Business Council’s 32nd annual Art + Business Council Awards. Read more here.

Graham Cracker Cabaret a first for the disability community. WHYY/NewsWorks  story here:  http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/item/101684-martha-graham-cracker

Michelle Angela Ortiz, Stockon Rush Bartol Foundation

Featured in WHYY Commonspace podcast: http://whyy.org/cms/acommonspace/immigrants-home-brave/

Tenant News: February 2017

News from the Director:

Friends Center connects Philadelphians today to the Quaker history of the city founded by William Penn. While that history includes many examples for us Quakers to be proud of, it also includes many things we should rightly be ashamed of. (For example, while Penn approved the Charter of Liberties for Pennsylvania in 1701, which later became a major basis for the Constitutional Bill of Rights, Penn also enslaved other humans.)

While we cannot afford to gloss over the past (whatever your background or affiliations), we also need inspiration from stories of people acting with courage for good.

Two local exhibitions this month provide an incredibly timely look back: The American Friends Service Committee’s “Wage Peace” exhibition for their 100th anniversary is on view now at the African American Museum of Philadelphia; and “Uprooted: Life in Japanese American Farm Labor Camps” is coming to Friends Center later this month. Details for both are below.

I hope you’ll take time to see them and to reflect on a query: What meaning might these stories have for you today?

Finally, I’m grateful to all of you here at Friends Center today for being part of the present story. You are inspiring!

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER

Traffic Pattern Changes on Cherry St. in Jan.-Feb.
The contractor rebuilding the Love Park Garage has requested temporary changes in traffic patterns for our block of Cherry Street during the morning and evening rush hour throughout January and February. You should have received timeline information last week. If you have any questions, please contact Chris.

The Mobile CPR Project
The Mobile CPR Project is conducting a free, 30-minute, non-certification class on March 20th at noon in the Martin Luther King Room. Space is limited.

Uprooted Exhibit
This month, Friends Center will be hosting the exhibition Uprooted: Life in Japanese American Farm Labor Camps During World War II.” The exhibit was brought to us by the Japanese American Citizens League. The exhibit runs from February 18th through March 9th in the Cherry Street Room, and focuses on the Japanese American Farm Labor Camps during WWII. For more information, or to schedule a guided tour, please contact Teresa Maebori.

Net Tuesday
The next Net Tuesday will take place on February 7th. Ali Wilson of Seer Interactive will be on hand to discuss the ins and outs of Google Grants.  This free event begins at 6pm in the Rufus Jones Room. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP here.

TENANT NEWS

American Friends Service Committee
Read AP News’ article on the ‘Waging Peace,’ American Friends Service Committee’s exhibit marking their centennial. Exhibit details:  http://exhibit.afsc.org/.

AFSC and others hosted an event for Syrian refugee families here at Friend Center last Saturday, take a look.

CAIR- Philadelphia
CAIR-Philadelphia participated in the ACLU’s press conference regarding their lawsuit on behalf of the families turned away at Philadelphia International Airport last weekend. Read about it here.

Art-Reach
Read about Art-Reach’s collaboration with FringeArts for a ‘radically accessible’ Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret here.

Uprooted Exhibition at Friends Center

Friends Center, in partnership with the Japanese American Citizenship League, hosted the traveling exhibition “Uprooted: Japanese American Farm Labor Camps during World War II” during February and March 2017.

Logo for Uprooted: Japanese American Farm Labor Camps During World War TwoOn February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, the instrument that authorized the forced removal and incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans. Denied their civil liberties, they were held in camps operated by the War Relocation Authority. Between 1942 and 1944, some 33,000 individual contracts were issued for seasonal farm labor, with many working in the sugar beet industry.

This exhibit introduces their story.

January 2017 Tenant News

NEWS FROM THE DIRECTOR

AFSC’s Waging Peace Exhibit Marks Its Centennial

This is a special year at Friends Center: The American Friends Service Committee, one of the three equity partners who formed Friends Center, celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. AFSC was founded in 1917, as a means for peaceful Quakers to participate in war relief efforts. (Our Rufus Jones Room was named for one of the principal founders of AFSC, and his portrait hangs near the door.)

As one of several special events marking the centennial, AFSC’s “Waging Peace” exhibition (see the “upcoming exhibits” tab on this page) opens at the African American Museum in Philadelphia on January 17, and runs through April 30. I encourage you to travel down to 7th and Arch Streets to see it.

You can also learn more about AFSC’s history in peace- and justice-building at www.afsc.org/centennial.

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER

Traffic Pattern Changes on Cherry St. in Jan.-Feb.

The contractor rebuilding the Love Park Garage has requested temporary changes in traffic patterns for our block of Cherry Street during the morning and evening rush hour throughout January and February. We will email all tenants once the plan and timline have been confirmed with the contractor and the city.

NEWS OF OUR TENANTS

The Trust for Public Land

Read more about Trust for Public Land’s work on the Conestoga Community Playground, and future playgrounds in Philadelphia, here.

Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity

Learn about Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity’s recent legal clinic, which focused on helping veterans with a criminal history in the following articles and video clips: Newsworks, CBS 3, and NBC 10.

Tenant Newsletter: December 2016

Celebrate together on Dec. 16!
The Friends Center community is a special one. The organizations who have space here, and the community groups that hold events here, are doing an amazing array of work to improve our city, state, nation, and world.

Join us in the Cherry Street Room for a tenant reception on Friday, December 16, 1 pm, to celebrate your collective good work. Friends Center will provide light snacks and beverages from The Living Room Café, our new addition to the approved caterers list. We’ll have a brief program to circle up and introduce ourselves. One person from each organization should come ready to recite your organization’s mission statement. Then we’ll have time for you to network and connect.

Let’s see what seeds may be planted as we head into winter!

Reminder: Christmas & New Year’s Building Closures
In observance of Christmas, Friends Center will be closed on the following days:

  • Friday, December 23
  • Saturday, December 24
  • Monday, December 26

On Sunday, December 25, Friends Center will open as usual at 9 am, for Quaker Meeting for Worship at 11 am, and will close early at 2 pm.

Regular hours resume Tuesday, December 27, through Saturday, December 31.

In observance of New Year’s Day, Friends Center will be:

  • open Sunday, January 1, at 9 am, for Quaker Meeting for Worship at 11 am, and will close early at 2 pm; and
  • closed Monday, January 2nd.

Regular hours resume Tuesday, January 3rd.

NEWS OF OUR TENANTS
The Trust for Public Land
On Thursday, December 8 The Trust for Public Land celebrated the opening of Conestoga Community Playground, at 53rd St. & Media St. Read about TPL’s work to transform William Cramp Community School’s Schoolyard.

GreenLight Philadelphia
On Saturday, December 3rd, Moore College of Art hosted Philadelphia in Flux. GreenLight Philadelphia Executive Director Omar Woodard was keynote speaker.

Tenant Newsletter: November 2016

 

NEWS FROM THE DIRECTOR

For the first couple hundred years of the Religious Society of Friends, Quakers did not celebrate holidays. Quaker businesses in Philadelphia and elsewhere stayed open for “the day the world calls Christmas.” Quakers believed that every day is a holy day, and so there was no need to set aside “holi-days” for special observances.

While Friends today follow a variety of practices, they certainly have no uniform witness against observing holidays any longer.

Of course, as an organization with mostly non-Quaker tenants and people who work here, Friends Center does observe holidays. So, please check the schedule of Thanksgiving closures below, the Christmastime closures on the 2016 calendar, and print a copy of the new 2017 holiday calendar, which was just approved by our board of directors.

Whatever your tradition or observance, may your holidays—as well as your ordinary everydays—be filled with meaning and a sense of wonder for you.

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER

Reminder: Thanksgiving Building Closures

In observance of Thanksgiving, Friends Center will close at 6pm on Wednesday, November 23rd, and be closed Thursday, November 24th and Friday, November 25th. Our regular hours will resume Saturday, November 26th.

Conference & Event Space Rates Increasing in 2017

Rates are going up in 2017, so tell your friends in outside groups to book now to lock in current rates. View 2017 rates here.

NEWS OF OUR TENANTS

4th Annual Fair and Sustainable Gift Fair

On Friday, November 18th, Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting will host the 4th Annual Fair and Sustainable Gift Fair at Friends Center from 11am-8pm. For more information, please visit the Fair Trade Philadelphia website.

Together as Adoptive Parents: Heart Gallery

In honor of DHS’ Adoption Day reception, to be held at Friends Center on November 18th, Together as Adoptive Parents (TAP) will once again be displaying The Heart Gallery. For the month of November the exhibit, which features photographs of children waiting to be adopted, will be in the Friends Center lobby.

Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity

Executive Director, Mike Lee, talks criminal history during his Ignite Philly 18 presentation in September.  You can watch his presentation here.

Scattergood Foundation

Read Generocity’s article about Scattergood Foundation’s work with Philanthropy Network and United Way to create a guide designed to increase local funders’ awareness of the effects of childhood trauma here.

October 2016 tenant newsletter

NEWS FROM THE DIRECTOR

Friends Center’s Growing Event Business
Friends Center’s event business continues to grow, serving both our 35+ tenant organizations and nearly 70 outside groups in the last year. We’re pleased to manage a faith-based facility that is busy seven days a week—at a time when many congregational buildings in Philly are being closed or even demolished.
I have two important reasons to thank you all:

  1. First, thank you for your referrals of other nonprofits to us. Our business has largely grown through word of mouth, because people like you have great people at your events.
  2. Second, thank you for your patience with us as we continue to balance the needs of you, our tenants, and our outside paying customers on a daily basis. Our staff is doing their best to provide you the space and setups you need. I’m proud of their efforts. Please do let me know if you have questions or concerns—or compliments. I’m always happy to hear about someone doing a good job and reflect that back to them.

Welcome to Team Clean!
In the evenings, you’ve seen the cleaning crew with t-shirts identifying them as staff to our new cleaning contractor, Team Clean. Please say hello to new crew member Shaniqua, as well as to returning crew members Darryl, Ebony, and Joe. Meanwhile, past crew members Nadine and Mike recently moved to new jobs elsewhere. While we’re sorry to see them go, we’re glad they found those opportunities, and we thank them for their service at Friends Center.

Chris Mohr, Executive Director

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER

Open Windows
‘Tis the season for open windows in the 1501 Cherry Street office building! With cooler but not yet cold weather, please feel free to open windows when the weather is nice. If you remember, kindly close them again in the evening.

News of Our Tenants

American Friends Service Committee is turning 100!
The American Friends Service Committee, one of the three equity partners that own Friends Center, will turn 100 in 2017! Founded on this site in 1917, AFSC now works across the world for peace and justice. Explore their history here: peaceworks.afsc.org.

Art-Reach turns 30!
Meanwhile, Art-Reach is celebrating their 30th year of creating, advocating for and expanding accessible opportunities in the arts for the full spectrum of Philadelphians. They held their 30th birthday party here last Saturday. See their Facebook page for more info.

Trust for Public Land
Read about the Trust for Public Land’s involvement with the Philadelphia school district’s GreenFutures Plan here.

CAIR/AFSC: 9/11 + 15
On Sunday, October 2nd at Friends Center, CAIR-Philadelphia, American Friends Service Committee, and the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations presented a memorial program on the themes of Remembrance and Reconciliation. Click here for more information.

Friends Center participates in Park(ing) Day for first time

Friends Center's mini-park for Parking Day 2016

Waiting for Passersby

Staff from Friends Council on Education sitting in the mini-park at Friends Center

Reclaiming Public Space


Friends Center was excited to participate in Park(ing) Day Philadelphia for the first time this year on September 16, 2016. This is the international day when people reclaim parking spaces as public space, by creating mini-parks or “parklets” for the day. This year marked the ninth annual Park(ing) Day in Philadelphia.

The Friends Council on Education and the Friends Association for Higher Education organized our spot on 15th Street, in front of the Friends Center display window in the middle of the block. The parklet featured information about Friends Schools and Quaker colleges.

You can find us and all the participants on the interactive map, or check out the Park(ing) Day Facebook page.

You can also see examples of parklets on social media by searching the hashtag #PARKingDayPHL.

Volunteers from CASA and FAHE helped staff the parklet

Volunteers from CASA and FAHE at display table

Staff from Friends Center and Friends Council on Education at Parking Day

Welcome to The Parklet at Friends Center!

Flyer that says welcome to Parking Day parklet at Friends Center

News from Friends Center, September 2016

If you’ve been away for a late-summer respite, welcome back! Friends Center remained fairly busy this summer. A couple of highlights include the many issue-related events held here during the week of Democratic National Convention, and the group tour that 40 or so of us from multiple organizations at Friends Center took of the new Mormon Temple in August. It was also great to see so many people using the chairs and bistro table on the front porch of the Quaker Meetinghouse—when it wasn’t too hot!

The Rufus Jones Room audiovisual equipment had a makeover in August. The technology upgrade should serve both you, our tenants, and our outside event renters well.

The statue of Mary Dyer here at Friends Center statue was mentioned in the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Daily News as one of only two statues in Philadelphia of actual women from history. We appreciate the recognition. Read the story here.

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER

Join us for Park(ing) Day on 9/16

Park(ing) Day is an international event when parking spaces are turned into “parklets” or mini-parks for the day. This year’s event on September 16 will be its 9th year in Philly. Learn more here. Friends Council on Education, Friends Association for Higher Education, and Friends Center are collaborating to bring a parklet to 15th Street between Cherry and Race Streets.

NEWS OF OUR TENANTS

CAIR/AFSC: 9/11 + 15

On Sunday, September 11th from 2:30-5:00 pm at Friends Center, CAIR-Philadelphia, American Friends Service Committee, and the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations are presenting a memorial program on the themes of Remembrance and Reconciliation. Click here for more information.

Singing City South Africa Trip plus 2016-2017 Season

Singing City went on a singing tour to South Africa this summer.  Visit their website for blog posts about it. They have also just announced their 2016-2017 concert season.

Art-Reach Celebrates 30!

On Saturday, October 1st from 12:00-4:00 pm at Friends Center,  Art-Reach is celebrating 30 years of creating opportunities for people with disabilities and/or low-income to experience the arts. Click here for more information.

The GreenLight Fund’s Omar Woodward

Read Generocity’s interview with Omar Woodward: There’s ‘no time’ for the long road to justice in Omar Woodward’s neighborhood.

Save the Date: World Quaker Day is 10/2/2016

The Friends World Committee for Consultation encourages Quakers around the world to celebrate this annual day on the first Sunday in October. http://worldquakerday.org/