In 2018, artist collective Amber Art & Design completed a 1-year Community Catalyst residency at the historic Hatfield House, located in East Fairmount Park. Under the framework of this residency and with support from the Knight Foundation, Fairmount Park Conservancy partnered with Amber Art & Design to embark on a long-term community initiative in the neighborhood of Strawberry Mansion, which borders East Fairmount Park along the 33rd St. corridor.

Using the Hatfield House as a primary base of operations and events, Amber Art & Design founders and artists Keir Johnston and Ernel Martinez led a multi-layered process of cultural asset mapping, social engagement, and community building with residents and leaders of Strawberry Mansion.

This successful residency, and the Community Advisory Committee that accompanied it,  serves as a foundation for the identification of potential investments and programs in the park and neighborhood, and helped to shape the re-imagining of Mander Recreation Center.

During their residency, Amber Art & Design—in collaboration with the Fairmount Park Conservancy, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, and a number of creative and community partners—hosted community events to showcase neighborhood arts, facilitate discussion, and gather ideas.

The work accomplished and relationships formed during this residency serves as a foundation for the next phase of Hatfield House as a community driven arts hub.