For decades Mantua has been a predominantly working-class African American neighborhood facing significant challenges of disinvestment and rising unemployment and poverty. Due to its proximity to University City and the campuses of Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania, the area is poised for redevelopment and currently undergoing significant change. Mantua Civic Association (MCA) was created by the community as a response to organize and take action around issues affecting the neighborhood.


MCA's mission is to advocate for and represent the community's concerns, increase resident civic engagement, share the area's vibrant history, and set a collective vision for the neighborhood. Philadelphia Contemporary has been partnering with MCA for the past three years and has since seen it mobilize to deliver meals door-to-door, collaborate with community health partners to establish a free COVID-19 testing site, and work with local Council Members to affect change.