Uptown Hall Of Fame Awards

Uptown Theater Hall of Fame Awards & Fundraiser

By Stan Pokras, Instigator for Community Magic

I am a volunteer with the Uptown Entertainment and Development Corporation (UEDC), owner of the UPTOWN THEATER on North Broad Street. UEDC is also the fiscal sponsor for my project, Community Magic. I’m working on the dream to fix up the Theater with my time and a little money, but we need your support too!

Here’s your chance to hob knob with celebrities and other Uptown supporters.

Uptown Theater Hall of Fame Awards & Fundraiser

Hosted by Dyana Williams

The 2017 Uptown Hall of Fame inductees are:
The legendary Norman Connors, Patty Jackson, Sid Booker, and Nisa Ra

Thursday, June 22, 2017 / 5:30p.m. – 8:00p.m.

Reception, Award Ceremony & CBS 3 Studio Tour

CBS 3 / The CW Philly Studios
1555 Hamilton St. (Entrance on 16th St. betw. Callowhill & Spring Garden Sts.)

Ticket prices:
· $ 50 tickets … Ceremony and refreshments
· $ 75 tickets … Ceremony, refreshments and Channel 3 studio tour
· $ 100 ticket … Ceremony, refreshments, Channel 3 studio tour and private room to meet the VIP’s

Some of items are: *Family membership at African-American Museum, *Oldies CD’s, *Booze Basket, *Wine Basket, *Dinner for two at Ms. Tootsie’s Soul Food restaurant, *Academy Awards Movie Basket… these are just a few of the items.

For $50 tickets scroll down to bottom to use the PayPal link.
Or for any the three kinds of tickets, call 215-236-1878

Can’t attend the Awards? Go to the Uptown <https://www.gofundme.com/uptowntheater>Gofundme to make a donation. Donations accepted to honor family, mentors, or your favorite celebrity. Tell the world about the Uptown stories you have heard.

Looking forward to seeing YOU on Thursday, June 22nd @ CBS 3 Studios…

Posted in Uncategorized

How do we learn more about helpfulness in organizations?

There must be as many ways for an organization or community to be helpful to it’s members as there are types of human personalities. One question we can ask in general has to do with finding lists of such behaviors. Can Google help us find these lists?

As a first attempt I submitted “how does group membership help individuals” into Google’s search. You can see from the results that “groups of people” is a huge scholarly topic! The very first entry in the Google results “How groups function” led me to a book on cults, which is probably as good a place to start as any…

Posted in Blog, Networking Concepts, Organizing Community Connectors

Community Inventories

There are a huge number of activities that helpful people, working together, can undertake to improve the flow of information and good vibes among the people of their communities… One of the activities suggested in the book “Building Communities From the Inside Out” by John P. Kretzmann and John L. McKnight is to conduct a “skill inventory” or “capacity inventory” of the people and organizations in the community.

Here is a link to a .pdf sample form that is offered in their book as a way to introduce the idea. There are other examples of inventory forms from single page inventories to much more extensive multi-page inventories available on-line from the Asset-Based Community Development Institute, founded by the authors. Prior to conducting an inventory a plan should be created for making good use of the information once it’s been collected. The planning ought be done by the people who will ultimately use the information in conjunction with members of the community that will be surveyed.

A complete 96 page guide to skill inventories from the same people, with examples, can be found here.


Posted in Blog

Some readings on helpfulness

Now that the idea of helpfulness has arisen as a main theme and even a possible mission for Community Magic, I’d like to introduce the pages on the Community Magic theory menu on asking for help and offering help. There are many ways to look at these two sides of helpfulness.

See the menu for Asking for Help

And there is a menu on the issue of Offering Help

These links are just a drop in the helpfulness world view. But, they are at least a starting point.



Posted in Blog

DRAFT * Thought for a “mission”

The mission of Community Magic is to promote helpfulness within and between communities in all parts of society.


Posted in Blog

Next meeting Monday Feb 16th, 2015

Please Mark Your Calendar….

  • What: Community Magic Planing Meeting & Brainstorm
  • Where: Office of Uptown Entertainment and Development Corporation 2227 North Broad Street (between Susquehanna and Dauphin Streets)
  • When: 10:00 AM till Noon, Monday, February 16th, 2015(The location might change if the Uptown office is not available…)


  • Introductions: Please describe your interest in Community Magic and what you have done or want to do to be a helpful member of your community.
  • Brief discussion: developing the art of HELPFULNESS
  • Please think about what we can do to build HELPFULNESS within our own communities. I’ll be asking the group to brainstorm our next steps and write down ideas on several post-it notes for all to share. Your ideas will be very important!
Posted in Blog

Uptown Theater budget consultant needed

Call for help estimating the Uptown budgets

Reopen the Uptown Theater

I have recently become active with the planning for reopening the historical Uptown Theater. The building on Broad Street between Susquehanna and Dauphin Streets has suffered many years of neglect and will require substantial investment in time, effort, expertise, and money. The work is being done under the auspices of the building’s owner: the 501 c 3 charity known as the Uptown Entertainment and Development Corporation (UEDC).  Contributions are most welcome and are tax-deductible to the full extent of the IRS code. See the Uptown web site http://www.philadelphiauptowntheatre.org/

Community Magic

During the last many years, I have been studying and promoting the idea that people can and should be more helpful to each other through a project called Community Magic. Community Magic believes that a society concentrating on being helpful can vastly improve the health, well-being and good fortune of all the people. Community Magic is now a project of UEDC. You can see the Community Magic web site here: http://communitymagic.org

Community Magic in turn operates Wikidelphia, a wiki (or shared writing space) for Philadelphia,patterned loosely after Wikipedia. Wikidelphia can be found here: http://wikidelphia.org –  You are cordially invited to obtain a password for editing pages and entering new pages on Wikidelphia. Community Magic intends to engage with the Uptown to strengthen the benefit of both programs to the North Philadelphia community.

What we need now: A financial consultant

As part of the work to reopen the Uptown Theater, the planning team is seeking the help of a financial consulting group with expertise in the entertainment industry. We need an experienced consultant to help estimate how much the Uptown can earn and how much it would cost to operate the venue as it goes through various multi-year stages of development.

A multi-year plan

The earliest stage will be to simply promote events and organize a seating arrangement that will utilize the area of sidewalk and the area of street parking immediately in front of the building.

As a second stage of development, a performance venue will be created within the lobby area of the Uptown building. This area will be used by the Uptown management to produce events and may also earn money by serving as a community meeting space and entertainment hall.

A third level of renovation will bring the balcony of the theater into play as an extension of the lobby performance space. Approximately at this stage, rental of office spaces on the upper floors of the front tower will become part of the building’s operating income.

And, as a final stage, the 2,000 seat auditorium and basement areas will be brought into play for film, video and live performances, catered events, and other community activities, with a commercial kitchen in the basement.

How you can help

While much work has already gone into architectural plans and financial estimates of the cost and revenue potential for the complete renovation, budget estimates must now be developed for the various stages of renovation. If you know of a consulting organization with expertise and experience estimating the value of an entertainment, performance and community space such as the Uptown will be, please contact:

Linda Waters Richardson, President

Uptown Entertainment and Development Corporation

2227 N Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA 19132




– Stan Pokras, Instigator of Community Magic


Posted in Blog

Asset-Based Community Development

Now that most of my time is devoted to Community Magic, I have been examining and reading some of the wonderful books that I’ve collected over the years since publishing Other Networks newsletter in the 1980’s.

One such book is Building Communities From The Inside Out by John P. Kretzmann and John L. McKnight. I believe that this work, published by ACTA Publications in 1993, started the movement towards focusing on the assets as opposed to the problems that may be found in struggling communities.

The book expounds on the idea that communities ought take stock of who and what is available to them using skills inventories.

I’ll write more about this as the New Year gets underway.

Happy 2015 everyone.



Posted in Blog

About Invisibility

How shall we shed light on the needs of the poor and under privileged?

I’m looking for a word, a new term for the under served, the digital (word for a person stranded on an island) (perhaps Castaway? Forsaken, Marooned) that will instantly make clear the need to VISIBILITIZE the invisible people of our planet and our local societies.

It’s 4 am in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. I was just listening to an interesting BBC program broadcast by WHYY FM on the history of the World Wide Web. That program was followed by a news bulletin covering unrest in Brazil and was in turn followed by a “Hard Talk” interview with a Brazilian documentary filmmaker who had won acclaim for his films revealing the huge poverty that exists within the view of the middle and wealthy classes of Brazilian society. The filmmaker was asked what made him aware of the poverty around him since he was from a more privileged class. He explained that the social process in Rio included extreme poverty existing side by side with the more affluent. It was not that the poor were not there, but that the wealthy had learned not to see them. He said that the poor were “invisible” in the minds of the affluent. He specifically used the word invisible.

This idea, that people could be invisible has struck a chord for me as I seek to explain the idea that people should be helping each other. “People helping people become less invisible” is the theme of the ideas I wish to promote in the world. How shall we best understand that less then 30% of the world’s people use the Internet (as was mentioned in the previous BBC program.) It is my thought that we need to build tools to empower the relatively small numbers of Internet users to make the larger numbers of otherwise invisible people visible.

Posted in Blog

Uptown Sponsors Community Magic

Great News!
Uptown Sponsors Community Magic
October 9, 2014

The Uptown Entertainment and Development Corporation (UEDC) is now the fiscal sponsor for Community Magic.

Linda Waters Richardson, President of UEDC, and I signed the documents to formalize this partnership this afternoon. As a charitable organization itself, UEDC will provide services to Community Magic that will include the use of meeting space as well as financial reporting of contributions to the appropriate federal and state authorities. This arrangement endows Community Magic with the appropriate credentials to allow supporters to take advantage of 501 (c) 3 charitable tax deductions for financial contributions to support our work.

For our part, Community Magic will extend our expertise in technology and networking to assist the staff of UEDC and to empower helpful people in the community. Community Magic will also help promote the work of UEDC which includes the renovation of the famous Uptown Theater and other projects designed to serve and improve the North Philadelphia community.

I personally thank Ms. Richardson for her confidence in the ideas behind Community Magic as we engage in the process of building up the capacity of helpful networks of people in communities throughout Philadelphia.

Stan Pokras, Instigator

Posted in Blog