Stories In My Backyard (SIMBY) 2021-2022

(Kyra Williams speaking about "SIMBY Presents: The Voices of Sisterly Affection" at REC Philly for the Black Music City grantee celebration on Juneteenth. Photo by Craig Lewis.)

SIMBY has turned one and we're raising $25,000 for our second year of service! These funds will cover:

- Our outdoor exhibit, SIMBY Presents: The Voices of Sisterly Affection; venue, food, drinks, display, decor, and production fees not covered by the Black Music City grant
- A production budget for our next project
- Workshop stipends
- Tech hardware & software
- The final $1,000 we need to officially incorporate as a 501(c)(3) organization.

Founded by Kyra Williams, Stories In My Backyard (SIMBY) is a Philadelphia based arts education and social change nonprofit that provides online and in-person learning to Black womxn and girls through arts workshops, community events, and creative content. We are a Black womxn led initiative that believes in the power of Black storytelling, amplifying Black femxle voices, and tapping into our imagination for liberation. Our goal is also to create social awareness and action through art, discussions, and environments that tackle social justice issues impacting our livelihood. Through representation and access to information, we’re developing the creatives of tomorrow while uplifting the artists of today. To extend our reach, we've partnered with the Philadelphia School District's TV Station (PSTV) to host workshops for middle and high school students.

We use the “x” to represent the intersectionality of what it means to be a “woman” or “women," denouncing patriarchy and whiteness while extending beyond heterosexuality and cisgender identities to include the LGBTQIA+ community.

Since our soft launch on July 27, 2020, we've held a virtual screening and discussion of "Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools," hosted two virtual workshops -- SIMBY Essentials: iPhone Photography for high schoolers and The Black Girl Photo Club for middle schoolers-- and our founder, Kyra Williams, won the Black Music City grant to honor Philly's Black music history. As published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Kyra Williams is one of 23 creatives out of 600 applicants to receive the grant sponsored by REC Philly, WXPN-FM, and WRTI-FM. After using this opportunity to continue to provide online and in-person arts education to Black womxn and girls as she does with SIMBY, her photography project is finally set to debut to the public with a fundraiser and virtual photo exhibit on October 11, 2021.

If you'd like to send a monetary gift outside of GoFundMe, here is our information:

Cash App: $StoriesInMyBackyard

Venmo: @SIMBY

To view the virtual reality exhibit experience, click here. The best viewing experience is on a computer. 

Thank you all so much for your overall support of our arts education vision and for your investment in Black womxn and girls through this campaign. Please spread the word for other to check out the exhibit and learn about the legacies of Black womxn in music from our city. We look forward to seeing your reactions to the exhibit!

To see the impact of our photography workshops with Black girls in Philly, check out this recap video ! A few testimonials from our work are also quoted below:

"For me...this documentary kind of helped me figure out how I want to identity as an administrator and how I want to use my platform now that I'm in this role to support young Black girls.”

- Philadelphia Educator Turned Assistant Principal, Pushout Screening and Discussion 2020

"Thank you guys for all the tips and advice from editing and how to take photos to social injustice...and honestly how to be women!"

"I enjoyed the club. I love the fact that you guys encouraged us to turn on our cameras. You made the program have purpose while also educating us with art and history. It was very inspirational and it definitely motivated me.

- High School Black Girls,
SIMBY Essentials: iPhone Photography 2020

"This was fun, I really enjoyed it!"

- Middle School Black Girl, SIMBY Presents: The Black Girl Photo Club

"Had the best time @recphilly #blackmusiccity event. Swipe to see @thekyrawilliams incredible photo series she showcased today. Our souls immediately connected talking about mental health and educating & empowering young Black women through art, music, & history. #cityofbrotherlyloveandsisterlyaffection"

-Patron of the Black Music City Grantee Celebration


You can also follow us on social media:

Instagram: @Storiesinmybackyard

Facebook: Stories In My Backyard

Twitter: @_SIMBY

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Kyra Williams
Philadelphia, PA

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