Civic News

AxisPhilly shuts down; Digital First Media’s Jim Brady to launch news venture

"While the quality of the work on the site was lauded nationally, it did not achieve consistent local impact," Temple University's Center for Public Interest Journalism said.

You don't have to choose between the ArtParty and the Delaware History Makers celebration — do both, for a special price, and support Market Street.

Two big events for the Delaware creative and entrepreneurial communities are happening within blocks of each other on April 19 — but instead of competing for attendees, Delaware College of Art and Design and Delaware Historical Society are making itart easier to do both, by offering a combo "Rock the Block" ticket. DCAD's 20th-anniversary ArtParty on Market Street around 6th is on from 5:30–8:30 p.m. with music, food, brews and the 150-piece DCAD@20 ArtParty Exhibition. Partygoers can also get interactive with a community mural and sculpture, and are encouraged to take selfies with famous artworks recreated by students on DCAD windows. Proceeds go toward scholarship opportunities for DCAD students and operating expenses. Starting at 6 p.m., the Delaware Historical Society will hold the Delaware History Makers Award Ceremony at The Queen, followed by a celebration at the Delaware History Museum and Old Town Hall that will go until 10:30 p.m. Dogfish Head cofounders Sam and Mariah Calagione are the award honorees. A variety of Dogfish Head beers and specialty food pairings will be served, and a "speakeasy" will feature Dogfish vodka, gin and rum cocktails. The evening will include live music, a buffet, photos from Delaware’s "Golden Age of Brewing" and the repeal of Prohibition in 1933. Proceeds support the Delaware Historical Society’s educational programs and exhibitions. Tickets are $50 for the ArtParty and $95 for the Delaware History Makers Award event, but you can do both with a Rock the Block ticket for just $100. [link href="" text="Get tickets"]

This disclosure: The Center for Public Interest Journalism and the William Penn Foundation have been past Philly sponsors. Additionally, Philly staff have been involved in past strategy regarding the foundation's journalism funding.

Nonprofit news site AxisPhilly has shut down, its parent organization announced today.

But Temple University’s Center for Public Interest Journalism (CPIJ) also announced that it will incubate a new news venture, run by former Digital First Media executive Jim Brady. Also part of his team is former Inquirer online editor Chris Krewson.

The William Penn Foundation-backed organization’s future was called into question last summer when former CEO Neil Budde left the organization. AxisPhilly, which launched in late 2012, did not meet its goals, CPIJ said in today’s announcement: “While the quality of the work on the site was lauded nationally, it did not achieve consistent local impact and fell short of serving as a collaborative hub for the emerging news ecosystem, both of which were goals at founding.”

CPIJ will take over OpenDataPhilly, the city’s official open data portal, which AxisPhilly had been managing. Meanwhile, Brady, the former executive editor of, will create a Philadelphia-based “news service that will seek to cultivate audiences currently disengaged from traditional news product.”

We can confirm the new site will be called It will not receive any of the funding that was originally put aside for AxisPhilly, said Andrew Mendelson, CPIJ’s director. Part of the sudden movement here is CPIJ now has proper leadership in the way of Temple’s new communications school dean David Boardman.

AxisPhilly’s four employees will receive severance, Mendelson said.

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