Spiral Q Loses Much of Its History and Artifacts in Ida Floods That Ruined Mont Clare Storage Space

Spiral Q creators and puppets
Image via Jose F. Moreno, The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Spiral Q's two co-directors, Jennifer Turnbull, right, and Liza Goodell, at their temporary headquarters in West Philadelphia.

Spiral Q, the art-as-protest group that recently moved its puppets, signs, and other artifacts into Mont Clare storage, saw most of it disappear in the floods that devastated the region in September, writes Peter Dobrin for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Spiral Q's storage space in Mont Clare after Hurricane Ida in September 2021.
Spiral Q’s storage space in Mont Clare after Hurricane Ida in September 2021.

In November last year, the move seemed like a good idea.

The group was looking for a new home and until they found it, moving their items into a storage space at a significantly reduced rent seemed to be the best move to make.

Months later, that decision proved to be catastrophic for the group.

They received a message and a photo from their landlord that showed the Mont Clare storage space under seven feet of water following Hurricane Ida.

Among the more than 2,000 artifacts that were destroyed or damaged beyond repair was one of the mailbox puppets that had achieved street-theater celebrity during the 2020 election.

Now, the group is running a $100,000 fundraising campaign to replace its equipment and build back up its props. Almost half of the required money has been raised so far.

Read more about Spiral Q in The Philadelphia Inquirer.


The aftermath of Hurricane Ida in the storage facility for Spiral Q’s puppets and signage, from WHYY.
Video by Emma Lee
Audio by Peter Crimmins
Spiral Q contributed photos and videos