ARTZ Philadelphia

A mobile application to help reduce the barriers for ARTZ Philly participants to join online programming.

Anna Baringer, Eric Wang, Matthew Cho, Joyce He


ARTZ Philadelphia is a non-profit that enhances the quality of life for people living with dementia through joyful interactions around arts and culture. The specific initiative we worked with is ARTZ in the Neighborhood, which provides programming for the Hunting Park and Northwest Philly neighborhoods, which are communities that are under-served and under-resourced.

To allow for participants to more easily interact with ARTZ Philly virtually, Spark designed and developed a mobile app that simplifies the process of connecting to online programming and collects all ARTZ in the Neighborhood information in one place. We hope that this app will help reduce the barriers the ARTZ Philly community faces with connecting to online programming.

"The app’s major features include"
ARTZ event announcements
Contact info for friends in your neighborhood
Easy access to zoom meeting links
English and Spanish translations

This app is a React Native mobile application, compatible with both iOS and Android, with a Django/postgres backend, allowing ARTZ Philly admin to update information for events and participants.



Week 0

  • Draft project plan and timeline

Week 1
  • Development and design begins
  • Get feedback on project plan and timeline

Week 2
  • Incorporate feedback from users to project plan
  • Low-fi design mockup
  • Boilerplate development setup

Week 3
  • High-fi design mockup
  • Draft of meeting page, Connect with Friends, Home page functionality

Week 4
  • Get translations from ARTZ Philly team
  • Prototype design due
  • Draft pages done
  • Draft of Announcements page, Social Media page, Contact Us Page functionality

Week 5
  • Spring break

Week 6
  • Incorporate design prototype into the draft pages
  • Add Spanish translation feature to the app

Week 7
  • Deliver first iteration of app (with MVP features) to ARTZ Philly team for feedback

Week 8
  • Plan deploying, debugging, incorporating feedback, and stretch features to prioritize

Week 9 - 10
  • Debugging and stretch features

Week 11
  • Documentation
  • Deliver!


React Native is different in many ways from React, which our team was more familiar with, so it was a challenge to figure out the quirks of React Native and using it and CSS to style our frontend. Using websockets to ensure real time updates of page data was also a hurdle we had to overcome. Furthermore, making sure that things didn’t break when deploying to Heroku was also a hassle.


  • Anna B: This was my first time leading a project with Spark, so I learned a lot about supporting a team and communicating with clients. It was honestly a really great experience, and I have the amazing people on my team and at ARTZ Philly to thank for that!
  • Eric W: I learned so much about mobile development.
  • Joyce H: This was my first time being the solo designer on a project, so I learned a lot about taking charge of the design of a product.
  • Matthew C: Learned a lot about backend and mobile development. Was great to work with a great org and a great team!

Looking Forward

Deploying the app on both iOS and Android and supporting ARTZ Philly as they bring the app to their participants!