as characterized by the new york times, the magic garden “was a cheerful, low-budget, inadvertently psychedelic half-hour show in which ms. janis and ms. demas sat on giant toadstools, spoke to flowers, sang songs and told stories. many conversations take place at a low stone wall with sherlock (a mischievous squirrel puppet with a love for peanuts) and flapper (a colorful bird who was a later addition to the characters in the garden). in addition to songs, games, and jokes, the characters provide life lessons for viewers, and extend personal greetings to members of their television audience—for example: “hello, judy. on fridays until 1981, in place of the magic garden, another children’s show produced at wpix called joya’s fun school aired in its time slot.
in the year before, wpix dropped the 700 club and at the time they cancelled the magic garden, they ended their weekday non-commercial hour of public affairs programs as well. many of the folk songs featured on the show came from material that demas and janis had created as schoolteachers. on thanksgiving day 2002, a special hosted by carole and paula aired on wpix titled the magic garden: still growing, on which the duo reminisced about the show. a dvd including ten episodes, as well as cds, were released in 2008. on december 13, 2013, wpix announced via social media that the magic garden christmas special, which had not been seen since its broadcast 32 years before, had been “recently discovered…in a forgotten basement vault” and would be aired by the station on the following christmas day. demas and janis are also working with the wpix archives department on a series of “magic garden moments,” recollections of the original series, for publication on the archive’s facebook page.
note: greater philadelphia is open for business and welcoming visitors. while proof of vaccination and mask-wearing are no longer required in philadelphia, individual businesses in philadelphia and the countryside may require them, and the city of philadelphia strongly recommends mask-wearing in indoor public spaces. covering an indoor and outdoor space equivalent to half a city block, philadelphia’s magic gardens glistens with creativity, urban renaissance and a hint of madness. the tiled passages of the magic gardens weave over- and underground — and, perhaps more than anything, through the mind of a dedicated and inspired artist.
in the 1960s, a group of artists and entrepreneurs began renting derelict storefronts and recreating the south street neighborhood. in its early years, the magic gardens faced an uncertain future. after a public outcry that resulted in an outpouring of community support and donations, the nonprofit organization philadelphia’s magic gardens was formed to purchase and maintain the grounds. in the six-block walk down to the eye’s at 402 south street, much of isaiah’s artistic portfolio lines the walls and sidewalks of his favorite neighborhood.
the magic garden was a live-action children’s television program that aired mondays through thursdays from , to , on wpix-11 in the new york city metropolitan area. produced and broadcast in the world’s largest television market, the show became popular with millions of children. philadelphia’s magic gardens (pmg) is a mosaicked visionary art environment, gallery, and community arts center that preserves, interprets, and provides the magic garden was a live-action children’s television program that aired mondays through thursdays from , to , covering an indoor and outdoor space equivalent to half a city block, philadelphia’s magic gardens glistens with creativity, urban renaissance and a hint of, .
the magic gardens site, zagar’s largest artwork, includes a fully tiled indoor space and large outdoor mosaic sculpture garden that spans half a block on magic garden seeks to cultivate children’s natural curiosity and promote a lifetime love of learning. magic garden provides education and care for children ages come face to face with mysterious mythical beasts, storm the battlements, besiege the towers and explore the secret grotto in this magical children’s playground, .
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