Pew Awards More Than $1 Million to Cultural Organizations in the Philadelphia Region

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The Pew Charitable Trusts today announced grants totaling $1,032,000 to five Philadelphia-area arts and culture organizations: Asian Arts Initiative, Bucks County Historical Society, Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, Philadelphia Folklore Project and the Philadelphia Zoo. 

The grants are provided as unrestricted general operating funds through Pew's Philadelphia Cultural Leadership Program (PCLP), which annually rewards organizations in the five-county region that demonstrate excellence in operations, fiscal management and programming.

“Running an arts institution that produces work at a high level, attracts healthy audiences and maintains sound finances is very hard to do,” says Marian Godfrey, Senior Director of Culture Initiatives at Pew. “We congratulate the leaders and staffs of these organizations for their dedication and imagination in succeeding so admirably. The Philadelphia region is a better place to live and work because of these individuals and their institutions.” 

PCLP grants are awarded to high-performing organizations through a competitive review process using experts from outside the region. The program aims to stimulate leadership and encourage best practices in the cultural community so groups can provide high quality programs on a sustained basis. Since 1997, Pew has made 190 PCLP grants totaling more than $62 million to 58 organizations.

Collectively, the five organizations in the program this year serve approximately 1.28 million residents and visitors annually with exhibitions, performances, notable collections, and conservation services.

The 2011 Philadelphia Cultural Leadership Program grants are as follows:

  • Asian Arts Initiative—$48,000
    Offers performances, exhibitions and workshops to Philadelphia's multinational Asian population, the fifth largest in the United States.  Programming includes film and video festivals, after-school workshops for teenagers and monthly family events.  Owns and operates a community arts center in Philadelphia's Chinatown district that will be a multi-tenant arts facility.
  • Bucks County Historical Society—$180,000
    Operates the Mercer Museum, Fonthill Museum and Spruance Library, preserving the pre-industrial history of Bucks County and the Delaware Valley.  Features a collection of more than 50,000 objects, including tools and artifacts associated with trade labor, crafts, agriculture and domestic work from the pre-industrial era.
  • Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts—$156,000
    Recognized as one of the leading art conservation and preservation facilities in the United States. Provides state-of-the-art services for Philadelphia museums, historical societies, libraries and archives, and has treated hundreds of works of art, documents, and artifacts related to the nation's cultural heritage. Also provides educational programs that promote best practices of collections care and offers internships to train future professionals for work in the field. 
  • Philadelphia Folklore Project—$48,000
    Presents visual art exhibitions, music and dance performances representing a wide range of folk art, through video, publications and its Web site. Supports local folk arts and cultures through programs and workshops, technical assistance to traditional artists, touring exhibitions, archives and publications.
  • Zoological Society of Philadelphia—$600,000
    One of the region's main visitor attractions with attendance averaging more than 1.2 million per year over the past three years. Opened in 1874, the Zoo was the first zoo in the United States.  An accredited member of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, the Zoo promotes greater awareness, understanding and appreciation of the natural world. Its 42-acre site is home to more than 1,250 animals.  Conservation efforts protect rare and endangered species—both in its care and around the world—and education programs build awareness of the natural world and the environmental issues affecting all species.

Homepage photo: Fonthill Museum, operated by Bucks County Historical Society.  Photo by B. Krist for GPTMC.