$2 Million Grant Funds Campaign For Culture Marketing Initiatives, Including Enhanced PhillyFunGuide.com, At Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance

$2 Million Grant Funds Campaign For Culture Marketing Initiatives, Including Enhanced PhillyFunGuide.com, At Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance

The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and The Pew Charitable Trusts today announced a $2,000,000 grant by the Trusts to provide core funding for $3,000,000 in marketing initiatives managed by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. The grant will run from 2005 through 2007 and will support the continuation and expansion of the key marketing initiatives of the “Campaign for Culture” including PhillyFunGuide.com, the region's leading online events calendar; FunSavers, a popular half-price ticket email program; cooperative advertising and direct marketing projects; industry research, and professional development for arts marketers.

"Philadelphia's arts scene is the most exciting, creative and active it has ever been. Of course, the challenge is making sure the region's residents and visitors know what is available, and that is the why the Campaign for Culture is so invaluable," said Marian Godfrey, director of civic life initiatives at The Pew Charitable Trusts.

“People are bombarded each day with messages competing for their time, attention and money,” added Peggy Amsterdam, President of the Cultural Alliance. “Our job is to break through the clutter and make things simple for everyone. So, we provide an easy one-stop, go-to place where Philadelphians can log on, find out what's going on, buy a ticket, and then go out and have the kind of incredible transformational experience that only arts and culture can provide.”

Launched in 2002, the Campaign for Culture has become a successful national model for collaborative marketing programs. Since 2003, the FunSavers half-price email program alone has generated over $1,000,000 in ticket sales for participating organizations and resulted in sales of 55,000 tickets that would have otherwise gone unsold.

“With this grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts, FunSavers will now provide instant ticket ordering and seat selection,” says Amsterdam “ Unlike our New York brethren who stand outside in lines, Philadelphians now have a half-price entertainment ticket booth in the comfort of their own living room.” Other marketing initiatives of the Campaign have cultural organizations equally excited.

“The Curtis Institute doesn't have the marketing dollars to blast the public with the media blitz strategies of larger and more well known organizations and talents,” said Walter Beck, Marketing Manager of The Curtis Institute of Music, a world-renowned music conservatory. “With the help of the Cultural Alliance, we were able to garner impressive ticket sales that would not have been possible if programs like PhillyFunGuide.com, FunSavers, and the Philadelphia Cultural List Cooperative did not exist.”

Elements of the Cultural Alliance marketing initiatives supported by the Trusts funding include:

  • Direct online ticketing for FunSavers ticket purchases. Offering half price ticket discounts online every Thursday, FunSavers recently hit $1 Million in ticket sales since the programs inception in 2003. With the new Buy It Now software, consumers can now pick their actual seats on up to 20 different events each week, all from the central www.PhillyFunGuide.com website. The program currently has over 47,000 subscribers. Consumers should go to www.phillyfunguide.com and click on “Sign Up for FunSavers” button to add their names to the mailing list.   
  • The second annual Center City Arts and Culture Week, produced in partnership with Center City District. Running from October 20—30, Center City Arts and Culture Week will offer incredible bargains on a wide range of theater, music, and museum events in downtown Philadelphia, as well as free nightly events happening around the city. “Our diverse cultural scene is one of Center City's greatest assets and a major reason why young professionals and empty nesters are choosing to live downtown. Last year, the first Center City Arts and Culture Week was an opportunity to show off our extraordinary cultural offerings to a larger audience,” said Paul R. Levy, president of the Center City District. “We are very grateful to The Pew Charitable Trusts for supporting our collaboration with the Cultural Alliance, the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia and all of the participating cultural institutions to create an even better Arts and Culture Week and National Theatre Day in Center City this October.”   
  • Additionally, Arts and Culture Week will feature a kick off event, tentatively referred to as National Theatre Day, organized nationally by the Theatre Communications Group (TCG) & produced locally by the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. Philadelphia was selected as one of only three pilot cities because of its strong reputation as a first class destination for theatre. The other two cities are Austin, TX and San Francisco, CA. “For the past year, the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia has been working with three other service organizations – Theatre Communications Group, Austin Circle of Theatres, and Theatre Bay Area – to pilot a national theatre event in fall 2005,” said Theatre Alliance Executive Director James Haskins. “We are thrilled to expand our partnerships for this project to include the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and Center City District to kick-off Arts and Culture Week with a free day of theatre. Scheduled for October 20, 2005, the project will be formally unveiled by the three pilot cities at the Theatre Communications Group conference in mid-June.”   
  • An annual $300,000 Cooperative Advertising Campaign. Through underwriting and corporate sponsorship by PNC Bank and media partners, this program will only cost cultural groups less than half of the normal non-profit advertising rate for radio and print ads in the Philadelphia region. Media outlets include WHYY, WXPN, WRTI, KYW, City Paper, Metro, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Philadelphia Weekly.   
  • Continuation of the ‘Big List' or Philadelphia Cultural List Cooperative, the largest such program in the nation in terms of participants and market penetration. The List Cooperative combines the mailing addresses of the 56 participating arts groups, resulting in a central database of over 325,000 names, representing 18% of the households in the Greater Philadelphia area. Managed by the Cultural Alliance, the Philadelphia Cultural List Cooperative saves the participating organizations significant time and effort by maintaining a clean and comprehensive central mailing list for their marketing efforts.Additional marketing initiatives will include an ongoing series of professional development projects for arts marketers including research roundtables, guest speakers, a peer Co-mentorship program that includes attendance at the National Arts Marketing Conference, and other new projects not yet announced.

The Campaign for Culture is funded by a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts. Additional support for the Campaign for Culture is provided by Advanta, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation and PNC Bank.

The Pew Charitable Trusts serves the public interest in three major areas of work: informing the public on key issues and trends as a highly credible source of independent, nonpartisan research and polling information; advancing policy solutions on important issues facing the American people; and supporting the arts, heritage, health and well-being of our diverse citizenry and civic life, with particular emphasis on Philadelphia. Based in Philadelphia, with an office in Washington, D.C., the Trusts will dedicate $177 million in fiscal year 2005 to its philanthropic work.

The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance is a leadership organization of over 300 nonprofit arts and cultural institutions located primarily in the five counties of southeastern Pennsylvania. Its mission is to lead the effort to expand awareness of, participation in and support for arts and culture in the region.