Pew Trusts Awards $9.2 Million to Support and Strengthen Cultural Organizations in Philadelphia Region

Pew Trusts Awards $9.2 Million to Support and Strengthen Cultural Organizations in Philadelphia Region

The Pew Charitable Trusts today announced more than $9.2 million awarded to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations to encourage, facilitate and reward the development of exemplary management practices. The awards were provided through the Trusts' annual Philadelphia Cultural Leadership Program and in support of the Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative.  Historic Bartram's Gardens, Philadelphia Young Playwrights and Settlement Music School are just three of the 21 arts and cultural organizations awarded more than $4.3 million in general operating support under the Trusts' Philadelphia Cultural Leadership Program (PCLP). The PCLP initiative provides unrestricted grants for operating support to nonprofit arts and cultural groups in the five-county Philadelphia region that demonstrate excellence in their operations, fiscal management and programming. PCLP's goal is to stimulate leadership and best practices for cultural institutions, helping them provide the public with high quality arts and cultural activities on a sustained basis.

“These organizations represent some of the region's strongest cultural institutions dedicated to performing at a high level programmatically and managerially,” said Marian Godfrey, managing director of Culture and Civic Initiatives at The Pew Charitable Trusts. “Their strong leadership and management will allow them to effectively carry out what is most important—delivering innovative and cutting edge cultural experiences for our region's arts audiences.”

Organizations awarded under PCLP this year receive grants ranging from $48,000 to $1,080,000, all distributed over three years. Currently, there are a total of 37 grantees receiving more than $10.4 million in support through the program. Grantees represent a wide variety of organizations in terms of size, discipline and geographic location. There were two first-time PCLP grant recipients this year: Art-Reach, Inc.—an organization that works in partnership with human service agencies to make the arts accessible to people with physical or developmental disabilities; and Astral Artistic Services—a service and presenting organization that offers promising young classical musicians vocations guidance and training.

“The PCLP process, with its focus on good planning and financial practices, was a real galvanizing event for our whole organization, particularly the board,” said Michael Norris, executive director of Art-Reach. “Its impact goes way beyond the actual grant itself, which of course is incredibly helpful since it is multi-year and for general operating support. Because of it, we now have a very clear picture of what the next three years at Art-Reach will look like on every level of the organization.”

A complete listing of 2006 PCLP awards and descriptions is below.

PCLP grant applicants are evaluated against an Index of Organizational Health, which has been developed from those practices and standards exhibited by the best-managed arts institutions in the region and nationally. Applications are reviewed by a team of independent consultants who evaluate applicants on such criteria as leadership, artistic/programmatic standards, financial operations and planning. Since the beginning of the Philadelphia Cultural Leadership Program in 1997, the Trusts has awarded more than $48 million in operating support to 55 arts and cultural groups in the metropolitan region.

To complement the PCLP awards, the Trusts awarded a renewal grant of $4.9 million over three years to the University of the Arts in support of the Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative (PCMI), an organization that helps strengthen the management effectiveness of arts institutions in southeastern Pennsylvania. PCMI, an initiative of the Philadelphia Center for Arts and Heritage, provides opportunities for grantees and applicants to improve management and become more self-sufficient through a variety of services, tools and resources.

Launched by the Trusts in 2001, PCMI assists the local cultural community by offering grants, training and information designed to strengthen arts organizations' infrastructure so they can thrive in an increasingly competitive and challenging environment. The initiative provides two types of grants: professional development grants for individual arts managers to take courses or attend seminars in areas such as accounting, fund-raising and marketing; and organizational development grants for updating financial and technological systems, strategic planning activities or new marking and fund-raising programs. Since its inception, PCMI has awarded nearly $1.75 million in grants in support of professional development and organizational development.

PCMI also assists the cultural community by providing professional development seminars and workshops on such topics as finance, human resources management and program evaluation, and by offering lectures and networking opportunities.

“For nearly five years now, PCMI has assisted a wide variety of arts, culture and heritage organizations in building more effective management practices, strengthening operations and decision-making, and supporting the growth and knowledge of organizational leaders,” said Martin Cohen, director of the Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative. “It is PCMI's goal to continue strengthening and expanding these resources to foster vibrant, healthy organizations that contribute to such a rich and broad cultural life in Philadelphia.”

Nearly 100 of the region's artistic and cultural institutions, including many PCLP applicants, have participated in PCMI's professional development and executive education programs.

“These grants have enabled the Arboretum to strengthen our fiscal and management practices, as well as enhance educational programs and outreach efforts,” said Richard Colbert, executive director of Tyler Arboretum, which has received support through both the PCLP and PCMI initiatives. “The PCMI program provided critical funds required to upgrade our accounting systems and the program has also allowed staff members to receive technical training related to their job function. In order to prosper, non-profit organizations of all sizes must continue to strengthen their business practices and develop high quality programs that are relevant to the community. PCMI has provided the critical funding that has allowed Tyler Arboretum to become a meaningful community resource and a regional destination.”

The Philadelphia Center for Arts & Heritage supports creativity and excellence through Dance Advance, Heritage Philadelphia Program, Pew Fellowships in the Arts, Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative, Philadelphia Music Project, Philadelphia Theatre Initiative and the Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative. PCAH programs are dedicated to helping cultural organizations in the five-county Southeastern Pennsylvania region develop high-quality public programs and effective management practices. They support dozens of performances, exhibits and other public programs, and encourage high levels of artistic and management capacity through seminars, publications, and other activities designed to develop and sustain a rich array of world class cultural programs for audiences in the Philadelphia region.

Organization Grant Description
The Academy of Vocal Arts
1920 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
K. James McDowell, Executive Director
$144,000 over 3 years Stages up to five operas annually and provides specialized training to help young artists prepare for the demands of an operatic career.
Arden Theatre Company
40 North 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Terrance J. Nolen, Producing Artistic Director
$168,000 over 3 years Stages seven productions each year, including two for children, from its modern facility in Old City.
1819 John F. Kennedy Boulevard,
Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Michael L. Norris, Executive Director
$45,000 over 3 years Brings cultural events and special art programs to economically disadvantaged and disabled communities through arts workshops, on-site performances and the ticket distribution program.
Astral Artistic Services
230 South Broad Street,
Suite 300
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Vera Wilson, President
$48,000 over 3 years Provides a career bridge for promising young classically trained musicians, through individualized career development resources and artistic support necessary for success on and off the traditional concert stage.
Asian Arts Initiative
1315 Cherry Street
2nd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Gayle Isa, Executive Director
$48,00.0 over 3 years Fosters dialogue within Philadelphia's Asian American community and with other ethnic groups through performances, exhibitions and workshops.
The Bucks County Historical Society
84 South Pine Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
Douglas C. Dolan, Executive Director
$240,000 over 3 years Operates the Mercer Museum, Fonthill Museum and Spruance Library, preserving the pre-industrial history of Bucks County and the Delaware Valley
Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia
1616 Walnut Street
Suite 711
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Peter Grandell, Executive Director
$48,000 over 3 years Directs a 100-voice symphonic chorus that performs traditional repertory and new choral work.
Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance
1616 Walnut Street
Suite 600
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Peggy Amsterdam, President
$144,000 over 3 years Expands awareness of and support for arts and culture in the region while serving as a resource to its 252 member organizations.
Historic Bartram's Garden
54th Street and Lindbergh Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19143
William LeFevre, Executive Director
$60,000 over 3 years Preserves America's oldest existing botanic garden as a museum and public garden and promotes environmental awareness.
The James A. Michener Art Museum
138 South Pine Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
Bruce Katsiff, Director and CEO
$240,000 over 3 years Collects, preserves and exhibits the visual art tradition of the Bucks County region.
John J. Tyler Arboretum
515 Painter Road
Media, PA 19063
Richard A. Colbert, Executive Director
$96,000 over 3 years Conserves the plant collection and natural environment of the oldest and largest arboretum in the northeastern United States.
The Library Company of Philadelphia
1314 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107-5698
John C. Van Horne, Ph.D.,Librarian and CEO
$120,000 over 3 years Founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin, maintains collections documenting the history of American culture up to the late 19th century.
Main Line Art Center
Old Buck Road and Lancaster Avenue
Haverford, PA 19041
Judy Herman, Executive Director
$84,000 over 3 years Advances community awareness, understanding and enjoyment of the visual arts through programs serving people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.
Opera Company of Philadelphia
1420 Locust Street,
Suite 210
Philadelphia, PA 19102
David Devan, Managing Director
$1,080,000 over 3 years Presents five operas each season at the Academy of Music as well as special educational outreach programs to audiences throughout the Delaware Valley.
Philadelphia Young Playwrights
7 Benjamin Franklin Parkway,
Second Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Glen Knapp, Executive Director
$54,000 over 3 years Promotes literacy, creativity and academic skills for students in grades K-12 through a yearlong program designed to inspire learning through playwriting.
People's Light and Theatre Company
39 Conestoga Road
Malvern, PA 19355
Grace E. Grillet, Managing Director
$516,000 over 3 years Maintains a full-time, resident company of actors and serves an audience that is made up of equal parts adults and young people under 18 years of age.
Philadelphia Chamber Music Society
135 South 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Philip Maneval, Executive Director
$96,000 over 3 years Provides performances by world-renowned chamber music ensembles and solo artists encompassing a broad range of musical styles, periods and repertoire.
Philadelphia Folklore Project
735 South 50th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Debora Kodish, Ph.D., Director
$48,000 over 3 years Supports local folk arts and cultures through programs and workshops, technical assistance to traditional artists, touring exhibitions, archives and publications.
Philadelphia Theatre Company
230 South 15th Street,
Fourth Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Sara Garonzik, Producing Artistic Director
$192,000 over 3 years Specializes in works by contemporary American playwrights, and has staged more than 100 Philadelphia premieres of major new American plays.
Settlement Music School of Philadelphia
Post Office Box 63966
416 Queen Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Robert Capanna, Executive Director
$600,000 over 3 years Offers a broad program of instruction in music with a focus on instrument instruction, voice and theory as the nation's largest community music school.
The Wilma Theater
265 South Broad Street
Broad and Spruce Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19107
James Haskins, Managing Director
$300,000 over 3 years Stages four innovative productions each year from its 300-seat state-of-the-art home on South Broad Street.