Cultural Alliance Announces 'Engage 2020' Initiative to Double Cultural Participation by 2020

Cultural Alliance Announces 'Engage 2020' Initiative to Double Cultural Participation by 2020

The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance today announced the launch of Engage 2020, a $6,300,000 research and marketing initiative with the goal of doubling cultural participation in Greater Philadelphia by 2020. Engage 2020 is funded by a $5,000,000 four-year lead grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts, with additional support by The Wallace Foundation and The Philadelphia Foundation. 

"This exciting and ambitious initiative will launch us into the 21st century, charting a new course for embracing cultural participation in our increasingly competitive world." Peggy Amsterdam, President, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.

Engage 2020 will focus on three key strategies:

  • Conducting groundbreaking research on emerging trends in cultural participation, including the establishment of a Cultural Engagement Index (CEI) that will provide a region-wide measurement of cultural activity. 
  • Providing seed capital and marketing support to cultural organizations for innovative planning and product development. 
  • Expanding the popular events calendar & FunSavers ticketing program to include user generated content, consumer feedback, and social networking tools. 
  • "Engage 2020 will provide a better understanding of what it means to participate in arts and culture in contemporary society," said Marian Godfrey, Managing Director of Pew's Culture and Civic Initiatives. "It will give organizations valuable insight into the public's level of cultural involvement, buying patterns and other trends, and help them make use of that knowledge to engage and expand their audiences."

Highlights of Engage 2020 include:

  • The Cultural Engagement Index (CEI): Based primarily on a broad public survey that gauges the arts and cultural interests and activities of Philadelphia area residents, the CEI will provide a region wide quantitative and qualitative measurement of cultural activity. The CEI will then be re-conducted over time to both assess how patterns of cultural engagement are shifting in the region and to track the Cultural Alliance's progress towards doubling participation by 2020. 
  • The Cultural Abstract: An umbrella document that pulls together demographic, attitudinal, and motivational research being conducted by the Cultural Alliance and its partners over the next two years. The document, scheduled for release in 2009, will convey key findings and implications for the cultural sector's current and future leaders in a high level, easily readable format. 
  • 1-on-1 Strategic Planning for Cultural Organizations & Project Implementation Marketing Grants: The Cultural Alliance will pair cultural organizations with national planning consultants to develop new approaches to audience development. Those plans, based on the findings from the Cultural Abstract and Cultural Engagement Index, will then be supported with seed capital grants of up to $25,000. 
  • and FunSavers 2.0: Visitors to will be able to filter, sort, and comment on cultural information in a way that is relevant to their preferences and online activity. The new 2.0 platform will build on the current website promoted by 17 cultural and tourism partners in Greater Philadelphia*, and include expanded content, a broader array of offers and discounts online, and new technology that tailors the content of FunSavers to individual users' needs.  
  • Media Partnerships & Advertising: The Cultural Alliance will launch a $1.6 million broadcast media strategy focused on the promotion of cultural content to news editors, partnerships with local broadcast outlets, and regional advertising. The goal will be increased awareness of the cultural offerings available in the region, and stronger coverage of arts and culture on local broadcast and/or cable outlets.  
  • Learning Circles: A learning network for cultural organizations that includes two major convenings each year, ongoing workshops and roundtables, and the continuation of the country's largest cooperative mailing list, the Greater Philadelphia List Cooperative.

Engage 2020 builds on the Cultural Alliance's ongoing research, policy work, and successful six year marketing campaign, Campaign for Culture. Previous highlights have included three widely received economic impact and policy research reports in the last three years**; the popular consumer focused marketing initiatives and FunSavers that have sold over $2.5 million in tickets to 67,000 subscribers; and the Philadelphia Cultural List Cooperative, the country's largest nonprofit shared mailing list, with 875,000 joint households and 104 participating cultural organizations in the region.

*Partner organizations that use the events calendar on their websites: Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (; Independence Visitor Center; KYW 1060; Lansdowne Arts and Culture; Media Arts Council; Newtown; Norristown Municipality; Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau; Phoenixville Arts and Culture; Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia; TVTN; University City District; Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau; and WXPN 88.5.

**Recent research reports: Portfolio; Arts and Culture in the Metropolis: Strategies for Sustainability; and Arts, Culture, and Economic Prosperity in Greater Philadelphia. Complete information at

Engage 2020 is sponsored by a lead grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts, with additional support from The Wallace Foundation and The Philadelphia Foundation.

The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance is a leadership organization of over 375 nonprofit arts and cultural institutions located primarily in the five counties of southeastern Pennsylvania.  Its mission is to lead the effort to increase awareness of, participation in and support for arts and culture in the Greater Philadelphia region. For more information on the Cultural Alliance please visit