Pew Awards Over $3 Million to Cultural Organizations in Philadelphia Region; $4.7 Million to Management Initiative

Pew Awards Over $3 Million to Cultural Organizations in Philadelphia Region; $4.7 Million to Management Initiative

The Pew Charitable Trusts today announced $3,051,000 in unrestricted general operating support to 18 Philadelphia-area arts and culture organizations. The grants are provided 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.

Pew also announced today $4.7 million to support the Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative (PCMI), a project of the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage that works to strengthen the management of cultural organizations in the region so they can better fulfill their missions.

“While unrestricted financial support is crucial, it is also increasingly important that we equip our arts and cultural organizations with the kinds of skills and tools provided by PCMI to help them successfully manage during these tough economic times,” says Gregory Rowe, Director of Culture Initiatives and Deputy Director of The Philadelphia Program at Pew. “These two programs work hand-in-hand to help arts and culture institutions to upgrade their management practices so they can focus on delivering high-quality, innovative programs to their audiences.”

Philadelphia Cultural Leadership Program

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.

The 2009 PCLP organizations are:

  • Academy of Vocal Arts
  • Arden Theatre Company
  • ArtReach, Inc.
  • Asian Arts Initiative
  • Astral Artistic Services
  • Bucks County Historical Society
  • Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance
  • James A. Michener Art Museum
  • John J. Tyler Arboretum
  • Library Company of Philadelphia
  • Main Line Art Center
  • Pennsylvania Ballet Association
  • People's Light and Theatre Company
  • Philadelphia Chamber Music Society
  • Philadelphia Folklore Project
  • Philadelphia Young Playwrights
  • Settlement Music School
  • Wilma Theater

Full descriptions and grant amounts are below.

Collectively, the 18 organizations in the program this year serve approximately 750,000 residents and visitors annually with dance performances, musical programs in all genres, theatrical presentations ranging from Shakespeare to popular musicals, notable plant collections, and exhibitions on everything from pre-industrial tools to installations by contemporary Asian artists. 

“This year's Philadelphia Cultural Leadership Program represents the broad diversity of our cultural community and demonstrates the excellence that can be achieved by organizations of all types, sizes and ages,” says Rowe.

Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative

Pew's $4.7 million renewal grant to PCMI will enable the initiative to continue offering financial support, training and workshops to help regional arts and cultural groups strengthen their operations.  These resources address such issues as financial management, technology, skill-building for managers, expanding audiences, and tackling fundraising challenges. 

“Now more than ever, our constituents will need the vital, capacity-building resources that a strategically-focused PCMI provides,” says Paula Marincola, Executive Director of the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.  “We are delighted that this renewal grant will enable us to continue to serve our many constituents in the cultural community.”

PCMI's resources will have an increased emphasis on the cultural community's need to respond to the current economic challenges and effectively economize in order to realize their missions at a consistently high level. For example, grants of up to $150,000 will be available to arts organizations this year for new revenue-enhancing work, to restructure existing programs, undertake innovative marketing and audience development strategies, or execute mergers or consolidations.

Also, PCMI will provide grants of up to $30,000 to help institutions explore opportunities to create new income streams, manage their staff more effectively and plan for other enhancements to their operational capacity.  Additional grants will continue to be awarded for professional development projects for arts managers. 

Finally, PCMI will partner with the Pennsylvania Cultural Data Project, an online data management system operated by Pew, to create new Web tools that will help organizations better understand their business models and how unforeseen events might affect their long-term financial health.

2009 Philadelphia Cultural Leadership Program Grantees:

Academy of Vocal Arts — $96,000 
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 — $168,000 
Presents up to seven productions each year, including two for children, from its modern facility in Old City.

ArtReach, Inc. — $45,000 
Brings cultural events and special art programs to disadvantaged and disabled communities through workshops, performances and a program that provides free tickets to many of the region's other cultural institutions.

Asian Arts Initiative — $32,000 
A community arts center in Philadelphia's Chinatown offering performances, exhibitions and workshops for its predominantly Asian American population.

Astral Artistic Services — $48,000 
Provides a career bridge for promising young, classically-trained musicians through individualized career development and performance opportunities.

Bucks County Historical Society — $120,000 
Preserves and administers the Mercer Museum, Fonthill Museum and Spruance Library, interpreting the pre-industrial history of Bucks County.

Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance — $144,000 
Expands awareness of, and support for, arts and culture in the region through research, publications and programs, while serving as a resource to its 385 member organizations.

James A. Michener Art Museum — $240,000 
Collects, preserves and exhibits the visual art tradition of the Bucks County region through its permanent collection and special touring exhibitions.

John J. Tyler Arboretum — $96,000 
Conserves the plant collection and natural environment of the oldest and largest arboretum in the northeastern United States.

Library Company of Philadelphia — $80,000 
Founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin, the Library Company maintains collections of books, manuscripts and other printed materials documenting the history of American culture up to the late nineteenth century.

Main Line Art Center — $84,000 
Advances understanding and enjoyment of the visual arts through exhibitions and classes serving people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

Pennsylvania Ballet Association — $300,000 
Presents six classic and contemporary dance productions each season and offers a well-established outreach and education program to Philadelphia-area school children.

People's Light and Theatre Company — $516,000 
Maintains a full-time, resident company of actors who serve an audience of both adults and young people by offering eight plays each season.

Philadelphia Chamber Music Society — $96,000 
Provides performances by world-renowned chamber music ensembles and solo artists encompassing a broad range of musical styles, periods and repertoire.

Philadelphia Folklore Project — $32,000 
Supports local folk arts and culture through programs and workshops, touring exhibitions, archives and technical assistance to traditional artists.

Philadelphia Young Playwrights — $54,000 
Promotes literacy, creativity and academic skills for students in grades K–12 through a program designed to inspire learning through playwriting.

Settlement Music School — $600,000 
The nation's largest community music school offers a broad program of instruction in instruments, voice and theory at six locations throughout the region.

Wilma Theater — $300,000 
Stages four innovative productions each year from its 300-seat, state-of-the-art home on South Broad Street.