ABOVE PHOTO: The Philadanco! organization is one of the PCT grantees. (Photo/J. Harris)
The William Penn Foundation, in collaboration with The Barra Foundation, Neubauer Family Foundation, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, and Wyncote Foundation recently announced over $6 million in general operating support to 16 organizations through the Philadelphia’s Cultural Treasures (PCT) initiative.
The regional component of the Ford Foundation’s America’s Cultural Treasures, PCT is a three-part funding initiative that aims to support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) cultural groups, artists, and organizations with exceptional significance to Greater Philadelphia through substantial, multi-year general operating support as part of local philanthropy’s commitment to supporting a racially, economically, and socially just COVID-19 recovery.
The program aims to create new opportunities for BIPOC artists, creatives, and culture-bearers and recognize their important and enduring contributions to Philadelphia and its residents.
The first funding opportunity made available to arts organizations through PCT was multi-year, general operating support, where organizations were selected through a two-part application process by a panel of 12 local leaders and community partners. The following organizations have been awarded:
African American Museum in Philadelphia
Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture
Asian Arts Initiative
Bushfire Theatre of Performing Arts
Community Education Center
Indigenous Peoples’ Day Philly Inc.
Kulu Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble, Inc.
Norris Square Neighborhood Project
Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts
Scribe Video Center
South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA)
The Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO!)
West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance/Paul Robeson House & Museum
Philadelphia’s Cultural Treasures includes two other upcoming funding opportunities: fellowships for BIPOC artists (nominations concluding in August 2022) and project grants to emergent organizations or collectives critically valued in their communities (application opening in summer 2023).
Similar to the process used to award the general operating support grants, these applications will be reviewed and selected by external panels of local leaders and community partners with a range of knowledge and work reflecting diverse neighborhoods in the City of Philadelphia, the field of arts and culture, and civic participation.
“In Philadelphia and across the country, cultural groups, artists, and organizations of color have historically struggled with fewer financial resources than their white counterparts, with the COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbating this issue,” said William Penn Foundation board chair Kathy Christiano. “Their work is an important part of the cultural landscape in Philadelphia, and we are pleased to support such a vibrant cohort of diverse arts organizations.”
America’s Cultural Treasures is a national initiative acknowledging and honoring the diversity of artistic expression and excellence in America. It has generated more than $276 million in critical funding to more than 100 organizations across the country led by and/or serving communities of color that have made a significant impact on America’s cultural landscape, despite historically limited resources.
“We are thrilled to celebrate this cohort of organizations that have contributed immeasurably to Philadelphia’s artistic community,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. “Their excellence and commitment to the communities they serve exemplify the principles of the America’s Cultural Treasures initiative and we cannot wait to see how they continue to grow.”
Please visit: www.PhiladelphiasCulturalTreasures.org for details about the initiative guidelines and application process.