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10 Dec 2021

Philadelphia’s Cultural Treasures initiative now accepting applications for grants to BIPOC arts orgs

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December 10, 2021 Category: Local Posted by:

The William Penn Foundation, in collaboration with The Barra Foundation, Neubauer Family Foundation, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, and Wyncote Foundation, recently announced that they will begin accepting applications for “Philadelphia’s Cultural Treasures,” the regional component of the Ford Foundation’s “America’s Cultural Treasures” initiative. 

Philadelphia’s Cultural Treasures will support the recovery of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) cultural groups, artists, and organizations with exceptional significance to Greater Philadelphia by providing substantial, multi-year support for these entities to weather the impacts of the pandemic and emerge stronger at its conclusion. 

In total, $10 million in grants will be awarded through the initiative as part of local philanthropy’s commitment to supporting a racially, economically, and socially just COVID-19 recovery. Details including, criteria, FAQs, and the link to the application can be found at:

The initiative includes a total of three funding opportunities: multi-year general operating grants to organizations that are recognized as Philadelphia Cultural Treasures, fellowship grants to BIPOC artists, and project grants to emergent organizations or collectives critically valued in their communities.

For all three opportunities, 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 this first phase, Letters of Interest for the general operating support awards will now be accepted. Philadelphia-based arts and culture organizations that meet the program’s eligibility criteria are invited to submit a Letter of Interest for multi-year general operating support now through January 14, 2022. The next two opportunities for funding will be announced in early 2022. Please visit: for details about the initiative and the current application process.

“COVID-19 hit the cultural sector hard over the last two years, and communities of color have been disproportionately impacted, making the need to support the organizations led by and serving people of color essential to the health of our city,” said Judilee Reed, program director for creative communities at the William Penn Foundation. 

“Philadelphia’s Cultural Treasures acknowledges that cultural groups, artists, and organizations of color have long struggled with fewer financial resources than their white counterparts and will begin to address the challenges threatening the city’s cultural diversity by supporting the recovery of these organizations.”

America’s Cultural Treasures is an 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 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 partner with the William Penn Foundation and its collaborators to support arts organizations in Philadelphia,” said Margaret Morton, director of creativity and free expression for the Ford Foundation. “A thriving and equitable arts sector is critical for the city’s civic and cultural health, and we look forward to honoring and celebrating the diversity of cultural expression in Philadelphia.”

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