The Cultural Alliance is a tireless advocate for arts and culture at every level. We’ve worked hard to build relationships in Washington, Harrisburg, City Hall and in county and municipal governments from around the region. But, while it is always good to have friends and allies in politics, long-term sustainable change can be achieved only by mobilizing the public and building a grassroots movement of concerned citizens, residents and constituents.
In January 2013, the Cultural Alliance shifted to a new, grassroots advocacy initiative: GroundSwell. GroundSwell is about more than just emailing your legislator. It’s a platform for people who want to take action themselves to improve lives and communities.
Through GroundSwell we will work to bring together residents and organizations in order to leverage arts and culture, libraries, parks and public space to enhance the quality of life in our region. Arts and culture organizations don’t just help elevate and promote Philadelphia through the work that they present on stage, on gallery walls and in their exhibitions; they are active and proud civic partners in the region and work with community groups across a variety of “quality-of-life” issues. When these kinds of organizations work together to engage residents in meaningful action, we build a broader grassroots network of supporters and advocates and leverage our shared resources to make a greater Greater Philadelphia.
Our goal is to develop a network of interconnected and committed advocates who can see the bigger picture. By working with other groups we can reach more people and build a deeper sense of shared community responsibility: engaging theatre subscribers in a trail clean-up project, for example, or bicyclists in a book-donation drive. Together, we can inspire more people to take action on community issues that matter to all of us, and "do something good for a change" to make an even *greater* Greater Philly.
To learn more about GroundSwell, visit GroundSwellpa.org.
For more local and national arts and culture advocacy resources, visit:
Americans for the Arts
The American Alliance of Museums
Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania
Delaware Arts Alliance
Alliance for Charitable Reform
The Kennedy Center Arts Education Advoacy Toolkit