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PNC Arts Alive Provides $1 Million to Arts Organizations for Free Public Arts Programs and Innovative Audience Engagement

Edward Kozmor

PNC Arts Alive has awarded more than 100 grants totaling $4 million since 2009

PHILADELPHIA, March 21, 2012 – Twenty-five arts organizations with innovative ways to bring visual and performing arts to new audiences were today awarded grants of a combined $1 million by the PNC Foundation through PNC Arts Alive.

The fourth year of PNC Arts Alive grants represent a wide range of disciplines, audiences and participatory experiences from arts groups large and small, city and suburban.

New to the Arts Alive portfolio are pop-up theater and music performances, novel audience engagement ideas, and information regarding free arts and cultural happenings in the region. Family arts programming and neighborhood-based initiatives are a common thread again in this year’s portfolio.

To date, PNC Arts Alive has awarded more than 100 grants totaling $4 million to more than 50 arts organizations in the Greater Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey region.

“Art should be accessible to everyone,” said Bill Mills, PNC regional president for Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. We know that a vibrant arts scene improves our region by creating jobs, boosting tourism and generating millions in revenue. But accessibility to the arts can also make a profound difference in the lives of individuals—especially underserved youth and their families.  The arts develop creativity, innovation, and collaboration—skills for the workforce of tomorrow.”         

One of the goals of PNC Arts Alive was to increase access to the arts. In 2011, PNC conducted a study of the projects for the first year of the Arts Alive portfolio and found that 73% of the projects successfully lowered barriers to participation in the arts among individuals with limited access. 


PNC Arts Alive Background

Each year for four years, PNC Arts Alive has awarded $1 million in grants.  In 2009, 23 groups received funding; in 2010, 27 groups; in 2011, 26 groups; and in 2012, 21 groups along with four service partners.  (A full description of arts programs and services partners appears below).  For more information

PNC Arts Alive is a five-year, $5 million initiative from the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). The goal of PNC Arts Alive is to help area residents gain access to the arts and to help arts organizations expand and engage audiences.

The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (NYSE: PNC), actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a $350 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.


2012 New Grantees

Asian Arts Initiative
PNC Arts Alive presents Neighborhood Spotlight: a series of public art workshops and visual art presentations by resident artists, engaging two vibrant multi-cultural neighborhoods: Chinatown and South Philadelphia. The series will begin with a cross-cultural exploration of Latino and Asian communities culminating with an exhibition of handmade lanterns and an oral history soundscape.

First Person Arts
The PNC Arts Alive Philadelphia Story Project uses personal stories from three immigrant communities for a public storytelling celebration. Participants mentored by a professional storyteller will present their tales of coming to Philadelphia at a free, family-friendly Story Day celebration which includes other elements reflecting their ethnic origins, such as food and live music.

Mendelssohn Club
The PNC Arts Alive grant supports the Mendelssohn Club’s Big Sing Community Series.  Here, the chorus and the audience sit together while the chorus performs.  Ethnically-diverse guest choruses will teach the Mendelssohn chorus and their audiences some of their repertoire during these performances.

Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre
The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre will offer free admission and transportation during PNC Arts Alive Free Will Wednesdays to Othello featuring Tony Award-nominated African American actor Forrest McClendon. They will also host pop up theater performances, share flip-camera audience reviews on their Website and host backstage tours and artist receptions.

Theatre Horizon
PNC Arts Alive presents Theatre Horizon’s Grand Opening Season, offering the city’s residents, many of whom are low-income and underserved, free tickets to attend critically-acclaimed live theater in their own neighborhood.

2012 Returning Grantees

African American Museum -  $75,000 
Presented by PNC Arts Alive, Come See About Me celebrates the Supremes’ imprint on fashion, music, civil rights and female empowerment. A dazzling exhibition with over 70 gowns, album covers, photographs, video footage, and extensive programming will dramatize how the Supremes broke racial and gender barriers.

Bay-Atlantic Symphony -  $45,000 
The PNC Arts Alive grant supports ticket subsidies for three programs:  the Borgata Pops concert of country western, pop and classical music and featuring “America’s Got Talent” stars; a classical series featuring “Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony” with area choral groups; and the second annual Atlantic City Music Festival.

Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra -  $30,000 
PNC’s Open Rehearsal Series will once again open the doors of Black Pearl’s rehearsals to African-and Latin-American high schoolers from underserved Philadelphia neighborhoods.  Students will be invited on stage for a "mini-lesson" in conducting live musicians.

Cape May Stage - $30,000
Meet Your Seat will introduce individuals and families from diverse backgrounds to the magical world of live theatre through cultural performances, house/theatre tours and hands-on activities.

Fleisher Art Memorial - $35,000 
ColorWheels is a professionally-staffed mobile arts studio that will bring art-making to low-income and immigrant communities in South Philadelphia.  The curriculum includes on-the-spot art-making and a year-long project where participants contribute to a collaborative piece.

Kimmel Center -  $50,000 
Marrying artistic presentations to mobile technology, Check In to the Arts presented by PNC Arts Alive will increase access to the arts for young, diverse audiences.  By simply “checking in” using a smart phone, audiences will be able to receive any number of ticketed events for a free or subsidized rate. 

Koresh Dance Company -  $35,000 
A five-day summer dance festival will feature the work of diverse choreographers from the Philadelphia area. Artistic director Roni Koresh will select 15 local, independent dancers to perform his new work and each show will include a performance by Koresh.

The Opera Company of Philadelphia - $40,000
The Opera will expand PNC Arts Alive Family Days with opera-themed activities on three Saturdays at the Academy of Music. Families will be invited for workshops in group singing, conducting and stage combat plus tours of the sets, orchestra pit, dressing rooms and wardrobe areas.

People’s Light and Theatre Company -  $40,000 
The PNC Arts Alive Discovery Series includes half-price ticketing nights, free dress rehearsals and student rush prices for works that will add to the cannon of family productions. 

Perkins Center for the Arts -  $40,000 
In its second year, Social Artworking will deepen audience relationships and expand its reach with “pop up” public performances at community festivals and public gatherings to announce upcoming free exhibitions and arts activities.

Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe - $50,000
PNC Arts Alive will again be presenting sponsor of the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe.  It will also sponsor Le Grand Continental, a dance event from Montreal making its American debut and featuring more than 200 Philadelphians of all ages, dance abilities, and backgrounds on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Philadelphia Mural Arts -  $40,000 
Mural Arts will stage The Meal, a series of visual and performance art pieces that gather people around a communal table to engage in dialogue about a chosen theme. Two French artists will lead community workshops to develop a theme for the design of ceramic plates and a table runner for a meal of 1,600 Philadelphians in a public space.

Philadelphia Museum of Art - $55,000 
Through PNC Arts Alive support, the museum ‘s Family Access to the Arts initiative will continue the Every Family Party, a vibrant family festival, and Pay-What-You-Wish first Sundays.

Philadelphia Orchestra - $80,000
PNC Arts Alive will once again support eZseatU and Sound All Around – education programs for young, diverse audiences. Sound All Around will expand its concerts into underserved neighborhoods to introduce preschoolers to classical music.  eZseatU offers college students a $25 season membership to attend any number of subscription concerts for $1 each.

Scribe Video Center -  $35,000
Street Movies! presented by PNC Arts Alive is a series of free outdoor films and discussions in 14 different locations throughout Philadelphia.  In 2012 and 2013, Scribe will take a mobile digital media studio into neighborhoods so community residents can create short ‘digital postcards’ that will be screened along with the films.

Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center -  $35,000 
PNC Arts Alive! Family Fun Days continue with interactive, family-oriented activities on Sundays from June to December.  Live artist demonstrations and multi-cultural workshops and performances educate and engage children, many from low to moderate-income households.  Admission will be free for children 17 and under.



Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia:  PNC Arts Alive Award for Innovation -$40,000

ArtReach:  Independence Starts Here - $15,000

Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance:  PhillyFunGuide—“Free” Campaign - $50,000

Open Minds:  Program Evaluation - $20,000

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