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Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance Distributes Over $90,000 in State Grants to Local Arts Groups


PHILADELPHIA – January 13, 2014 – Today the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance announced $92,372 in grants to be distributed to 62 arts groups and artists in the Greater Philadelphia five-county region at an award ceremony held at PECO’s offices in Center City. The grants are provided by the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA), a regionalized funding program of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA), with additional support from PECO. PPA Project Stream is a program that makes competitive grants to individual artists and organizations that conduct arts projects throughout the state of Pennsylvania. The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance is the regional partner administering the PPA Project Stream in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. The funds go to support an arts activity conducted for the benefit of the public; take place in Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, or Philadelphia County; and have a public component.

“The Cultural Alliance believes even small grants can have big community impact,” said Alliance Interim Executive Director Michael Norris, “These PPA Project Stream grants fund projects that directly impact schools, seniors, and community-based projects around the Greater Philadelphia region.  They reflect the core principles of the Cultural Alliance’s GroundSwell Community Engagement work, using the arts to fuel positive civic development.”

The Alliance has documented overall declines in government and corporate funding over the last several years (/groundswell/pennsylvania-state-budget-update), making this program and PECO’s support particularly important for individual artist and community arts groups.

“We applaud the grantees in this program and are proud to support these important community projects,” said Romona Riscoe Benson, PECO manager of Corporate Relations.  “These grants provide crucial funds for community-based organizations that are making art and providing services that are essential to the health and cultural vitality of our region.”

The Cultural Alliance’s Project Stream provides grants of up to $2,500. This year, 98 groups applied for the program, and the average Project Stream award was $1,489.  The Project Stream Grant award recipients include
a variety of arts and culture organizations across the five counties of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Some examples of the range of programming are:

  • Southampton Community Band will produce a concert in Southampton, PA featuring pieces played on Egyptian instruments by a former student band member, now a Fulbright Scholar.
  • The Bearded Ladies will take down the barriers of access to arts in Philadelphia by orchestrating participatory parades throughout local neighborhoods. Parades will include music, stilts, and a band.
  • Crossroads Music is a series of approximately 20 concerts by accomplished musicians with roots in cultures around the world, taking place primarily at Calvary Church (or other West Philadelphia venues).
  • Homeless Not Hopeless Poets for Change will be hosting the event Homeless Not Hopeless Poets For Change Annual Finale' & Clothing Drive, a community event to entertain and inspire shelter residents with spoken word, youth performances, guest speakers, and more.
  • Manor College Ukranian Heritage Studies Center will be putting on a performance of Avramenko - the Father of Ukrainian Dance in North America; March 21 & 22, 2014 at Ukrainian Cultural Center. Speaker: Irene Balan. Performance by KAZKA Ukrainian Folk Ensemble.
  • Fidget is a day-long event on the theme of Afro-futurism curated by King Britt as part of Fidget's 4th annual experimental music festival. The day will involve talks, discussions, and musical performances.

A complete list of grantees can be found here: /services/grantmaking/project-stream1.

A total of thirteen regional organizations administer PPA and serve all 67 counties in Pennsylvania by re-granting funds to support a wide variety of local and community arts activities. Since the implementation of PPA in 1997, the PCA has been able to steadily expand the availability of government support for arts projects to many new communities. By providing local administration, technical support and a streamlined application process, PPA has created unprecedented access to state arts funding.

The PPA Project Stream grants are one of two grant programs managed by the Alliance for the PCA. The Alliance also manages the PPA Program Stream grants for Southeastern PA, an invitation-only program that also funds general operating support for non-profit organizations.  In addition to grantmaking, the Alliance also supports the community-building efforts of arts and cultural groups through the GroundSwell Initiative. GroundSwell brings people together and promotes positive civic work by the cultural community, supporting book drives, park cleanups, and other actions that directly benefit communities. The public is invited to join the GroundSwell team on January 20th for MLK Day of Service. Learn more at

How to Get Involved
Individuals interested in helping to select these award recipients may apply to become a panelist.  Serving on a panel can be an exciting and rewarding volunteer experience. Panelists get a unique look at the grantmaking process and learn about the many creative ways arts organizations are making a difference locally.  For information on how to volunteer as a panelist, go here: /programs/grantmaking/panelists. For organizations or artists looking to apply for funding from PCA in 2014, visit here: /services/grantmaking/project-stream.

About the Partners
The mission of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) is to foster the excellence, diversity, and vitality of the arts in Pennsylvania and to broaden the availability and appreciation of those arts throughout the state.  The PCA, founded in 1966, is a state agency in the Office of the Governor. Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts was initiated in 1997 to expand the effectiveness of state government arts funding. It reaches all 67 counties through 13 local partners. Through these partners, state arts dollars are made available to a wide range of arts activities developed in a variety of local settings, and grants are awarded through local decision-making.  

PECO supports programs that make the arts more accessible to a wider audience and is a proud supporter of both the Cultural Alliance and the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts Project Stream grants program. PECO’s support is part of their larger commitment to the vitality of the region, directing funding to organizations working to improve our schools, our environment, and our cultural institutions. Learn more about PECO’s community work at

Established in 1972, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance is the region’s premier leadership, research, and advocacy organization for arts and culture. Our mission is to “lead, strengthen and give voice to a diverse cultural sector that is making Philadelphia a world-class region to live, work, and play.”  Today, 411 member organizations — which range from museums and dance companies to community art centers, historic sites, music ensembles, and zoos — and the region’s cultural community as a whole — count on the Alliance for research; grantmaking; marketing and audience development; policy and community engagement; and membership services. For more information on the Cultural Alliance please visit