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Philadelphia Cultural Fund Receives $1.3 Million Budget Increase

Plans Include Reinstating Youth Arts Enrichment Grants for Philly Students

PHILADELPHIA—June 20, 2014—Philadelphia's arts and cultural sector can officially claim a win on the FY2015 budget for the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. On June 19, City Council approved an amended FY2015 city budget that includes a $1.3 million increase for PCF grantmaking, bringing its budget for grantmaking to $2.9 million and its total budget to $3.14 million. Mayor Nutter is expected to sign the budget into law within the next two weeks.

Since 1991, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund has provided cultural groups in every neighborhood of the city with vital operating support for all of their activities. In 2010, PCF's budget was cut from $3.2 million to $1.84 million, where it remained until Thursday. With this budget increase in FY2015, the organization will not only be able to expand the reach and scope of its grantmaking, but also fulfill their pledge to reinstate Youth Arts Enrichment Grants, which provide project support for arts-education programs serving K-12 students in the Philadelphia School District. 

“This is a huge win not just for PCF, but for the entire arts & culture sector,” said June O’Neill, Manager of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. “As school budget cuts force schools to eliminate existing arts programs, cultural organizations are playing an increasing role in arts education, and these grants will help provide significant support for that work.”

The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, GroundSwell and the Philadelphia Cultural Fund have been working since February to organize behind-the-scenes and public advocacy action campaigns to increase the Philadelphia Cultural Fund’s budget allocation. Key initiatives included the first annual Philadelphia Arts Advocacy Day on April 22, 2014, where artists and performers filled City Hall with pop-up performances ahead of the evening’s City Council budget hearing testimony. Cultural advocates also gave public testimony in support of restored funding for PCF during a neighborhood budget hearing at West Oak Lane Charter School on April 30.

PCF and the Alliance also orchestrated online advocacy efforts such as a GroundSwell petition and email campaign asking City Council to increase funding for the Cultural Fund, and called on arts & culture supporters to flood Twitter with messages of how the cultural sector impacts their lives and makes Philadelphia a vibrant, world-class city using hashtag #RestoreArtsFundingPHL.

"We want to thank everyone who participated in this campaign," said Michael Norris, Cultural Alliance Interim Executive Director. "It was your combined voices that restored funding to PCF and helped to ensure that our cultural organizations continue to deliver the social, educational and economic benefits we expect of them. We also want to thank Mayor Nutter, Council President Darrell Clarke, and the rest of City Council, especially our PCF champions, Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco, Councilman Mark Squilla and Councilwoman Cindy Bass, for listening to us and making sure that the importance of arts and culture to the City of Philadelphia is reflected in the FY2015 budget."

For more information about the FY2015 budget increase for the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, visit 

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

The Philadelphia Cultural Fund is a non-profit corporation established by Philadelphia’s Mayor and City Council in 1991 to support and enhance the cultural life and vitality of the City of Philadelphia and its residents. The Fund promotes arts and culture as engines of social, educational and economic development in the Philadelphia region. Grants are made from the City budget allocation to the Cultural Fund for operating support of Philadelphia-based arts and cultural organizations.

In January 2013, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance launched a new grassroots advocacy and community engagement initiative, GroundSwell, which works to expand the cultural sector's base of engaged grassroots advocates by giving residents a chance to learn about and participate in activities that are improving communities around the region. GroundSwell's work aligns arts and culture with other quality-of-life partners (parks, trails, libraries).