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Arts Advocates Win Fight to Maintain Cultural Fund Budget

Philadelphia — Despite the threat of a proposed 40% cut to the Philadelphia Cultural Fund (PCF) in the City’s FY2016 budget, Philadelphia's arts and cultural community can officially claim a win this budget season. Led by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance’s GroundSwell program, arts advocates successfully influenced City Council to protect the budget for the Philadelphia Cultural Fund in FY2016.

On Thursday, June 18, City Council approved an amended City budget that maintains the PCF budget at $3.14 million, protecting vital operating support for organizations across the city. The Mayor is expected to sign the budget into law next week.

"It’s wonderful to see that City Council will continue to value the social, educational and economic impact of the arts and maintain PCF funding for another fiscal year," said Maud Lyon, President of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. "We’d like to particularly thank Councilwoman Marian Tasco, who led the way by issuing a strong letter of support that influenced the majority of her fellow Councilmembers to vote in favor of maintaining the budget.”

GroundSwell and the Cultural Fund worked throughout the spring to organize behind-the-scenes and public advocacy action campaigns to protect PCF’s budget allocation. Key initiatives included the second annual Philadelphia Arts Advocacy Day on April 7, 2015, as well as pop-up acts of arts & culture in City Hall ahead of public budget testimonies. GroundSwell also orchestrated online advocacy efforts, calling on supporters to email their City Council members and tweet using hashtag #SavePHLArts.

“We want to thank everyone who participated in this campaign,” said Lois Welk, Interim Executive Director of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. “This isn’t just a win for PCF; it’s good news for the entire cultural sector, and for Philadelphia as a whole. Cultural Fund grants go to groups all over the city, including small and volunteer-run organizations that provide essential services to their communities.”

For more information about the FY2016 budget increase for the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, visit or contact Alison Zeidman at or 215-805-5737.

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). For more information, visit

Established in 1972, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance is the region’s leading arts and cultural advocacy, research and marketing organization. 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.”  Our membership includes over 400 organizations ranging from museums and dance companies to community art centers, historic sites, music ensembles and zoos. Our members, as well as the cultural community as a whole, count on the Alliance for signature research reports on the health and growth of the sector; grantmaking in partnership with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; robust professional development and membership services; marketing and audience development through our signature consumer marketing programs, and Funsavers; and leadership in policy and community engagement through our GroundSwell advocacy initiative and STAMP teen program. 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.  For more information please visit