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Cultural Alliance Announces TechniCulture Innovation Residency Award Recipients

Philadelphia, October 7, 2015—Today the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance announced the three organizations selected for the first TechniCulture Innovation Residency Award program, the next phase of the organization’s TechniCulture initiative to encourage deeper collaborations between Philadelphia’s arts & culture community and the tech sector.

The selected organizations have been paired with technologists to help evaluate their digital needs and develop a plan to launch a project or application that will best suit their mission:

Tiny Dynamite
Project: Tiny Dynamite will use its residency to discover new ways that technology can increase productivity and efficiency on an administrative level, and also boost creativity and reach new audiences. They are also interested in exploring ways that live streaming can be used to allow cross-country collaboration, and using the internet as a new performance medium.
Paired with: Nathan Solomon, Principal at Art & Alchemy Ltd., Founder at Philadelphia Game Lab

Christ Church Preservation Trust
Project: Christ Church Preservation Trust will use its residency to pursue new strategies for encouraging donations at Ben Franklin's grave. The common practice is for visitors to throw pennies on the grave marker in honor of Franklin’s phrase, "A penny saved is a penny earned." However, this practice damages his gravestone by chipping away at the limestone, and the organization would like to find a new way to encourage donations and monetize visitation.
Paired with: Davis Shaver, Digital Products & Solutions Lead, Philadelphia Media Network

Philadelphia Young Playwrights
Project: Philadelphia Young Playwrights will use its residency to initiate conversations and story boarding for possible gaming software or app-based programming that activates, gamifies, and/or virtualizes some aspect of the playwriting process to help unlock student learning.
Paired with: Antonio Paola, Independent Technologist

The selected organizations were chosen by members of the TechniCulture Advisory Committee, as well as handpicked experts in technology, innovation and venture capitalism.  Applications were evaluated based on the degree to which the proposal supported the organization’s mission statement; how innovative the proposal was in relation to the rest of the organization’s work; the degree to which the residency learning process would benefit the arts and culture sector as a whole; and the degree to which the scope of the proposal felt manageable and achievable.

“We’re very excited to recognize these fantastic organizations and encourage them on their path to new digital innovations,” said Maud Lyon, President of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. “We had almost 30 organizations apply with a variety of worthy creative projects, so it was hard to choose just three. The Cultural Alliance is committed to providing our members and the cultural sector at large with the tools and resources they need to succeed in the digital arena, and we look forward to continuing to expand the TechniCulture initiative with these residencies.”

Each residency will be seeded with a $2,000 stipend for the individual technologist or digital agency assigned to the cultural organization. After their residency, organizations will also be supported in winter 2016 with a curated "design challenge" of technologists, arts professionals, marketers, communications specialists and grant writers who will help them take their project planning to the next level and think through the next phases of development and implementation, including grant applications to seek full funding of their projects.

“Young Playwrights much appreciates the chance with this residency to further our explorations of how interactive, blended and immersive tools—online and onsite—can enhance students' learning, playmaking and creativity,” said Glen Knapp, Executive Producing Director of Philadelphia Young Playwrights. “We also believe these tools will lead to new and deeper audience engagement in our playwrights' journeys from page to stage.”

At the next TechniCulture event during Philly Tech Week in April 2016, TechniCulture Innovation Residency Award participants will present their project proposals for the opportunity to receive additional support. Attendees will vote on their favorite project, and the most compelling proposal will receive additional services to help make their project a reality.

Major support for TechniCulture Innovation Residency Awards has been provided by Morgan Lewis, Safeguard Scientifics, the University City Science Center and Emily Goodman. For more information about the TechniCulture Innovation Residency Award program and the Alliance’s expanding TechniCulture initiative, 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