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Local Theater Company Wins $20,000 at Philly Tech Week

Philadelphia, PA—On Friday, April 29, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance hosted its second annual TechniCulture event as part of Philly Tech Week. The core of the event was a competition between local cultural organizations who have been engaged since fall 2015 in the TechniCulture Innovation Residencies, evaluating solutions for their digital needs. The participating organizations (Tiny Dynamite, Christ Church Preservation Trust, and Philadelphia Young Playwrights) each presented their work for a chance to receive $20,000 in funding from The Barra Foundation. Tiny Dynamite, a two-person-run theater company, was chosen as the winner for their cross-country digital collaboration with a theater company in the UK.

Each cultural organization was paired with a digital technologist to evaluate their technology needs and determine a solution. Tiny Dynamite worked with award-winning filmmaker and technologist Ben Kalina to pursue the technology solutions for artistic collaboration, set design, and streaming of the performance, ultimately using the internet as a new performance medium. Using set design and monologues that are streamed to a venue in the UK, Emma Gibson, artistic director, performs from the US. The work already debuted in the UK this month, and is slated to premier in the US in 2017.

With this grant from The Barra Foundation, Tiny Dynamite will be able to continue to fine-tune production, seek out new collaborators, and document and share their process with other theater companies interested in using technology as a performance medium. In addition to the $20,000 in grant funding from The Barra Foundation, Tiny Dynamite will receive $5,000 in pro-bono legal services from Morgan Lewis.

As runners-up, Christ Church Preservation Trust and Philadelphia Young Playwrights will each receive $10,000 from Barra, and Tiny Dynamite The TechniCulture Innovation Residency teams were evaluated for the grand prize by a panel of judges selected by the Cultural Alliance:

  • Jeffrey Bodle, Managing Partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Kendra Brill, Managing Partner, DeSimone Group Investments
  • Brendan Lowry, Marketing Director, Curalate
  • Jessica Berwind, Managing Trustee, Berwind
  • David Elderkin, Retired IT Professional and Board Member, Chariot Solutions

For more information on the TechniCulture initiative and the Innovation Residency participants, 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