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Why I Choose to Serve

No one would call me an art aficionado. Simply put, I am a fan. I am not an art connoisseur with years of training, education and experience. Simply put, I am an art consumer. I am also a tax payer in the State of Pennsylvania. It was for those simple reasons that I volunteered to serve as a panelist for the Pennsylvania Partners in Arts (PPA) Project Stream Grant Review Panel.

Interestingly, when I found the call for grant review panelists on the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance website, I had not visited the site seeking this type of opportunity. I was actually researching the Philadelphia Young Nonprofit Leaders organization, which had happened to post a board training opportunity on the site. Through the luck of a simple internet search for something else, I was introduced to the opportunity to be the change I want to see in the world.

I want to have increased access to the arts for all residents of the Philadelphia region. Since my childhood, I have believed that exposure and participation in the arts are important to develop well rounded individuals. Although my mother was only a teenager, she instilled in me an appreciation for the arts at a very early age. Had it not been for the benefit of state and local funds, we would not have been able to afford participation in the art programs I enjoyed as a child. For these opportunities, I have always been grateful, and it is in response to this sense of gratitude that I serve.

Alicia Agnew is a Strategic Consultant for the African American Chamber of Commerce.


The state budget process remains stalled and funding for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) and Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) are in jeopardy. Get involved – comment on this story, share a story of your own, or visit our Action Center for more information on the state budget issue.

For information on becoming a PPA grant panelist, visit our grantmaking page.