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Engage 2020 Innovation Grants Case Studies

First Person ArtsThe Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and The Philadelphia Foundation partnered to create the Engage 2020 Innovation Grants Program, an initiative to stimulate marketing innovation in the Greater Philadelphia region. The program offered 10 arts organizations 18-month grants of up to $75,000 that took place between 2010 and 2011.

The goal was to design and implement projects that addressed one or more of the findings of Research Into Action and help reach the long-term goal of doubling Greater Philadelphia’s cultural participation by the Year 2020.

All of the arts organizations that received grants had projects that the Cultural Alliance and the Philadelphia Foundation deemed “case study worthy,” that is, the work they did and the lessons they learned could be valuable to arts organizations across the country that grappled with similar dilemmas.

The following is a summary of how each Engage 2020 Innovation grantee organization sought to increase audience engagement, what they accomplished and what they learned that might be valuable to others seeking to do similar work.

Individual Case Studies

Art Sanctuary: Bringing Hip H'Opera to Teens

Art Sanctuary is a literary and performing arts organization that uses the power of art to deepen literacy in communities, particularly in African-American communities.


Curtis Institute of Music: Creating a Tailored Experience for Patrons

The Curtis Institute of Music trains gifted young musicians free of charge and offers 130 free and ticketed public performances by students and guest artists each year.


Fairmount Park Art Association: Seeing Public Art Through New Eyes

The Fairmount Park Art Association is the nation’s oldest nonprofit association devoted to commissioning and caring for public art.


First Person Arts: Sharing Stories of Objects Held Dear

First Person Arts is an organization that focuses on memoir and documentary art. Its best known program is its First Person Arts Festival, an annual event that features movie screenings, book readings, discussions and other events on memoir and documentary art.


Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia: Giving Audiences a Voice

The Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia is a 138-year-old symphonic chorus that regularly performs choral music of varied cultures, traditions, periods and style.


New Paradise Laboratories: Using the Web to Create Online Performance

New Paradise Laboratories is an experimental theater that puts on original performances by a core ensemble group.


Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts: Bringing Families Together Through Art

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is the country’s first art museum and school of fine arts.


People’s Light & Theatre: Nurturing Generations of Theatregoers

The People’s Light & Theatre Company is a 35-year-old professional theater in Chester County, Pennsylvania that includes an active arts education program that works with young people.

Philadelphia Mural Arts Advocates: Bringing African-American Murals to Life

The Philadelphia Mural Arts Advocates is a 27-year-old organization whose mission it is to create murals that connect artists to communities. Some 1,500 murals exist in the city and more than 20 percent portray an aspect of African American history or culture.


Walnut Street Theatre: Inspiring Teens and Adults to Connect with Theater

Walnut Street Theatre is the oldest continuously operating theater in the country and is in its 203rd season.