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Leadership Transition at the Philadelphia Cultural Fund

Monday, April 11, 2022
April 11, 2022 -- The board of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund announces that its Executive Director, Barbara Silzle, will step down from her position on July 15, 2022 to explore other interests. Barbara has led the organization for seven years. During this time, she has strengthened the Cultural Fund’s relationship with the City and the cultural sector, improved its grant panel process, and increased the number of small community-based organizations that receive important financial support from the Fund.

“Barbara’s leadership has been especially vital during the years of the pandemic, which saw drastic cuts to the Fund’s budget, which had a ripple effect across the sector. On behalf of the board and grantees of the Cultural Fund, I would like to thank Barbara for her dedication to the arts and culture community and her inspired leadership of the Cultural Fund, “said Magda Martinez, Chair of the board of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund.

While City Council led the way for additional funding in the City’s FY2021 and FY2022 budget, the Mayor’s proposed FY2023 budget does not reflect the need to invest in the City’s critical arts and culture sector which will be a leading contributor to welcoming residents and visitors back into Philadelphia’s rich civic life. Barbara will continue to be deeply involved in PCF's advocacy efforts to increase the Cultural Fund’s FY2023 allocation and to ensure that organizations receive their current year grants.

“The board and Barbara are committed to a thoughtful transition process that seamlessly continues the essential work of the Fund in support of our grantees. The board is developing a transition plan and will share further details in the near future,” added Martinez.


Barbara Silzle is a passionate advocate for the arts. She started with the Cultural Fund in 2015 after years of service to Philadelphia’s nonprofit arts and philanthropy sectors. She served as Executive Director of The Leeway Foundation, a private foundation that invests in women and trans artists who are committed to using their artistic practice to illuminate pressing social issues affecting their communities. Prior to Leeway, Barbara served on the board of the Valentine Foundation and worked for several Philadelphia arts organizations, including the University of the Arts, Freedom Theatre, Philadelphia Drama Guild and Prince Music Theatre.

About the Philadelphia Cultural Fund
Established in 1991 to support and enhance the cultural life and vitality of the City of Philadelphia and its residents, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, through the combined efforts of the Philadelphia City Council and the Mayor, promotes arts and culture as engines of social, educational and economic development and has played a key stabilizing role for numerous organizations by providing much needed general operating funding. Learn more at and follow along on Facebook, Twitter @PhilaCulturFund and Instagram.

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