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The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage to Focus on Recovery Funding for Philadelphia Arts and History Organizations in 2021

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Related Post: 
Despite COVID-19, Philadelphia’s Arts Community Continues
to Adapt, Inspire, and Move Toward Recovery

by Paula Marincola and Frazierita Klasen

Press release

PHILADELPHIA (Jan. 19, 2021)—The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage (the Center) has announced that its 2021 grant making will focus on assisting arts and history organizations in the Philadelphia region to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, pivoting from its usual project grants for individual public programs and events. The new recovery grants are designed to help current and past Center grantee institutions emerge from this challenging period as more resilient and sustainable and will be awarded to those seeking to adapt and reshape their operations, as well as to reimagine or expand approaches to programming and audience relationships. Funding for individual artists will continue through the Center’s Pew Fellowships in the Arts program.

“Cultural institutions and artists across the region have shown admirable perseverance and resilience in the face of great uncertainty in their efforts to adapt to the pandemic’s impacts” says Paula Marincola, the Center’s executive director. “Our goal for the Center’s 2021 recovery grants is to further bolster the resurgence of the sector by creating opportunities for our recent grantees to strengthen their operations for the future and deepen their commitment and relevance to those they wish to reach and serve.”

The 2021 recovery project grants are awards of up to $400,000 for a single organization or an aggregate of up to $800,000 for collaborative efforts. As with previous Center project grants, an additional 20 percent in unrestricted general operating support will be added to each award. To be eligible for funding, organizations must have been project grantees of the Center within the last five years (2016-2020; a total of 51 eligible organizations); additional threshold criteria are outlined in the grant guidelines.

Examples of the recovery projects that will be considered for funding include: evolving business models and institutional structures, expanding digital programming and other creative methods to reach and engage audiences, upgrading technology capabilities, reconfiguring and redesigning indoor and outdoor facilities for safety and enhanced accessibility and organizational efforts that include a stronger commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The Center’s support of individual artists in the Philadelphia region continues through its Pew Fellowships in the Arts program, which annually awards 12 unrestricted grants of $75,000. In addition to monetary awards, Pew Fellows are offered additional, focused professional development resources such as financial counseling and career-development workshops.

Since the pandemic began, the Center has provided support to area artists and organizations, first in May of 2020 with over $535,000 in additional unrestricted funds to its current grantees (at that time, 23 individual artists and 39 organizations) to help offset lost revenues. In October, 41 new grants totaling over $10.5 million were awarded to individual artists and organizations. Organizational projects at that time were designed for both in-person and digital programs as organizations responded to evolving pandemic-related public health and safety guidelines.

The 2021 recovery grant application guidelines are available at Grant recipients will be announced in late summer of 2021. The implementation period for recovery projects extends from August 1, 2021 to July 31, 2023.

About The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage
The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is a multidisciplinary grantmaker and hub for knowledge-sharing, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and dedicated to fostering a vibrant cultural community in Greater Philadelphia. The Center invests in ambitious, imaginative and catalytic work that showcases the region’s cultural vitality and enhances public life, and it engages in an exchange of ideas concerning artistic and interpretive practice with a broad network of cultural practitioners and leaders. For more information, visit