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Philadelphia Cultural Fund announces Gabriela Sanchez as its new Executive Director

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Gabriela Sanchez
Photo Credit: Gene Smirnov

PHILADELPHIA, PA, Feb 1, 2023 - The Board of Directors of The Philadelphia Cultural Fund (“PCF”) is pleased to announce Gabriela Serena Sanchez as the organization’s new executive director, effective April 3, 2023. Sanchez will provide leadership and vision in the fulfillment of PCF’s mission to support and enhance the cultural vitality of Philadelphia and all its residents by promoting arts and culture as engines of social cohesion, economic development, and health and well-being.

Gabriela Serena Sanchez, is a cultural producer and multidisciplinary mother artist- a director, actor, photographer, video editor, teaching artist, poet – who blends creative practice with deeply embedded social justice action. A Philadelphia native, Sanchez graduated from the Creative and Performing Arts highschool and received a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Temple University. Sanchez is known for effectively building coalitions in a diverse range of communities throughout the city and furthering a vision of an arts sector deeply rooted in equity and justice.

Sanchez commented, “I am excited to join PCF given its important role in supporting Philadelphia’s cultural sector. Seven years ago, PCF was the first grant I received funding for as a rising arts leader. PCF opened up a door of possibilities for me and Power Street Theatre and gave us a chance to learn about grant funding, building a bridge that connected us with other funders. For over a decade, I have worked for multiple arts and culture organizations that continue to make an influential impact on the city of Philadelphia’s arts and culture sector with the support of the PCF. I remember going to City Hall to pick up our award checks and the pride I felt in seeing so much diversity in the room - the energy was always vibrant. I stand in deep gratitude for PCF’s commitment to and investment in artists, cultural leaders, and Philadelphians.”

A strong advocate for the arts, Sanchez was one of the primary organizers of the 2020 and 2021 Digital Rally for Philadelphia Arts and Culture, which took an innovative approach to bringing attention and awareness to the arts at a time when many people could not participate in-person due to the pandemic. The rallies were a call to action in response to the arts sector being defunded in the 2020 city budget. During the 2021 rally more than 50 multicultural and intergenerational artists gave workshops, sang original songs, conducted interviews, presented short films, amplified calls for accountability, and more. The Rally included 12 hours of programming per day over two days, generating more more than 12,000 views.

Sanchez is the Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Power Street Theatre, where she will maintain those two roles while transitioning out of her role as managing director. Power Street is a women of color- led multicultural theater collective presenting powerful new plays, theater education and community story circles in the heart of el barrio as well as other Philadelphia neighborhoods. For over a decade, she has worked with multiple influential arts and culture organizations in the city including Conflict Resolution Theatre, Taller Puertorriqueño, Norris Square Neighborhood Project, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, and dozens more!

Recently, Gabriela was awarded the Leeway 2022 Transformation Award for her long-term commitment to social change work. In Spring 2021, Gabriela was an honoree for the AL DÍA 40 Under Forty. She received a Citation from Council of the City of Philadelphia for her dedicated work in theatrical production (2020). Gabriela is also a proud recipient of the NEXUS Initiative Artist Grant (2021), Map Fund Artist Grant (2020), Phenomenal Women’s Award (2020), Leeway Art and Change Grant (2016, 2019), GALAEI David Acosta Revolutionary Award (2017), Knight Foundation Emerging City Champions Fellowship (2018) and keynote speaker with Quiara Alegría Hudes at the 2018 Association for Theatre in Higher Education Conference, in addition, to the plenary speaker for the 2019 Theatre Communications Group National Conference.

PCF’s Board chair Magda Martinez said, “Gabriela’s dedication to social equity and advocacy for the arts is an excellent fit for PCF. As artists and cultural organizations continue to navigate an uncertain funding environment and changes in audience engagement driven by the pandemic, her experience working collectively and collaboratively with diverse communities will generate new ideas for how to best support the arts so that they can, in turn, strengthen the city and its residents.”

About The Philadelphia Cultural Fund

PCF is an independent, community-focused non-profit, grant making organization. Since its founding in 1992 PCF has awarded more than $60 million in grants to Philadelphia-based arts and culture organizations. Currently, substantially all funding for PCF comes from the City of Philadelphia. PCF is governed by an 18-member Board of Directors of which the Mayor and City Council each appoints 8 members and the remaining 10 are drawn from the community. Learn more at

Contact: Caralyn Spector,

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