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Philadelphia Cultural Fund announces its 2020 Art & Culture Grants

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Related coverage via WHYY:
Philly arts organizations get $2.9M from city’s cultural fund during coronavirus closures by Peter Crimmins

PHILADELPHIA—(March 24, 2020)—The Philadelphia Cultural Fund has announced the recipients of its 2020 Art & Culture Grants. The grants total $2,928,500 and will provide 349 organizations with operating funds. Resourced through the City budget, the Cultural Fund supports the largest and broadest community of arts and cultural organizations in Philadelphia.

The funding is critical at this time when a great many arts organizations are forced to cancel their  programming because of the Coronavirus threat. This is especially true for small and mid-sized community-based organizations. Forty-five percent of grantees have budgets of less than $150,000; of those most have few, if any, paid staff which speaks to both the community commitment to the arts and the impact of the funding.

“In many cases, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund is the lifeblood behind the work of so many of our city’s creative residents and the organizations and people they serve,” said Philadelphia Cultural Fund Executive Director Barbara J. Silzle. “Our grants are responsible for maintaining and growing the arts in Philadelphia and bringing the arts to Philadelphians throughout the city”

This year’s grantee list is the largest in its 29-year history and represents every City Council district, with the grants bringing to light the diversity of the city’s arts and culture scene.

The Cultural Fund is also honoring The Colored Girls Museum with the 2020 Cohen Award. The Germantown memoir museum celebrates the everyday lives of black and brown girls while being one of the first of its kind in the United States. The non-cash award recognizes an arts and culture organization that has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to social and economic justice through its mission, programming, art-related work product or services offered. The Colored Girls Museum is also one of this year’s 27 first-time Art & Culture Grant recipients.

“The Colored Girls Museum is honored to be the recipient of this year’s Cohen Award,” said Executive Director and Founder Vashti DuBois. “We are not just a museum but a movement, as the first institution of its kind to celebrate the ordinary, extraordinary colored girl. This recognition highlights not only our museum but Philadelphia as well by celebrating the achievements of black women and girls.”

The 349 grants resulted from a peer review process, featuring review panels comprised of more than one hundred and fifteen volunteers spanning the local arts and culture space, including artists, administrators and educators. The panels evaluated and scored grant applications and conducted site visits, with Community Impact serving as the most heavily weighted evaluation element. Applicants are encouraged to receive their panel’s anonymous feedback from Cultural Fund staff to strengthen their own organizations and their future grant applications.

“Our Art & Culture Grants accomplish more than providing necessary funds to organizations; they are about illustrating the expanse of artforms and practices that distinguish Philadelphia as a place of vibrant and unique diversity,” noted Silzle. “Art and culture can and should be a part of everyone’s lives.”



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 using the hashtag #PHLArtsSayThnx and @PhilaCulturFund on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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