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William Penn Foundation announces grants for Creative Communities, Great Learning and Watershed

Thursday, June 6, 2019

The William Penn Foundation announced their recently approved grants including $13.5 million toward Creative Communities, 11 grants under its Watershed Protection Program totaling $10.8 million, and four Great Leanring grants totaling more than $2.8 million to support education in Philadelphia.

As part of the Creative Communities program, the Foundation works to support equitable access to great public spaces. A $1,498,200 grant was awarded to Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to partner with Strawberry Mansion Community Development Corporation in piloting a historic home repair program in Strawberry Mansion that demonstrates approaches to neighborhood stabilization in a community adjacent to significant Foundation public space investments; this grant also seeks to model the recommendations of the Mayor’s Historic Preservation Task Force to expand preservation activities in historic and culturally significant neighborhoods in Philadelphia.

Through the New Audiences/New Places strategy, a $246,000 grant was awarded to Shakespeare in Clark Park to support an expanded summer 2020 season to include two new works of theater in neighborhood parks, building on its strong history of drawing audiences to its free performances in West Philadelphia's Clark Park. 

The Foundation also awarded a cohort of unrestricted operating support grants totalling $11.8 million to arts and culture organizations in the region. This funding provides flexible working capital so that arts groups have the resources to pursue their missions and produce innovative, high-quality work.

In the Watershed Protection Program, a two-year $200,000 grant was awarded to The Watershed Institute under the Watershed-Wide strategy. Targeted Sub-Watershed grants include funding to: The Clean Water Fund - Pennsylvania ($250,000 over 18 months); Lighthawk ($130,000 over 24 months); and the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association ($375,000 over 24 months). Through the Constituency Building strategy, grants were given to  National Wildlife Federation ($6,098,000 over 36 months), Independence Seaport Museum ($161,200 over 18 months), and to four organizations to continue to develop the region's Circuit Trails.

A related grant was made through the WPF Fund, a special fund to test new ideas related to the Foundation’s strategies, advance cross-programmatic efforts, support one-time civic opportunities, and strengthen regional philanthropy, went to Willistown Conservation Trust, Inc. ($352,000 over 24 months).

Through the Great Learning Program's Strong Start, Strong Readers strategy made grants to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Foundation ($603,066) and Oxford Circle Christian Community Development Association ($695,108) to support Engaged Families, and the Book Trust ($1.3 million) to support Strong K-3 Literacy Instruction. Additionally, a Civic Engagement and Evidence grant of  $277,345 was awarded to the School District of Philadelphia. 

Read more about these grants on William Penn Foundation's website, or contact Program Directors:

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