William Penn Awards $9.4 Million for Arts Education, Engagement

William Penn Awards $9.4 Million for Arts Education, Engagement

The William Penn Foundation has announced  grants totaling $9.4 million in support of efforts to foster a vibrant and creative Philadelphia through increased access to high-quality arts and cultural experiences.

Grants totaling $5.8 million were awarded through the foundation’s Arts Education portfolio in support of programs working in partnership with Philadelphia schools to deepen and expand existing arts instruction and connect students with the city’s arts and cultural organizations. Recipients of three-year arts education grants include ArtWell, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Play On, Philly!, and WHYY.

The foundation also awarded grants totaling $3.6 million through its New Audiences/New Places portfolio to organizations that are taking artistic experiences into neighborhoods and engaging local residents. Recipients include the Philadelphia Orchestra Association, which will perform six free neighborhood concerts a year for the next two years; Mural Arts Philadelphia, which will mount a series of three arts projects in 2019 that explore the history, current condition, and future potential for the Rail Park; and Theatre Exile, which will offer free monologue workshops and family-focused plays in South Philly parks.

"By supporting this kind of work we hope to help elevate local artists and organizations that reflect neighborhood-specific ideas and diverse perspectives to increase participation and community engagement," said Judilee Reed, program director for Creative Communities at the foundation. "We believe deeply in supporting projects that reflect the communities in which they happen and ideas that address the ever changing cultural landscape."

(Photo credit: Mural Arts Philadelphia)